First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 400 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
And in this Digitalization Digest, we continue to present some of the best examples of retail digital transformation. Sometimes there is more hype than usefulness in certain types of automation cases. We have attempted to uncover key digitalization trends with the cases presented in this digest. Starting off, Pizza Hut decided to create something like the Amazon Dash; but the idea was transformed into something rather clever. Pizza Hut’s “tattoo” lets you order pizza delivered to your door by tapping your phone against your new arm ink.
Okay, so it’s not a real tattoo — it’s more of a sticker, just like the old “lick-and-stick” temporary tattoos of your youth. But, when it does arrive, the tattoo is pre-programmed with your pizza of choice. Touch your phone to it and, using NFC (Near Field Communication), the app on your phone will fire up with the order ready to go. All you need to do is hit Confirm on the delivery page, then sit back and wait. Sadly, only 40 of the stickers were available, and only in the UK. But it is a very cool idea for the automation of food delivery order placement.
Here’s another story related to pizza delivery. Domino successfully used a drone to complete the delivery of a pizza to a customer in New Zealand. The unmanned aerial vehicle, DRU Drone by Flirtey, was autonomously controlled using GPS navigation and delivered to the yard of a residence in Whangaparaoa, 25km north of Auckland. Starbucks Corp. has begun selling Ember Temperature Control Mugs in its stores across most of the U.S. and online. These mugs keep your hot beverages at a steady temperature for hours.
Digital Transformations often have a great marketing effect. For example, news about the first shipment of Budweiser beer to be transported by a self-driving truck resulted in thousands of reposts across social networks. A tractor-trailer outfitted with Otto’s self-driving kit hauled the beer 120 miles along Colorado’s Interstate 25 on October 20. Otto was recently acquired by Uber and will be rebranded as Uber Freight. Self-driving cars have received plenty of attention this year, but self-driving trucks are quietly beating them to the punch.
Let’s return to retail digital marketing examples. Instagram wants to feed into our tendency to make impulse purchases. Starting next week, the photo-sharing social network will test out new in-depth posts from 20 US retailers, including Kate Spade and Warby Parker. These expanded posts offer more information about a product, and also include a “Shop Now” tag that takes you straight to the retailer’s website for a quick purchase.
After teaming up with street-wear brand VFiles, Mountain Dew has introduced Camo Out, a flashy wearable tech collection that includes everything from parkas with built-in speakers to hats with cameras. In November, attendees at the inaugural Complex Con pop culture tradeshow in Long Beach, CA had the opportunity to try on the clothing as part of Mountain Dew’s immersive augmented-reality experience.
The use of robotics is expanding to a number of business environments, and while warehouses seem especially well suited to the adoption of a variety of autonomous machines, there are other highly productive uses for robots. Hemdale Farms has been in operation since the 1950s; but even with the company’s old-school roots, it’s one of the most innovative around. Nearly a decade ago, it was one of the first farms to use robots for milking cows and is now the second-largest robotic milking production in the US. On average, each robot milks about 60 cows three times a day; but the frequency can be as high as six times a day. The cows have IDs and transponders, and if they are ‘eligible’ to produce more milk, they will be fed sweet coated grain, which is high in energy and helps with lactation. Yes, this is reality. And you can read about more cool Digitalization cases here.
Robots are already in every large warehouse. With the decrease in technology costs and with the introduction of exciting new business models including Robot-as-a-Service, robotic warehouse automation is now, even more, cost-effective. But enterprises are not interested solely in the automation of core processes. Emerson Electric will provide 1,100 workers in the UAE with neck-cooling wearables, intended to cool down body temperatures during the hottest hours of the day.
Stay tuned and read new cases of digital transformation when the next issue of the Digitalization Digest is posted on this blog!