Target is always surprisingly far ahead of technology innovations. And by far ahead, I mean Target is on to the next big thing in tech 18 months ahead. Although the retail giant hasn’t made a robotic store assistant like Lowe, they may not be too far away. Target’s four key target areas include virtual reality, robotics, the Internet of Things and digital activation.
Although they are pretty secretive about their tech innovations, they have opened up about their virtual reality. They have tested technology which creates a 3D experience to furnish a dorm room!
So what is their secret to being astoundingly far ahead? Being situated in the hub of technological innovation. That is, San Francisco. Director David Newman claims, “The San Francisco office is part of a broader ecosystem for innovation. For us, it’s how we really get ahead of the emerging technologies.” Listen about it here:
The lab focuses on technologies which are about 18 months away from mainstream adoption. Projects are then divided into pods of people to develop.
Ad Week commented, “Newman also noted that Target’s approach isn’t about acquiring startups, acknowledging competitor Walmart’s strategy in nearby San Bruno, Calif. Walmart’s @WalmartLabs has acquired 14 startups since 2011. Target’s strategy for the future is “less about acquiring a technology as it is today, and it’s working very closely and very hands-on to evolve [a technology] to really explore different use cases,” Newman said.
As part of that hands-on approach, Target will start running its innovation center as a stand-alone lab in January, after two years of leaning on agency SapientNitro. Target’s innovation center was built in partnership with Sapient in 2012, and the two share an office space inSan Francisco’s historic Folgers Coffee Co. building.”