Industry News | January 12, 2015

Panasonic Unveils New Products at NRF Big Show

Panasonic's new Toughpad FZ-R1 image used with permission.

Panasonic announced a number of new technologies at the 104th annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show. These retail solutions, including mobile and fixed point of sales devices and smart shelving technology, are part of the company’s expanding solutions portfolio targeting retailers of various sizes and sub markets including big-box retailers, department stores, supermarkets, table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, hotels, and more.

Panasonic’s solutions are engineered to help retailers adapt and grow in today’s evolving marketplace by increasing sales, improving efficiencies, reducing shrinkage, expanding insight into customer habits, reducing technology downtime, and aiding in the creation of an omni-channel customer experience.These integrated solutions are designed to address customer problems and challenges and engineered to work the way retailers actually use them.

“2014 presented retailers with a number of challenges, from increasing credit card fraud to heightened customer in-store experience expectations,” says Rick Albert, vice president of retail and food services solutions for Panasonic System Communications Company of North America (PSCNA). “This year at NRF, Panasonic is showcasing a number of technology solutions designed to tackle these problems head-on, including the Toughpad FZ-R1 with integrated EMV reader with chip and PIN payment technology. Combined with our digital signage, POS, and other technologies, we’re strategically positioned to equip retailers with integrated solutions that deliver the omni-channel shopping experience customers now expect while streamlining efficiencies and sales.” 

The Toughpad FZ-R1 is a 7-inch all-in-one mobile POS tablet running Windows 8.1 for retail environments and to meet the changing omni-channel customer expectations while providing secure transaction capabilities. With its integrated EMV reader with PIN pad, mag stripe reader, and NFC compatibility, the Intel-based Toughpad FZ-R1 can handle all forms of electronic payment, giving retailers and their customers’ confidence that financial data is secure.

With the Toughpad FZ-R1 and the retailer’s own store applications, salespeople can assist customers with product comparisons, check inventory, or change an item’s style color or size right from the sales floor in real time. By enabling checkout anywhere on the sales floor, the sales force can emerge from behind the register and instead focus on the customer. They can easily pull up customer information including purchase history and other preferences, enabling associates to create cross sell opportunities and deliver that unique in-store, omni-channel experience customers now expect.

It and other models in the Toughpad family of enterprise-grade tablets will be demonstrating a variety of retail-specific applications including line-busting, table-side ordering, inventory management, customer engagement, and inventory locating tasks.

Panasonic will be promoting the Toughpad FZ-R1 via a 3D projection mapping demonstration, created with Panasonic projectors, each evening outside and around the Javits Center. NRF attendees can take a selfie with the projection mapping demonstration, post to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #PanasonicMPOS and bring by booth 1633 for a chance to win a $5 coffee gift card; 200 cards will be awarded on Monday and again on Tuesday.

The Powershelf brings the online and mobile shopping experience to the real world by combining electronic shelf labels (ESLs) with a suite of applications that will help brands and retailers drive consumer engagement and loyalty. 

Powershelf is the first fully integrated retail merchandising solution to combine battery-free, wirelessly powered electronic shelf labels (ESLs) with a built-in, beacon activated advertising capability, inventory and price management software, and out-of-stock sensor technology. The solution can be installed on existing shelving units, delivering maximum value for retailers with minimum investment. Powershelf features a suite of technologies that help retailers reduce labor and material costs, ensure regulatory compliance, enable omni-channel marketing, drive sales with targeting advertising, create new revenue streams, and more. The Powershelf complements the company’s line of Toughpad tablets for inventory management and direct store delivery within grocery environments.

The new Panasonic Stingray III is an enterprise-grade POS device featuring an all-in-one flexible, modular design, and is compatible with a variety of Microsoft Windows operating systems. The Stingray III’s versatile design features interchangeable touchscreens, allowing easy customization to meet individual retailer requirements with unlimited mounting options. The increased modularity of the Stingray III also makes servicing and replacing parts a simpler process, allowing the workstation to be easily maintained, reducing total cost of ownership and increasing ROI. The Stingray III offers a variety of display options depending on the application with 15-inch XGA (1024x768) and 17-inch SXGA (1280x1024) that feature clear viewing and durable touchscreen capability. These screens can be tilted from 20–90-degree angles with a 15-degree lateral swivel for improved user comfort while a secondary screen, with an optional touchscreen and customer-facing camera, is available to enable promotional video, advertising, or order confirmation to be displayed to customers. The Stingray III is compatible with existing Panasonic POS cabling and peripherals, making the transition to an upgraded workstation simple for operators.

The booth also includes a variety of surveillance solutions optimized for retail applications, including the FacePro Facial Search and Recognition System and the new ULTRA 360 panoramic dome cameras. FacePro Facial Recognition is a software-based solution that automatically performs identification of a person’s face using digital images captured by Panasonic i-PRO Cameras. Captured face images can be used to match against a database of enrolled target faces or to search previously recorded video and provide notification of positive matches. The system is ideal for alerting store managers to the presence of known shoplifters. The new ULTRA 360 cameras (WV-SFN480 indoor and WV-SFV481 outdoor) are the first of a series of models based on Panasonic’s new 4K Imaging Engine and produce a 9MP (3K x 3K) 360-degree Fisheye image to capture crisper edge-to-edge images that deliver virtually the same resolution and coverage area as four conventional 720p security cameras thereby increasing system efficiency. The Ultra 360 cameras offer advanced analytics that can track store traffic patterns and dwell time and includes a people-counting function that helps a store analyze a customer’s movements.

Other Panasonic retail solutions on display at NRF 2015 include a larger than life digital signage installation featuring professional display and projection technology. Digital signage solutions enable retailers to highlight promotions, boost sales, entertain and direct customers via video walls, interactive kiosks, and ultra HD displays for high-end retail stores.

The company will also showcase the company’s wide range of rugged Toughpad tablets, including the 7-inch Toughpad FZ-M1, 10.1-inch Toughpad FZ-G1, 5-inch Toughpad FZ-X1 and FZ-E1, 20-inch Toughpad 4K, and 7-inch Toughpad B2. The complete line of Toughpad tablets offer retailers the mobility and flexibility they need to boost sales, engage customers, and manage operational efficiency from the sales floor to the warehouse.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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