The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by demand for convenience, efficiency growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in retail: automated self-service kiosks. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Automated self-service kiosks is a key innovation area in robotics
Automated self-service kiosks are interactive kiosks that allow customers to perform several functions such as paying bills, ordering food, and accessing product information without the need for staff intervention. These kiosks can be equipped with touchscreens, cameras, sensors, and other hardware to fulfill most of the basic needs of a shopper.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated self-service kiosks.
Key players in automated self-service kiosks – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to automated self-service kiosks
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Leading companies in the automated self-service kiosk space in terms of patents filed are Outerwall, Vengo, HILLMAN GROUP, Shenzhen Hive Box Technology, Cleveron, and PepsiCo.
In 2022, PepsiCo developed its first-ever touchless automated kiosk for use in quick service restaurants (QSRs), controlled by gestures, targeted at hygiene conscious customers looking for convenient ways to place orders. PepsiCo tested this new kiosk at KFC, Poland, allowing customers to order by simply pointing at the menu item without any contact through gestures.
The use of automated kiosks are set to result in reduced wait times for customers and improve overall efficiencies for foodservice retailers.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Retail and Apparel.