The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by improvements in customer experience and convenience, and growing importance of technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud. 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 in Retail: Mixed reality e-commerce.
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 networks, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for cloud in the retail industry
Mixed reality e-commerce is a key innovation area in cloud
Mixed reality e-commerce combines physical and digital worlds, enabling intuitive and natural three-dimensional computer, human, and environmental interactions. This innovative experience is powered by improvements in graphical processing, computer vision, cloud computing, display technologies, and input systems.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of mixed reality e-commerce.
Key players in mixed reality e-commerce – 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 mixed reality e-commerce
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of patents filed, Magic Leap, Carl Zeiss Stiftung, SoftBank Group, and Lantmannen are the leading players in the cloud-based mixed reality e-commerce space. In September 2022, Magic Leap announced the commercial availability of Magic Leap 2, its next-generation enterprise augmented reality platform. Magic Leap 2 adds new innovations that are important in enabling the daily use of augmented reality in retail.
In terms of application diversity, Lantmannen, Magic Leap, Crisalix, and MISUMI Group are the leading players in this space.
In terms of geographic reach, Metail, MISUMI Group, Carl Zeiss Stiftung, and Cimpress are the leading players.
Mixed reality e-commerce is an engaging and personal experience. As brands compete with many others in the market, it’s important to gain customers’ attention. Mixed reality e-commerce enables complete immersion of consumers by isolating viewer attention.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in Retail.