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Beyond the Wow! Humanized High Tech at JCK Las Vegas




Technology vendors are ubiquitous at retail trade shows, but the presentation at JCK Las Vegas was anything but common. Top tech vendors were gathered together in the Plumb Club’s new Retail Innovation and Education Center and in the Retail Innovation area (downstairs at JCK) to introduce and demonstrate new ways to interact with customers.

Visitors entered via the Planetarium that rocketed attendees from the typical trade show environment into a new, imaginative realm that was truly stellar. The “Radiant Universe” collection of “celestial jewelry” was projected on the purpose-built planetarium dome in a way that made the idea of innovation real and intriguing.

Beyond the Wow! Humanized High Tech at JCK Las Vegas

Once inside the exhibit space, you could explore jewelry designs, resources, and find educational offerings. With technology permeating every aspect of retail, JCK offered a variety of innovations to service, support, close sales and stay connected, with customers in and out of the store. A key theme was the human side of the Internet of Things (IoT), tagging and tracking, “smart” fixtures, and other technology. You could meet IBM’s Watson Robot named “Pepper,” and interact with GemFind’s jewelry design platform.

PM Screen a dramatic example of in-store multimedia innovations. Their holographic diamond-cutting video was fascinating—just imagine what you could float in your window at night! Immersive, high-touch technology like this is what is fueling interpersonal engagement and facilitates relationships that transcend transactions.


Beyond the Wow! Humanized High Tech at JCK Las Vegas

Converge Retail harnesses the mobile and multimedia trend with a simulated jewelry showcase you can explore on your iPad or tablet. In a time when retailing includes “tap, touch and blink,” customers can use this technology to zoom in on product details and information. It works seamlessly with the human element, with the sales associate concentrating on the customer experience of examining pieces of interest, trying them on, and ultimately buying.

Beyond the Wow! Humanized High Tech at JCK Las Vegas

The award-winning company JGA has made its mark integrating technology into retail environments to create dynamic, interactive collaboration with customers and high-end jewelry retailers. They understand the dynamics of shopping (exploring, experimenting, and learning) versus buying (the process of locating and purchasing a product already wanted with the intent to purchase), and the importance of an engaging experience throughout. You can see their strategies at work at James Allen, James Avery and the newly designed Spense diamonds presentation. Learn about other categories from JGA at

AUGMENTes puts augmented reality to work for retailers that want to give their customers the ability to virtually try on your jewelry in their own environments on themselves. A customer can, for example, use their cell phone to take a picture of their hand, then through AUGMENTes technology, see how rings and bracelets might look on themselves. For customers looking for something personal, the AUGMENTes visualization capabilities are built into its bracelet builder tool, allowing the user to interactively build their own bracelet. In addition to product visualization and personalization tools, AUGMENTes provides fully customized mobile applications and comprehensive omni-channel shopping platforms with a complete managed service. Shoppers can select materials and position components, then place the order. The visualization tool can also be used to design necklaces, watches, rings, and more.

Leaving the main pavilion, but adjacent to the Plumb Club were some of the up-and-comers in the retail technology space:


Glass-Media Inc. transforms physical locations with digital activations that create dynamic environments that capture attention, entertain, and create a memorable brand experience. I was intrigued with the window they created for Fossil’s smartwatch with faces that change to demonstrate Glass Media capabilities. The company brings together the online and the physical for a compelling integrated channel retail experience.

HERO is a platform for connecting online shoppers with live sales associates in your stores. The technology is in the background as your brand connects with customer, and as sales associates guide customers along the purchasing journey, no matter where they might physically be. If you have heard of the “BAGA” trend—Buy Anywhere Get Anywhere—this technology helps you build relationships across any channel.

JCK Las Vegas presented technology and tech-driven trends that are much in the headlines in a dramatic and engaging way. But beyond the “wow,” exhibitors provided a practical and very human angle with the potential to impact bottom lines.




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