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Verizon Launches Immersive Retail Contest Seeking 5G-Enhanced Solutions

Seeking solutions to real-world challenges posed by retail brands Burberry, Diageo and L’Oréal UK and Ireland, Verizon Business is partnering with digital tech innovation center Digital Catapult for the Verizon 5G Immersive Retail Accelerator competition. Through July 25, 2021, the program will accept applications from startups and scale-ups working in the retail, immersive or customer experience spaces that have already demonstrated interest in, or are currently working in, the 5G space.

Concepts can be focused on in-store or out-of-store experiences, digital product visualization or virtual events such as fashion shows and product showcases. Successful applicants will have access to Verizon’s 5G capabilities, along with the London-based Yahoo Ryot XR production studio and Verizon 5G Lab, to create proof of concepts. These will be showcased at the end of the program, which is slated to run for approximately 10 months.

“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 in a statement. “The Verizon 5G Immersive Retail Accelerator Program 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.”

“Now more than ever, retail organizations 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,” said Geraldina Iraheta, Chief Commercial Officer at Digital Catapult in a statement. “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 startup community into this novel project.”

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Mark Apter, Head Of Innovation and Digital Services at L’Oréal UK and Ireland, noted that “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 makeup try-on services, so I’m looking forward to seeing what new ideas are out there which can test the boundaries of connected experiences.”

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