Microsoft Enabling '3D for Everyone' Vision, Buys Simplygon, Announces IoT for Retailers

‘Empowered retail' through Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions highlighted at NRF convention. Buys automatic 3D data-optimization solutions company Simplygon.

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Simplygon, a premier developer of automatic 3D data-optimization solutions is acquired by the Microsoft, will accelerate companies "3D For Everyone" vision and strategy, introduced in October with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Simplygon, is developed by Sweden-based Donya Labs AB, "is a leader in 3D game optimization, dedicated to helping creators and users of 3D data across industries optimize content pipelines and streamline workflows."

"Simplygon's technology and talent will strengthen our position in 3D creation, making it easier to capture, create and share in 3D. It builds on and extends our aspirations to empower a new wave of creativity with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Paint 3D and our online creator community at Remix3D.com," writes Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda.

Microsoft has also announced a number of solutions powered by the Dynamics 365 that enable retailers and brands to thrive in today's competitive environment in essence, "empowered retail" are being highlighted at the National Retail Federation's 106th annual convention in New York City.

Many retailers are embracing digital transformation through such technologies as Microsoft Azure, Power BI and Dynamics 365, writes Tracy Issel. The retail and commerce capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations provides the tools to help connect the shopping experience with ways that help consumer move between devices, as well as between the online shop and in-store experience.

They include store-scanning robots, mobile apps, intelligent vending machines, smart shelves and other customer and partner solutions.

The cloud service also helps with cross-channel scenarios such as buying online with in-store pickup.

In addition, Microsoft is also unveiling the latest digital innovations that are transforming the shopping experience for customers. The Internet of Things (IoT) devices allow companies to reach customers with relevant content in the store, that increases spending and drives return visits.

To this end, "Retail Personalization solution from Plexure and Microsoft is an IoT-driven CRM solution that enables brands to provide a contextual, personalized and engaging in-store experience," says Microsoft.

Below some of these solution are listed:

  • Nordstrom Rack is piloting in-store beacon technology from Footmarks, built on the Microsoft Cloud, to better engage and personalize shoppers' experiences and ultimately increase speed and convenience.
  • Macey's, an Associated Food Stores grocery chain based in Salt Lake City, is using "SKIP" app for line-free checkout and to better personalize offers and promotions for customers. SKIP built on Azure, enables shoppers to build shopping lists at home and have their lists organized by aisle as they walk into the store.
  • Smarter vending machines from Mars Drinks, applies Microsoft data and machine learning technologies to connect to Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI technology. "The vending machine use remote sensors and predictive computing to better maintain stock levels, understand consumer behaviors and account for changes in demand related to factors such as weather and holidays."
  • Hickory Farms uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 to integrate its catalog and mail order, web, retail and wholesale operations into a single platform. The opens and closes approximately 500 seasonal retail stores within the US and Canada for the holiday season.
  • "Shelfie" available as a robot or drone, travels the store scanning shelves, enabling real-time stock reporting, identifying sales trends and providing intelligent insights to help optimize merchandise displays.
  • "Powershelf" running on Microsoft Azure, uses sensors on shelves and Power BI dashboards to give employees up-to-date insight into what to order. It's currently deployed at the regional supermarket chain Giant Eagle.

Shelfie an in-store robot at Microsoft partner Lakeba