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VisionR at the NRF Big Show in New York, 2024

VisionR at the NRF Big Show in New York, 2024

Oran Mulvey

Oran Mulvey

January 22, 2024


The VisionR team attended the annual National Retail Federation’s Big Show from January 14th-16th in the Javits Centre in lower Manhattan. Our CTO, Sales Lead, & the Founders (Shane & I) flew out from Dublin Airport with big expectations with this being our second year in a row. We took in some sights and battled the jet lag before going to the launch party at the Marriot Marquis Times Square.

This year, rather than just the one floor, two whole floors were taken up by NRF members, one themed fire and the other ice. There was generous big prizes, food, and beverages. Unfortunately, none of our team won big, but we each still won vouchers for local stores and networked with retailers. We were also able to meet television and rap star, Ice-T, who was there to meet, greet, and generally hang out. 


The retail showcase began at 10am on Sunday, the Javits Centre quickly filled up with thousands of retailers from all over the world. Aside from the US, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico were all well represented, we also spoke to retailers from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Serbia, Lithuania, Egypt, Singapore, and Ukraine. 

On Sunday, we spent the majority of the day at our stall due to the amount of engagement we were receiving, what helped stop retailers in their tracks was the interactive element. Our AI Smart Camera (Scout) was set up to show passers by their shopper type by instantly analysing their movements, facial structure, body type, and clothing. This garnered a lot of attention from people curious to know how it was done exactly and how they could action these insights to drive brick-and-mortar sales.


I made time to look around at other interesting technologies on display at the event, Innovation Lab alumni such as Hypervsn, a company that can project 3D holographic moving-images that float in midair. It felt very Blade Runner 2049.

While some of the larger companies you would expect to see such as Microsoft, Google Cloud, & SAP were seen to be continuing their market dominance.

Lastly, two final shoutouts are NeuRetail and Cooler Screens to be very interesting. NeuRetail provides a shopping cart that can speak to the shopper, analysing their basket, and recommending complimentary products. Cooler Screens are a Chicago based in-store digital signage company, that show a shopper every product inside a cooler, clearly and concisely, saving the shopper time on needing to root around inside for items that they think or assume might be there. 


While we were very busy for the entirety of the three-day event, Sharon Yourell Lawlor (who if you don’t follow for the latest in Irish retail you’re sorely missing out!) managed to wrangle up a few of the Irish attendees for a group picture. She was researching as much new tech as possible, with the hope of finding ideal solutions for the Irish market. 

Ultimately, VisionR were able to connect with our industry in-person. The retail industry never sleeps, and the times of year that we associate with rest, like Christmas, Easter, Summer Holidays, are conversely the busiest times for people in the retail community. So, getting to speak to people in a more relaxed environment for three days, was a truly great way to start our year. 


Even though we were hit with a ‘Snow Bomb’ in our final two days, we were still able to visit great New York establishments like The Comedy Cellar, The Finer Diner, Gallagher’s Steak House, and our favourite Manhattan Liberal Bar, Rudy’s Bar & Grill, where a free hot dog is given with every pint ordered. We look forward to attending NRF in January 2025, where we’ll have even bigger things planned!

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