Insights

WSJ Pro: Artificial Intelligence – NRF Features Pathr™

January 13, 2020
Pathr™ George Shaw & Ryan Park at NRF 2020

Pathr.ai CEO George Shaw, left, and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Parker exhibit their spatial intelligence program at the NRF 2020 in New York City, Jan. 13, 2019. CREDIT: THOMAS LOFTUS/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

AI’s growing impact on retail. The influence of artificial intelligence was evident Monday as retailers from around the U.S. gathered for their biggest annual conference.

Attendees of the National Retail Federation’s 2020 Vision conference in New York, held Jan. 11 through Jan. 14, saw hundreds of exhibits from technology providers. Automation for stores and warehouses, much of it powered by bots and artificial intelligence, was on display.

Seen on the show floor:

Pathr.ai, an analytics platform for shop-floor activity, combines a proprietary “behavior engine” with existing in-store cameras and other sensors to map customer interactions in real time. That latter point is key, according to Chief Operating Officer Ryan Parker. “Customers don’t want to buy new hardware,” he said. Pathr.ai lets customers gain actionable insight from store activity. What are hotspots? The dead zones? Are store assistants interacting with customers? Which ones are most successful? All such actions are rendered in visuals similar to those play-action visuals on Monday Night Football, but more manic. Algorithms written by CEO George Shaw—like Mr. Parker, a former Intel Corp. employee—provide in-depth traffic analysis, helping identify potential high-value real estate on a show floor where staff would be most effective in closing a sale. And yes, the product is GDPR compliant.

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