Chinese retailer JD.com has set up a joint lab with US chipmaker Intel to explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in smart retail solutions.
The Digitized Retail Joint Lab is expected to develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture, according to the partners.
“This lab will combine our collective strengths to develop cutting-edge solutions to bring the precision of online shopping to offline players,” said Zhi Weng, VP of JD.com and head of JD Big Data Platform, in a media statement.
So far, scientists have successfully merged Intel’s RRI edge computing and OpenVINO computer vision architecture with JD’s computer vision algorithms.
This allows JD to analyze customer traffic and in-store purchasing habits, a solution that helps store owners to provide a more personalized and convenient experience to their customers.
Wei Chen, VP of Intel & General Manager of Intel IOTG China, said the two companies will continue to develop a wide range of use cases for the latest technology developments.
In 2017, JD.com reported $55.7 billion in revenue, making it the largest e-commerce and retail infrastructure provider in China by revenue.
In the third quarter of 2018, the company reported net revenues of RMB104.8 billion (US$215.3 billion), up 25.1 percent from the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, net service revenues for the third quarter of 2018 were RMB10.9 billion (US$1.6 billion), up 49.4 percent from the third quarter of 2017.
Richard Liu, Chairman and CEO of JD.com, said in the earnings report that its “Retail as a Service’ strategy is gaining traction as it continues to provide partners with retail infrastructure solutions.”
JD said in a previous news release that the cornerstone of this strategy is the ‘Zu Chongzhi’ platform which leverages big data from both JD’s platforms and the partner’s offline data assisted by multi-strategic partners’ data sources to offer comprehensive visualized solutions to assist offline retail decision making.
The joint lab with Intel is part of this “Retail as a Service” strategy and is expected to leverage JD’s big data analysis capabilities and Intel’s advanced edge computing technologies. Efforts along this line include a suite of technology upgrades for brick-and-mortar store owners, including smart shelving, smart price tags, and checkout solutions.
Intel, on the other hand, has unveiled during its Intel Architecture Day on December 11, 2018, the next-generation technologies focused on six engineering segments where significant investments and innovation are being pursued.
In its financial report for the third quarter of 2018, the US chipmaker reported US$19.2 billion in revenues, up 19 percent year-on-year, which it attributes to "stronger than expected customer demand across its PC data-centric businesses."
In May 2018, Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization, announced at the Intel Capital Global Summit new investments totaling US$72 million in 12 technology startups that are driving advancements in AI, cloud, IoT and silicon technologies.