Samsung Futurescape 2014 showcases opportunities for B-B hardware in travel

By Travolution
By Travolution
July 2, 2014 03:57 PM GMT

Technology hardware firm Samsung has forecast that by 2020 a quarter of its revenue will come from business to business partnerships, with travel identified as a key vertical.

Graham Long, vice president of the enterprise business team, told Travolution today at Samsung’s second Futurescape exhibition that the firm has set up a division dedicated to B-B partnerships.

The event showcased a range of applications developed by third party software developers for the latest Samsung touchscreen portable and mobile hardware personal and point of sale devices.

Multi-screen virtual showrooms technology from Zerolight being used by Audi and Jaguar and interactive sales walls being used by Adidas created by Worldline were on show.

Futurescape

Also on show was next generation biometric airport passport gate technology, currently being trialled at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, and modern cloud technology-driven departure boards being trialled at Gatwick.

Long said Samsung had assembled a large team in the UK focused on addressing the needs of enterprise customers.

“We will engage with them as an organisation but also work very closely with our channel partners and third party solution partners to provide that technology to those organisations,” he said.

In travel retail Long said there was an increasing need for retailers with a bricks and mortar footprint to revitalise the theatre of the high street through technology.

“If you look at retail as a whole, the biggest challenge is we are all doing increasing amounts of online researching and booking product.

“So the challenge for retailers is how to be relevant with their bricks and mortar estate.”

Long said most customers now spend time before they visit a store ‘designing’ their product online but that they may well want to visit a store to touch or experience the product.

“What’s interesting is with some high street agents out there they are looking at how to utilise technology in-store to ensure they become the place you end up going to to book your holiday.”

Much of the Futurescape 2014 technology pointed to the showroom of the future, with large screen technology using rich live footage to bring the product to life.

In addition, Long said stores are also using small screen tablet technology to allow customers to search, choose and craft their options.

Long pointed to Argos which is shifting from its old-fashioned catalogue-based model to a smarter mobile-centric model, exploiting in-store tablet devices, consumers’ own mobile handsets and large display screens.

He said the travel sector was not dissimilar to Argos in that it traditionally produced brochures which as soon as they were printed were out of date.

Access to this technology is opening up as different commercial models emerge which means retailers do not necessarily have to invest in owning the technology itself.

Shared advertising revenue, smart finance and operating ease options are making it more affordable.

Long said the Android platform on which it bases its mobile offering was starting to catch up with Apple’s iOS in terms of the commercial activity transacted on it.

To date in travel Apple has dominated in terms of mobile transactions despite the proliferation of Android devices.

“We make great technology but what brings it to life are the experts who are developing the applications.

“One of the reasons we believe Android is a fantastic platform is it’s an open architecture so we can work with as many developers as there out there.”

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