2. Smartness everywhere
According to the latest estimates, around 11 billion everyday products – from smart TVs to intelligent thermostats – are networked through the internet of things. Over the next few years, sales of smart refrigerators in particular will help to send this number through the roof. The fridge of the future knows exactly what products it contains and when they go out of date. Whenever replenishments are needed, the owner is notified via smartphone – along with details of all the best deals and special offers. Alternatively, the refrigerator can get to work on its own initiative, ordering any necessary produce itself from the retailer – the height of practicality.
Shelving systems are also becoming increasingly intelligent: one company, Wasteless, has developed a dynamic piece of technology based on machine learning which updates food prices in real time. The algorithms it uses take factors such as expiration date, supply and demand and upcoming weekends and public holidays into account. The outcome: a win-win situation for everybody. Customers love the bargains, retailers’ sales figures improve and less damage is done to the environment.