One of the retail industry's largest trade shows, the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show (www.nrf.com
) blew into New York City's Jacob K. Javitz Center from January 10-13, bringing along with it some of the industry's most innovative and cutting-edge technology offerings. Although NRF is primetime for retail technology vendors, the showfloor offered many hospitality-applicable products.
Hospitality point of sale (POS) vendors made a strong presence with multiple product releases. Hewlett-Packard (www.hp.com
) introduced the HP ap5000 All-in-One POS System, which features a touch-enabled display, magnetic stripe reader, and either a two-line customer display or a 10.4-inch LCD customer display. Epson (www.pos.epson.com
) and Star Micronics (www.starmicronics.com
) both put their best feet forward with regard to "green" initiatives, with demonstrations of eco-friendly printers that promise to significantly reduce paper and energy consumption. NCR (www.ncr.com
) released an adhesive receipt printer with an optical sensor that ensures the paper is cut at only those points where there is no adhesive glue, reducing paper jams and wasted paper.
There were multiple vendors on hand offering environmentally friendly products and solutions in the Expo's Green Pavilion. EnoTech Controls, Inc. (www.eno-tech.com
) highlighted ConnectedEMS, a building management and control system. Verisae (www.verisae.com
) showcased its Sustainability Resource Planning, a platform that is designed to cover the core functions of sustainability, including environmental, energy and asset management.
NRF also offered some exciting industry news on the digital signage front. Harrah's Operating Company Inc. (www.harrahs.com
) announced plans to pilot a digital signage experience in early 2010 in concert with Cisco (www.cisco.com
). Using the Cisco Digital Media Suite, with touch capability, the pilot is part of a strategy to create a more personalized guest experience.
"The industry and technology expertise that Cisco brings to the table helps us leverage their digital signage solutions in new and innovative ways," says Katrina Lane, chief technology officer, Harrah's. Digital signage isn't the only area where Harrah's made a showing. On January 11, Harrah's Entertainment's VP of Enterprise Surveillance Dean McBride discussed how casinos can tap into video analytics to optimize labor and customer service, increase product availability, and drive marketing effectiveness during the session, "Video Analytics: What Retailers and Casinos Can Learn from Each Other"
Full show recap