Digital transformation in the retail industry is accelerating. It's no longer enough for retailers to have an on-line presence. Retail's next wave is powering innovative in-store experiences. New ways of enabling store safety, facilities and equipment maintenance, custom and personalized services, inventory management and replenishment, digital signage and electronic pricing labels, and advanced forms of self- and automated-checkout all require increasing digital capabilities.
And, more often, these capabilities need to be created and performed in the store and at the edge. In-store AI, analytics, or process automation becomes increasingly important. Local processing is critical to ensure consistent and real-time interactions, reduce the overhead of transmitting large amounts of contextual data to the cloud, including removing potentially sensitive and private information from that data; and enable business continuity in the event of network outages. All these capabilities require in-store (and within device) compute resources to deliver a modern store experience. Whether powering POS terminals, information kiosks, digital signs, intelligent cameras and other sensors, automated refrigeration, stock handling, and even intelligent shopping carts, innovation will continue to grow in the years ahead.
These innovations reveal a critical gap in existing retail store infrastructure. What's needed is a platform for retail industry vendors to work together and deliver solutions with unique value that share a common infrastructure. To respect the limited footprint and cost constraints of a typical retail outlet, solutions must be easy to integrate, leverage common security practices, and offer a consistent approach to support and service. In short, the industry needs a framework that supports a collective and coherent ecosystem.
This vision is what inspired the creation of an open source framework within the EdgeX Foundry umbrella to enable collaboration within retail industry ecosystem, as visioned by the Open Retail Initiative.
The goal of this project is to create:
- A base foundation of retail-centric APIs at cloud and edge for building best-in-class retail experiences (that allow multiple vendors, suppliers and projects to both utilize and implement the APIs)
- A common application deployment platform for edge-native deployments (to minimize validation and integration testing required)
- Consistent integration methods, drawing on cloud-native development practices (so that integrating applications and data at the edge uses the same technology as at the cloud)
- A comprehensive set of connectors for retail IOT devices
- A community based on OSS principles to enable higher velocity of innovation
For an introduction to the purpose and goals of ORRA by representatives from IBM, Intel, HP see the recording of the February 23rd, 2021 meeting.
Key Project Facts
Project Approval Date: 1/12/2021
Project Chair: Arnaud Le Hors (IBM)
Project Secretary: Susan Jefferson (IBM)
Maintainers: Joe Pearson (IBM), Brad Corrion (Intel), Henry Lau (HP Inc)
How to Get Involved
We welcome your participation and contribution, even during the early days of the project formation. We welcome all roles and players in the retail ecosystem, as we recognize that deploying a cloud to edge retail deployment is made up of many companies and products. A primary concern of the architecture is making it easy to integrate multi-party solutions, adopt APIs, and share data, at all points from the edge to the cloud. Your input, opinion and advice is necessary and your participation is requested.
What to do:
Join ORRA at https://lists.edgexfoundry.org/g/EdgeX-ORRA, which may require the creation of a Linux Foundation ID (LF ID). When you join, please send a brief introductory email introducing yourself and your organization. If you have specific material contributions you would like to make to the creation, maintenance, and enhancement of this project, please describe those as well.
To send messages to the project, use the ORRA mail alias: EdgeX-ORRA@lists.edgexfoundry.org
You can visit your group, start reading messages and posting them here: https://lists.edgexfoundry.org/g/EdgeX-ORRA
You can set your subscription settings here: https://lists.edgexfoundry.org/g/EdgeX-ORRA/editsub. You can opt to receive: all messages in individual emails, collections of messages in a digest, a daily summary, or only special notices.
If you do not wish to belong to this group, you may unsubscribe by sending an email to: EdgeX-ORRAfirstname.lastname@example.org
For direct communication we use the #vertical-solutions channel of the EdgeX Foundry slack server:
Beginning March 18, 2021, this project meets bi-weekly at 10:00am US Pacific / 1:00pm US Eastern (use Time Zone Converter for other timezones)
Click here to RSVP and download meeting invite.
Introduction to Open Retail Reference Architecture (ORRA) project. Representatives from IBM, Intel, HP will talk about the purpose and goals of ORRA project, and a call to action for more participants.