Interactive avatars impressed the FoodTech Award jury

ETH Zurich spin-off Animatico, developer of interactive avatars as digital touch points in retail stores, is one of the winners of the international FoodTech Award 2021, Retail Edition. The award ceremony took place in Lugano, during the Annual general assembly of the LifestyleTech Competence Center Association.

During the Annual general assembly of the LifestyleTech Competence Center Association (LSTCC), which took place on June 15 at the new USI-SUPSI East Campus in Lugano, Italian food conglomerates Barilla and Lavazza – together with LSTCC founding members Accenture, UBS, and Microsoft – celebrated the winners of the FoodTech Award 2021, Retail Edition.

The competition, organised by Loomish SA, the Swiss investment advisory firm specialising in LifestyleTech, focused on two particular areas: Client Engagement (solutions that enhance client engagement through touchpoints) and Rich Data Capture (solutions that enable rich data capture in food retail, both online and offline). The Zurich-based ETHZ spin-off ANIMATICO, developer of interactive avatars as digital touch points in retail stores, won in the Client Engagement category, whereas NEXTATLAS, an Italian provider of data-centric trend intelligence AI-based solutions, won in the Rich Data Capture category. 

ANIMATICO offers interactive avatars as digital touch points in retail stores to drive customer engagement, guide product choices, and connect offline and online channels. ANIMATICO provides an animation, interaction and analytics platform that can be used to create interactive digital avatars in stores, enabling new touch points to assist customers and recommend specific products. The technology is designed to work in challenging environments with high background noise, where the synchronous and proven use of audio and video sensors effectively enable the detection of a user's interactions and voice. The avatar proactively identifies potential buyers and offers help in selecting the most suitable product interactively.

In addition to taking home the Food Tech Award trophy, the two winners are granted the opportunity to connect with leading retail brands, as well as with investors, academic partners, and tech firms. In addition, the winners will receive free services (desk and office space), sponsored by UBS, for 8 months at the Dagorà Innovation Hub in Manno (near Lugano).

Connecting creativity, technology and entrepreneurs 

The Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LSTCC) was opened in July 2020, with the creation of an association of the same name - the LifeStyleTech Competence Center Association – founded by Accenture, Bally, Dagorà, Guess, Hyphen, Loomish, Microsoft, SUPSI, and Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI). The Center supports companies to perform R&D projects, find academic partners and access public funding or fiscal benefits, while connecting creativity, consumer trends, technologies and entrepreneurs that are driving the transformation of the Lifestyle Industry.

The LSTCC and namesake Association are located in the Dagorà Innovation Hub, a co-working space in Manno, at the heart of the industrial area near Lugano, which includes offices, innovation and research laboratories, a media centre, advanced technological tools for research and design projects and many spaces for innovation. In this new facility, universities, industry brands, investors, tech firm and start-ups can develop ideas, tools and strategies to drive the next generation of digital companies in Ticino and beyond.  

(Press release / DL)Picture: Riccardo Roveri (co-founder Animatico) pitching to the jury.