WestRock, T+ink Introduce Internet of Things Inventory Optimization Display Solution

WestRock and T+ink launch the first-ever merchandising display solution to incorporate printed electronic sensors in smart shelves and smart pegs.

WestRock endcap merchandising display featuring T+ink smart shelf and smart peg technology. Photo: Business Wire

WestRock endcap merchandising display featuring T+ink smart shelf and smart peg technology. Photo: Business Wire

WestRock, one of the world’s largest and most innovative merchandising display manufacturers, and T+ink, a leader in printed electronics, have collaboratively launched the first-ever merchandising display solution to incorporate printed electronic sensors in smart shelves and smart pegs.

Assisted by Intel, the companies will incorporate intelligent end-point fixtures into merchandising display solutions that give retailers, brands and distributors detailed, real-time information about on-shelf product availability. WestRock and T+ink will be the first to integrate these smart technologies into retail display offerings.

At the moment, during the period of January 17-19, the companies feature this innovative new retail system at the National Retail Federation’s “BIG Show” at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, 2016. WestRock and T+ink’s product specialists are supposed to demonstrate T+ink’s Smart Shelf and Smart Peg technology in the Intel booth (Booth 2543).

“WestRock is once again at the forefront of retail display systems integration, now working with one of the largest and most successful computing technology companies in the world, alongside a market leader in conductive ink technologies. We are now able to offer our customers a display solution that incorporates low-cost technology for inventory tracking, making it possible to better serve consumers shopping for products from cleaning supplies to beverages and snacks,” said Craig Gunckel, Executive Vice President, Merchandising Displays and Folding Carton, WestRock.

As said on T+ink’s blog, the new display solution uses T+ink’s patented technologies to enable retailers and brands to access real-time inventory data. This real-time visibility helps measure sales velocity, identify low and out-of-stock conditions, and reduce shrinkage. Additionally, the three companies will be demonstrating dynamic pricing through electronic shelf labels, which make it possible for merchandisers to price products based on inventory levels, velocity and competitive promotions.

The interactions coming from the Smart Shelf and Smart Peg are being processed through Intel Quark processors for the Internet of Things. The Intel Quark SoC X1000 is Intel’s lowest-power, secure SoC (System on a Chip), designed to bring intelligence to the network edge and reduce development costs for securely managed IoT endpoint devices. Integrating T+ink’s conductive ink technology, which sits on WestRock’s shelves and pegs, and the Intel Quark processor, Smart Retail Systems connects to the cloud through Intel-powered gateways, enabling store systems and personnel to receive real-time alerts on their phones and tablets.

“This is one of the most powerful IoT solutions invented for retail, and one of the first solutions that provides inventory visibility at a shelf level and senses customer interactions with individual products,” said Wayne Nemeth, Chief Operating Officer, T+ink. “The benefits are significant, including inventory optimization, inventory loss prevention, and the capture of valuable information about consumer behavior.”

Limited trials of the solution will be available in early summer, with general availability anticipated in late 2016.

In general, the Internet of Things industry is demonstrating steady growth now. The IoT growth is observed in software, science or household segments, and in entertainment. Since customers are worried about security, than they are about the cost of the technology, at the moment, Internet of Things companies tend to increase security features to ensure users’ private information is safer than ever before.

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