2019 Retail Digital Transformation Grand Challenge


Join us! Participate in the Retail Digital Transformation (DT) Grand Challenge

– Help transform retail and brand industries with new technologies

It is a pivotal time for retailers and brands both regionally and globally as they face unprecedented pressures. Challenges include intense competition and the need for speed, while integrating new technologies and methodologies for shopping. A shifting consumer base with changing brand preferences and responsiveness, and the desire for increased social responsibility creates additional challenges.

Balancing these needed advances for retailers and brands are opportunities related to their own legacy systems, antiquated supply chains, and cultural shifts related to technology.

The digital transformation that retailers and brands will need to accomplish to survive, requires new ways of creating, thinking and working with technology driven tools to provide value for their businesses and customers. This competition challenges the technology and academic community to offer up innovations and solutions to address these issues while helping build capabilities for the future of retail. The competition will focus on two approaches to these challenges, please select one:


End-to-end solution – build, buy and scale an easy to use, end-to-end capability that enables scan-design-simulate-model-fuse-analyze-visualize-immerse-interactive solution; includes capabilities such as:

  • Flexibility
  • Collaboration
  • Spans concept to digitization, immersion and purchase
  • Comprehends from design, to supply chain to in-store
  • Seamlessly plug & play all the different technologies anywhere along the Design-to-deploy solution flow
  • Reduces time to production or market in a faster/easier way
  • Can adapt and scale from small to mega organization
  • UX innovation such as AR/VR, AI, other, etc.
  • Security and privacy


Submit a solution that address one of the categories below

  • Body capture/scanning
    • Quick and easily scan customers; example: fully scan customers w/in 30 seconds
  • Digital raw materials
    • Ability to easily and seamlessly capture physical properties of fabrics and digitize them with any tool
    • Ability to easily and seamlessly build, share and extend library of customizations and incorporate into day-to-day workflow
  • Digital product creation
    • Ability to easily and seamlessly scale and automate product creation and incorporate into day-to-day workflow
  • Supply chain enhancements
    • Ability to easily and seamlessly scale from test/proto/prod; example: from one to 1,000 stores win a month
    • Ability to demonstrate changes in efficiency; example: reduces waste, better use of resources along stages of supply chain
    • Can plug-in-play one or more capabilities within the design-to-deploy solution flow
  • Customer engagement/immersion
    • Show customers interactive and immersive visualizations of garments, on themselves/other others; example: at the store w/in 30 seconds
    • Show customers that their data is secure
    • Customers can manage their data; example: can determine how/if data used
    • Customer can use their data at different locations/retailers/brands
    • Demonstrate transparency and privacy of customer data
    • Show customers that their data is secure and private
  • Other ideas?
    • Other ideas are welcome! If so, please describe and consider ease-of-use, plug-n-play, scale, expected value

Solutions will be reviewed for their relevance in the categories of:

  1. Collaboration ~ the degree and/or diversity of stakeholders that collaborate on developing the submission
  2. Social Impact ~ the extent to which the submission addresses social and environmental impacts and implications
  3. Business Impact ~ extent to which the submission addresses saving and/or making new value for customers and/or consumers
  4. Technology Impact ~ extent to which the submission delivers improvements on existing and/or new capabilities

Acceptance Process and Awards:

All submissions will be reviewed by the Retail Digital Transformation Grand Challenge judges.

  • Entrants must submit Phase 1 Entries by March 20th, 11:59 pm PST;
  • Round 1 accepted submissions will be reviewed by judges and narrowed to semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will move forward to Round 2. This enhanced round will require further submission of prototypes including features, capabilities and/or solutions.
  • Finalists of Round 1 will be notified via email no later than 18 April 2019 and provided specifics on the submission for Round 2
  • Winners of Round 2 will be notified via email no later than 12 June 2019 and announced as part of PI Apparel NY to be held 17-18 June 2019.
  • The winning entry shall receive recognition via an IEEE sponsored press release and/or e-publication placement, an IEEE sponsored webinar showcasing winning participant submissions, and the opportunity to showcase submissions at the PI New York event in June 2019 (poster or panel session anticipated – to be determined during the Phase 2 period), as well as one ticket to attend a future PI Apparel event in 2019 or 2020. Additionally, the winner will receive a full day collaborative workshop in the Bridgetown Innovation Studio in Portland, OR. This workshop allows the winner to tap into Kalypso’s industry and digital experts and leverage their ecosystem connections. The winner will also receive the opportunity to develop a physical showcase of the winning technology in Bridgetown, to be available to retailers who visit the space. Full details on these prizes are in the “rules”.

Round 1 of the Retail Digital Transformation Grand Challenge is now closed.  

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