Internet of things and retail: the idOO solution

Pubblicato il 01 Lug 2014

With the dramatic spread of smartphones and tablets over the past decade, it has become easier than ever to access information right in the palm of your hand. For consumers, modern technology offers the possibility of an “enhanced” shopping experience when you decide to venture to the store as your phone can act as a sort of scanner and help you to make an informed purchase by offering information about a particular item’s authenticity and data on its color, year of production, or size. Smartphones have evolved to the point that they are essentially pocket-sized computers and Trento-based idOO, which was founded in January 2014 by the team of Alessandro Bisignano, Claudio Cortese, Gianni Frosoni, aims to connect customers and businesses alike by.

At the moment, idOO is developing 4 services in m-id, m-label, m-Sell, and m-Care. Together, the services developed by idOO connect businesses to customers at a number of stages. Before the sale, one of the aims of businesses is to reach customers with offers and ads. As customers increasingly carry their phones along with them to the store, companies can connect them with coupons or discounts on products. With m-Sell, idOO is looking to help businesses by allowing them to send personalized ads. Businesses want to demonstrate the quality of their products with the m-id, which acts as an anti-counterfeit tool and lets customer customers know that the designer handbag that they’ve just bought is the real thing. Once you’ve taken the product home, there still maybe issues. It might not happen immediately, but tags can be moved or you may simply want to know certain characteristics about the item that you’ve bought. IdOO’s m-label allows companies to connect with users about promotions or with information about the product. Finally, idOO offers their m-Care service, which allows customers to access information if they do encounter problems with the item.

idOO is not revealing the number of customers at the moment, but Bisignano says that they are in the process of closing deals with a number of brands and will make announcements later this summer. Then, they intend to release their app free to users of the main mobile platforms (no more specifics than that at the moment). Bisignano tells us that some areas that they are looking to target are luxury fashion, wine, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and more.

Bisignano tells Startupbusiness that, “the first prototype was made in 2012 and adopted by two companies. After one year spent talking to brand entrepreneurs, end-users, and advisory firms to deeply understand needs and trends, the company was incorporated in January, 2014.” Although they have self-funded thus far, they intend to seek outside backing in order to expand. “We are supported by Microsoft BizSpark program, which is financing our software technology needs. We expect to have the first investment round in 2015… We are currently discussing with Italian Istitutional Investors and international VC funds to evaluate the best options.” He adds that the funds “will be used mainly to establish international operations, speed up R&D activities and accelerate on the sales coverage.”

In terms of competition, Bisignano says that, “there are some ‘point solutions’ companies or system integration in the U.S., France, and U.K. that are able to compete on single services that we deliver (such as anti-counterfeiting measures), but none is a real competitor when you consider the breadth of the services we offer, the unique value of our features and functions, and the security of our solution.”

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