The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by content security as well as the growing importance of technologies such as cloud and digital rights management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cloud: Digital rights management (DRM) tools.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
70+ innovations will shape the retail industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 128,000 patents, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Biometric authentication, gesture-based user interfaces, and shipping management systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are user biometric authentication and instant messaging social network, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for cloud technologies in the retail industry
Digital rights management (DRM) tools is a key innovation area in cloud technology
Cloud digital rights management (DRM) is a digital rights management service without a server that protects video content and enables owners of OTT platforms to meet the security requirements of studios. Cloud DRM makes sure that content is blocked from any kind of unauthorised access or piracy.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of digital rights management (DRM) tools.
Key players in digital rights management (DRM) tools – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to digital rights management (DRM) tools
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Leading players in the cloud-based digital rights management space in terms of patents filed are, SoftBank Group, Broadcom, Microsoft, and Intertrust Technologies. Intertrust provides a service called ExpressPlay Media Security Suite that consists of a cloud-based multi-digital rights management (DRM) service and forensic watermarking and anti-piracy services. It is a monetisation service based on cloud for distributors of VOD and live services and content owners. The service supports DRM systems including Google Widevine, Apple FairPlay Streaming, Marlin DRM, and Microsoft PlayReady.
Leading players in this space in terms of application diversity are Broadcom, Digimarc, Staton Techiya, and Lumen Technologies.
By means of geographic reach, the leading companies include nChain Holdings, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intertrust Technologies, and Qualcomm.
DRM solutions protect companies’ data using restrictive licensing, one way hashing, digital trust infrastructure, secure communication protocols, and timebound decryption keys.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in Retail.