Mingis on Tech: Retailers embrace technology to save their bacon

Are stores destined to become showrooms -- with purchases delivered by drones?

If one thing was clear from the National Retail Federation's Big Show this year, it's this: Retailers are rushing to figure out how to use technology to keep their doors open.

Executive News Editor Ken Mingis talks with Sharon Gaudin (who attended the Big Show in New York City for Computerworld) and Keith Shaw about just what's coming. In the not to distant future -- say, around 2025 -- you may well walk into a store and be greeted by a salesperson who already knows what you're interested in. Or you might get an alert on your phone telling you where to find that TV you've been eyeing online. (Sounds helpful, but a little creepy, no?)

You might also be surprised to learn that the store you frequent is no longer a store, per se; it's become a showroom. You'll walk in, eye the merchandise, put in your order and have the goods delivered to your home -- maybe by drone.

Also up for discussion: This week's World Economic Forum report on how a mishmash of technology, from artificial intelligence and machine learning to robotics, nanotech and 3D printing, are leading to a Fourth Industrial Revolution and could cost the global economy 7 millions jobs. The good news? Some 2 million jobs will be created, especially in fields related to computer science, engineering and mathematics.

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