NRF 2020: The year technology got practical

NRF 2020: The year technology got practical

The most striking thing about the NRF 2020 Vision conference was the shortage of striking things.

I have been attending the annual NRF “Big Show” conference on and off since the late 1990s, and therefore the exhibit floor has always contained tons of “gee whiz” solutions. However, this year’s technology demonstrations weren’t focused on cute androids or computer game simulations straight out of a fantasy film.

Instead, 2020 marked the year that retail technology emerged as an everyday utility at the NRF conference. Retailers are still using technology solutions to try to to amazing things, but in ways in which provide real business value instead of make your eyes pop wide. Here are three very practical tech trends I observed at NRF 2020.

Robots rise – quietly
As mentioned above, previous NRF conferences have featured robotic solutions like “Pepper,” a smiley little mechanical guy straight out of the first “Battlestar Galatica,” designed to function the shop associate of the longer term.

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