Max2 releases edge computing offerings that allow retailers to better realize IoT benefits

Max2, a smart platform company, will unveil an IoT Edge Server, marking the technology company’s entrée into a category predicted to grow at warp speed by the end of this decade. Called VeeaHub, it provides for edge computing and communications as a direct extension of retailers’ data center or cloud services. It offers a unique software architecture that enables retailers to run their applications dynamically and most efficiently at the edge in retail locations, in the private data center or the Cloud, or both.

Employing VeeaHub IoT edge servers advances distributed computing to deliver a wide range of new or enhanced services at retail locations, in commercial or residential buildings, or on campuses.

Retailers will now be able to capture and analyse real-time data to get in-store analytics and visibility into customer behavior, such as footfall, dwell times, product engagement, and conversions, as well as business operations by running machine learning applications on VeeaHub nodes closer to where data is collected, allowing use of significantly more and higher quality data for delivery of relevant Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to the edge applications.

It also helps in improving omnichannel operations by enabling and empowering a connected and collaborative mobile salesforce. It provides real-time service status that modernizes retail business with transaction tracking across systems and subsystems along with context-aware services on an end-to-end basis through the retail locations;.

VeeaHub IoT edge server also help in updating in-store product information remotely with electronic shelf labels with built-in beacons; realizing an optimal solution for blockchain applications with selective endorsements; rewarding shoppers through in-store gamification and customer experiences; receiving timely information on when shelf stock is becoming low or when the temperature becomes sub-optimal for product storage; and engaging customers through targeted advertisements and information on nearby products; sales or service offerings along with live interactive displays that change depending on who is viewing the display. High-speed instantaneous delivery of cached content from VeeaHub nodes and local management of beacons are key differentiator of the VeeaHub platform for such proximal marketing applications.

IoT devices, including all large and small computing devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, routers, residential gateways, game consoles, sensors and others with one or more wireless capabilities such as WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/4G/5G, Zigbee and others, are expected to reach 50 billion by 2020, presenting enormous opportunities and challenges for retailers. But to date, their full functionality has not been realized while the challenges persist.

The VeeaHub platform cost-effectively addresses the challenges of IoT in a highly secure manner, allowing for a range of Smart Retail applications such as connectivity, communications, security, intelligence, scalability, automation, and enhanced in-store operations including omnichannel sales, CRM, Converged Supply Chain Management and Marketing (CSM) and others.

“The era of edge computing is here, bringing with it the ability to transform retail spaces with richer, more reactive, and more personalized customer experiences,” said Michael Salmasi, Founder, Director and CEO of Max2. “Because VeeaHub is so versatile, it can simply be dropped into any existing IT infrastructure either as an adjunct overlay deployment or fully integrated, putting the benefits of IoT and edge computing into retailers’ hands in an easy, scalable and secure way.”

Salmasi continued: “What’s more, VeeaHub automatically creates an intelligent wireless mesh across all commonly used wireless standards, which allows retailers to easily extend WiFi coverage combined with other types of wireless connectivity solutions to provide for connectivity to IoT devices cost-effectively anywhere in retail locations, without the need for new structured wiring or complex network management. This is a very common and costly problem for many businesses.”

While all major industries have been disrupted by technological advancements, few have had their relationships with customers impacted to the same extent as brick-and-mortar retailers.

VeeaHub, which is currently in multiple pilots in the US, South Korea and France, bridges offline retail with online and omnichannel retail by making the in-store experience smarter, more personalized, and more convenient. With VeeaHub, retailers gain the ability to instantly enhance customer experience and automate workflows.

Typically, distinct stand-alone networking and computing solutions are employed for the implementation of Smart Retail applications. VeeaHub substantially overcomes the typical inadequacies of stand-alone wired, wireless and computing solutions with a unique hybrid connectivity technology with a unified wireless/wired mesh, with open IoT framework, that creates a high-performance, self-healing and self-organizing integrated mesh, called Vmesh, among most commonly used wireless and IoT technologies, namely 3G/4G, WiFi, Bluetooth classic, Bluetooth Low Energy (“BLE”) and 802.15.4 encompassing ZigBee PRO, ZigBee RF4CE, ZigBee IP, WirelessHART, ISA100.11a, Zwave, 6LoWPAN and Thread.

In this architecture, retailers’ applications are running on VeeaHub nodes at the edge, in the data center or in the Cloud based on a number of business rules that have evolved over time with machine learning and AI, such as reducing communications latency for large data applications, offering application privacy, minimizing communications with cloud resources, providing for backhaul resilience, ensuring business continuity through running mission critical applications at the edge with cloud back-up services, and resource availability on various VeeaHub edge nodes versus those in the Cloud.

The VeeaHub platform is further complemented by a white labeled consumer app, called Veea; a merchant app, called VeeaConnect; payment services, called VeeaPay; POS solution, called VeeaPOS; 3G/4G MVNO services with CloudSIM, called VeeaWireless.   

As the demand for edge computing skyrockets, Max2 is seeking to cultivate a developer community. It offers a software development kit, for its open software development platform, and has established a unique enterprise application store facilitating delivery of a wide range of innovative solutions and applications by third party developers to retailers without being bound by exclusivity, thereby creating an open ecosystem.

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