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Verizon 5G Immersive Retail Accelerator Program with Digital Catapult Goes Live

Posted 24 Jun 2021

Verizon Business has joined forces with Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, and leading industry partners to launch the Verizon 5G immersive Retail Accelerator programme designed to develop the next generation of immersive retail experiences.

The first of its kind, the initiative will explore how 5G-enabled solutions can solve real-world challenges for some of the world’s leading brands – Burberry, Diageo and L’Oréal UK & Ireland, all of which see 5G adoption as a strategic opportunity.

The programme is now open to start-ups and scale-ups currently working within the retail, immersive or customer experience space and are interested in or are already developing new cutting-edge 5G technology solutions and applications. This may include concepts around the in-store experience, out of store experience, digital product visualisation and virtual events such as fashion shows and product showcases.

Successful applicants will have access to Verizon’s 5G capabilities as well as the Yahoo Ryot XR production studio and Verizon 5G Lab, all located in London, in order to generate their proof of concepts. These concepts will be showcased at the end of the programme.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the transformational impact technology can have on our ability to adapt to periods of uncertainty,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “The quicker people are able to integrate technology across their organisation, the easier their business will adapt to new trends. The Verizon 5G Immersive Retail Accelerator Programme embraces the power of 5G, and promises to transform the customer experience through a range of innovative technologies, including immersive experience, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.”

Geraldina Iraheta, Chief Commercial Officer at Digital Catapult, commented: “Now, more than ever, retail organisations are looking at how new technologies can help them captivate customers and find new ways of enhancing the customer experience, as well as supporting their brands for the future. We are excited to work with Verizon to see what innovative ideas this Retail Accelerator delivers, as well as bringing Digital Catapult’s deep technical knowledge in 5G and our extensive network in the UK’s vibrant start-up community into this novel project.”

Mark McClennon, Global Chief Information Officer at Burberry said, “Digital innovation is a cornerstone of our strategy, enabling us to create immersive online experiences that delight and inspire our customers all over the world. We are excited to partner with Verizon and Digital Catapult – two leading companies who embody our values of creativity and forward-thinking – to unearth the next wave of digital innovation through the Retail Accelerator program.”

Benni Lickfett, Global Head of Digital Innovation at Diageo said: “We are constantly exploring how emerging technologies can enable more meaningful experiences for our consumers and the retail accelerator programme is a great way to collaborate with leading technology pioneers to do just that.”

Mark Apter, L’Oréal UK & Ireland said: “Creating innovative ways of engaging with our customers is always a priority for us, and 5G can help us keep our audiences connected and engaged. We have already seen the possibilities of technology such as virtual make-up try-on services, so I’m looking forward to seeing what new ideas are out there which can test the boundaries of connected experiences.”