News Feature | April 4, 2014

Kroger Introduces New IT System To Deliver High-Quality Capabilities

By Megan Zielinski, contributing writer

Kroger Store Front

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, in partnership with EInfochips, global product engineering company and Wincor Nixdorf, a leading provider of IT services to the retail industry, revealed Kroger’s new enterprise IT system, Retail Site Intelligence, on Tuesday.

Retail Site Intelligence (RSI) is a collaboration of video analytics, wireless devices, POS devices, handheld sensors, scales, IP cameras, and Vigil360 , a video management software designed for RSI, into one complete retail platform — all of these features will efficiently deliver better customer and company service.

While single store solutions and devices are expensive if deployed individually, ZigBee Wireless setup has enabled Kroger’s to combine all intelligence features easily and cost-effectively. “We use cameras with a ZigBee radio interface that handle the security aspect and video analytics. They can also enable queue management and mobile shopping, and serve as temperature sensors. The cost of ongoing maintenance is lower with lower complexity and a simplified environment,” says Dion Perkins, R&D engineer at Kroger. ZigBee technology allows for the devices to run on harvested energy and long battery life as well as providing Kroger’s with easy-to-use tools to improve everyday functions within the business.

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Video management software provides features including, motion detection, camera mapping, bandwidth adjustable remote viewing, privacy mask, and local/remote collaborative video investigation. Video analytic modules offer enhanced security and loss prevention, allowing for matters to be handled immediately towards undesirable situations. IP security cameras operate under ZigBee wireless technologies while adjusting automatically due to the Pan-Tilt feature, reducing overall installation costs.  Low-cost ZigBee temperature sensor tags, used especially for cold storage, report temperature changes to personnel, eliminating the cost of manual and inaccurate temperature monitoring.  Door sensors monitor activity at entry and exits, and have the capability to detect handheld devices in real-time while documenting the event. Coming soon to the system, integrated with IP cameras, ZigBee handheld scanners will allow for quick communication between employees and enable mobile point-of-sale, improving customer services and store operations.  Also coming soon, low-power ZigBee wireless technologies allowing for tracking of valuable assets throughout stores. (Retail Site Intelligence)

The new IT architecture is expected to be available store-wide later in 2014. Newer and smarter technologies will continue to be added into RSI in the years to come.