NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc. headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan and led by President and CEO, Takayuki Inagawa has invested in RADAR, headquartered in NY and led by President and CEO, Spencer Hewett. RADAR is developing a fully-integrated hardware and software solution that uses RFID and computer vision to automate inventory management, analytics and checkout in physical stores.
Today, RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) is widely used among retailers – especially apparel retailers – to improve inventory management. RFID is also expected to be used as the key technology for Autonomous Checkout Stores as well as the management of commodity goods such as food in the future. Beyond basic inventory, RFID can also be used to detect the position of each RFID tagged product. Historically, however, RFID’s location capabilities have not been very accurate due to the abundant reflections of RF signals in indoor environments.
RADAR’s proprietary hardware that combines RFID and computer vision is purpose-built to solve the location accuracy limitation that competing solutions have experienced to date. Through this successful combination of RFID and computer vision technologies, RADAR enables retailers to know exactly where all of their products are in real-time in 3D. RADAR’s unique hardware and software platform is first focused on solving the massive inventory management problem that exists in retail today. The same platform will also enable true e-commerce quality analytics for physical stores and autonomous checkout by integrating with retailers’ payment systems.
The investment in RADAR enables both NTT Group that provides an e-commerce product management solution, and RADAR to accelerate the development of industry-changing solutions.
NTT DOCOMO Ventures will continue to promote collaborations with startups and the development of new services based on NTT Group’s advanced technologies, as a part of the Group’s ongoing endeavor to resolve social issues and create new value for customers through innovation.
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