Cincinnati – The Kroger Co. is collaborating with EInfochips and Wincor-Nixdorf to introduce a new enterprise IT architecture called Retail Site Intelligence (RSI). The architecture uses uses ZigBee wireless mesh networks to integrate long battery life sensors, handheld devices, point-of-sale devices and video management software into a next-generation platform for retail applications such as loss prevention, store automation and analytics.
The introduction of the RSI architecture, and the deployment of new retail business solutions by Kroger, culminates two years of global collaboration between Kroger and EInfochips to develop the underlying technology solutions. The results of this phase of development are new wireless devices, including cameras, scanners and scales, featuring ZigBee wireless technology, and Vigil360, a new video management software kernel designed specifically for RSI.
In an exclusive interview with Chain Store Age, Dion Perkins, R&D engineer for Kroger, said the ultimate goal of RSI is to make the shopping experience better for the customer while using the proliferation of Bluetooth and WiFi technology to reduce infrastructure costs.
“Store solutions are costly if deployed individually,” said Perkins. “We use cameras with a ZigBee radio interface that handle the security aspect and video analytics. They can also enable queue management and mobile shopping, and serve as temperature sensors. The cost of ongoing maintenance is lower with lower complexity and a simplified environment.”
Commercial versions of the RSI solutions being piloted by Kroger will be available later in 2014 with support and customization services delivered globally.