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Sustain#45: Juicy Grapes and Retail

By August 11, 2016 Sustain No Comments

“The difference between information and knowledge is connecting the dots”

What new product would you like to see in your local grocery store?

  1. Tree Waters
  2. Non Cow Milks
  3. Fancy Cheeses
  4. Ruby Roman Grapes

Do you even know how much these Ruby Roman grapes are?Last week, I wrote about pet projects of tech billionaires in the present and its impact on the future. Then, during the week I read an article about how to make Golden milk! Then it struck me, the great PR that is happening for turmeric across the world. Especially in the US. So, Golden milk is made with 1 cup of almond/coconut milk + ½ t ground ginger + ½ spoon turmeric + ¼ cardamom + 1 tsp honey + black pepper. Interesting concoction except this has been prescribed for ages and made at home to cure throat pains, mouth ulcers, coughs etc. in our part of the world.

The emergence of new kinds of foods is an interesting trend across the western world and some developed parts of the East. In that regard, the combination of technology and food evolution is set to take the retail and F&B industries to better adoption among hipsters and the next generation.

While more people are shopping from the comfort of their home, there is a definitive segment of people that visits outlets for the range of options and for the experience. There is an expected bending of augmented reality in retail and is something that the industry could benefit. Traditionally perceived as an arduous and boring task to do, grocery shopping, can benefit significantly with adoption of VR and tech.

So, how will this new line of experience be? Will be like at a gaming center, how will tech enable you to quickly analyze foods before you buy? What happens when there is a product that is out of stock when you wanted it? Will you order it from the store and get it delivered at home by the time you get back. What if you don’t take your car to grocery shopping?Can the retail store deliver your bags with an autonomous drone? If a drone is used to deliver your stuff, will it follow you home or get there ahead and hand it over to your home robot to get it sorted, arranged and set.

What happens when you enter a retail outlet? How will you be greeted? Do you even have to go grocery shopping or will you send your home robot to do the shopping? When it is at the shop, will it be discussing with you on whether you like the products are not or does it know already your choices. Will it recommend any new product and maybe even tell you that this product has been in stock after x number of days and it will be wise to stock it.

How will it prevent itself from being robbed along with the groceries? Will it take a personal UAV to reach the store and come back with the bags? Will the drone, robot and your grocery bags be secure? Can they be intercepted during the flight and can the goods be stolen.

Will you be tracking the flight back or will your voice assistant do the tracking for you?The more I think of how the future of retail and shopping will be, the more I am hounded with questions on execution of robotics in this industry. I think we’ll have that answer very soon. Till then, upgrade your phone’s OS, expect VR glasses and be ready.

Some other things I found interesting from from the last week.

  • Barcelona will ban Segways from entering a key section of the city center. Its waterfront will be walkable again!
  • GE Ventures partnered with Saudi Aramco to invest in a 3D Metal Printing startup called Desktop Metal. The future is auto printed.
  • A robot monk gives you Buddhist wisdom at the Longquan temple at the edge of Beijing. His name is Xian’er and has a touch screen on his tummy. God bless AI
  • San Francisco bans Styrofoam. Foam packing, cups and mooring buoys will be banned fromJan 1, 2017. More cities are being conscious about environmental policies and the use of plastics and the likes.
  • Diageo invested in Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit startup. Increasing number of people are interested in a refined alternative to alcoholic drinks. Intriguing!
  • A bunch of Ruby Roman grapes sold at an auction for 1.1 million yen (USD $11000) in Japan. The winning bidder, Kurashi Kaientai — a supermarket, plans to give 30 of these for free.
  • A 6000 old astronomical observation tool was found in Portugal tombs. A chamber of large interlocking stones and a long narrow entrance and may be in alignment with Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus.
  • Danone acquired WhiteWave foods to solidify its presence in the alternative milk market. The acquisition helps the Danone with a plant-based diary alternatives and strengthens its position against the rising consumer trend of being anti big food.
  • At work, Indians are the happiest when compared to other countries? Ranked #1 based on the Edenred-Ipsos Barometer, in a survey of more than 14,000 people in 15 countries about their well-being at work. I wonder how good the sample set was. But I’ve seen a couple of watercooler discussions and I’m not surprised by this data.
  • The CIA invested in a skincare company! The venture capital arm of the CIA In-Q-Tel invested in Skincential Sciences, a company that develops Clearista, a patented skin smoothening gel. The company can collect certain biomarkers and develop a biomarker profile of individuals. Nevertheless, we can assume that the CIA will be naturally interested in a DNA collecting technology.

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