How digitalization can enliven the city centers of the future is the core of our public research project smartMarket² together with university partners in Duisburg-Essen, Münster and Paderborn.
Grand opening of the Shopping Labs
Last night finally came. That Shopping Lab Aachen celebrated its official opening. The Future Forum for Local Retailers shows what shopping can look like in the future. The ConceptStore is located in the heart of Aachen city centre, in the former Café Alex in the building of the former Lust for Life department store.
From now on, everyone can stop by between 11.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. on Wednesdays to Fridays and get to know the exciting exhibits over a delicious cup of coffee.
The Opening Ceremony
More than 100 people from the region attended the opening ceremony and listened to the introduction of Prof. Thomas RitzHead of the m2c Mobile Media & Communication Lab that University of Applied Sciences Aachen. This project was launched and wonderfully implemented in a consortium of several university institutes in cooperation with the Economic Development Department of the City of Aachen.
Dialego develops simultaneously in a large research project smartmarket² Designs on how digitisation can contribute to revitalising the city centre. We recently published results. We are therefore very pleased that our research is also part of the shopping lab and that we can involve even more consumers in the city centre. Because innovations are only successful if they offer a relevant benefit for people. And this is not trivial when it comes to digitization in retail. We are happy to take on this task.
How did we solve it? By reversing the principle of Echo, Amazon’s personal digital assistant, and programming an additional skill. While Alexa – Echo´s middle name – usually answers the user’s questions, she now also asks questions.
In our research project we go through the three typical steps of a Dialego innovation process: from the idea to the concretisation of benefits to concepts. Several thousand people were already digitally involved in one of the steps. Now follows the shopper from downtown Aachen, who is asked in the Shopping Lab about two of Alexa’s presented concepts.
Our Alexa cabin
This is what the cabin looks like. “Hanging around with Alexa” is what we mean. Come in and hang out in our lounge chair. Meanwhile you can have a chat with Alexa, which makes it especially easy to give your opinion about our designs. She reads the texts on command and asks a few clever questions.
By the way, the evaluation runs in parallel live on our analysis servers. The texts are digitized and transferred to our text analysis systems, where they are automatically compressed. Everything is, of course, anonymous. Alexa finally knows how to behave..
How do we analyse and what comes out of it? We will of course be happy to report on this.
So if you live in and around Aachen: Let’s go to the shopping lab. We’ll keep everyone else here on ball level. See you soon at Alexa!
By the way, we also use Alexa to retrieve results by acclamation. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
You have questions? We help you to find the answers!