A collaboration from Verizon and Deloitte is birthing an exciting 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) platform for the retail industry. The platform will be used on several tasks including self-checkout stations, inventory, using data and analytics to best display products, and interacting with customers. Using Verizon’s 5G network and a series of video cameras and sensors, the MEC platform will then use artificial intelligence (AI) to help it process and analyze the data.
In addition to Verizon and Deloitte, notable software company SAP is bringing its customer software suite to the MEC platform. An example of the platform in action would be a store’s newfound ability to receive automatic notifications when an item runs out of stock in real-time. This will allow redistribution centers to replenish inventory efficiently.
Verizon has two different 5G MECs, a public and a private. The public 5G MEC is a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and it is available in 10 cities across the United States intending to connect many more in the future. The private 5G MEC solution Verizon and Deloitte are developing will work with both the public and private platforms depending on what best suits the customer. Verizon’s Director of Partnership, Business Development, and Co-Innovation, Arleen Cauchi was slow to name any customers yet, however, did speak on the matter stating, “We have customers that we’re in the design stage around the solution for them. There are verticals within retail, and we’re covering the gamut. I think we’re going to find certain verticals are early adopters.”
The move into the retail landscape with 5G MEC solutions should be no surprise as both companies announced their partnership late in 2020 to create 5G MEC solutions for enterprises. In December 2020, the two came together to deliver 5G MEC solutions to Verizon’s Customer Technology Center in Richardson, Texas. By using sensors and 5G MEC, the assembly line will be capable of finding and predicting defects. As MEC solutions become more embraced and 5G continues to mature, it is an interesting space and a prime example of how 5G will continue to improve businesses for years to come. Microsoft is currently working on their applications for the technology including a collaboration with Kroger to deliver ads directly to consumers while they shop on the shelves.
Source: Fierce Wireless