CES 2020: High Tech Retailing Trends



CES is known as the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. The event, held in Las Vegas this month, provides a global stage for the next generation of innovative technology to be presented to the marketplace.

Various companies exhibited technologies aimed at optimising the customer experience in retail the following ways:

Sensor-based recommendations

AI-driven, software-based products that help companies deliver on personalised experiences, for example, Aetrex’s Albert scanner creates a 3D foot rendering to find the perfect insole.

Aetrex Scanner

Aetrex’s Albert Scanner

Augmented reality (AR) decisioning support

While many companies have successfully integrated AR into their apps, AR is still trying to break into physical retail. However, companies such as HiMirror have achieved this through their smart mirror that analyses skin health and lets shoppers virtually try on makeup products.


HiMirror Smart Mirror

Self service

A shift to the retail self-service model is gaining popularity. This requires digital payments, computer vision, AI applications, and a clear, interactive digital user interface to be effective. Standout tech from Vtouch, which uses gestures for product selection, has made an innovative solution to self service.


Vtouch Gesture Control

A few technologies were on display to help retailers optimise business processes in the following ways:

Position and emotion tracking

From facial recognition to infrared laser sensors to track consumers. Standout company, FaceMe used facial recognition to track visitors’ unique visits, gender, age, and emotional state.

Staff and operations support

A key theme was the drive of operational efficiencies and substitution (or improvement) of the performance of human employees. Robots at CES could continuously track and manage inventory and automate shelf restocking.

Last-mile automation

Retailers have a demand to overcome the costly last-mile logistics that same-day and small-batch manufacturing requires. Innovations from FedEx, included sensors to manage premium shipments and the use of robots that deliver packages within a set mile radius or delivery drones.