When you think of current trends in the consumer and retail sectors, buzzwords like "artificial intelligence", "augmented reality" and "virtual reality" spring to mind. The retail scene is undergoing fundamental disruption – and these emerging technologies are centre-stage. Traditionally, such technologies were often characterised as mere "hype" and considered better suited for sci-fi movies rather than the real world. However, they are now very much a reality and continue to develop rapidly, causing consumers and retailers alike finally to take them seriously.
Today's consumers have an overwhelmingly large range of products and services to choose from, and are inundated with a constant flow of advertisements wherever they go. The result is that they crave a more personalised experience. Retailers have therefore started to exploit the progress made by tech giants to fulfil this demand. The gradual deployment of artificial intelligence, AR and VR in the consumer sector is enabling retailers to collect a large volume of data and gain a deep understanding of customer behaviours and preferences, which can translate into long term benefits for the consumer of the future. However, there are legal issues which arise and require consideration.
In this article we explore these technologies, including examples of their use in the retail sector and the associated legal issues.
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The contents of this publication, current at the date of publication set out above, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.
© Herbert Smith Freehills 2020