Evrythng is one of a wave of British startups attempting to change the face of retail. The company's plan is ambitious: giving every single object in the world a unique web-addressable URL.
The prototypes in Evrythng's offices in Clerkenwell, London, use QR codes and RFID chips to achieve the goal, and show just some of the possibilities that having such a widely networked world could bring: examples include bottles of whisky that can have promotions personalised to the location or time they were bought, or biscuits that can automatically redeem a free coffee on purchase from a machine at the till.
But the benefits of giving everything a unique address potentially go far further. For instance, Evrythng offers a way to solve the smart fridge problem – the issue that smart fridges don't work without smart food, and smart food won't be sold without smart fridges.
If manufacturers start putting unique RFID chips in individual products to enable promotions and analytics, smart fridges could take advantage of that to warn owners when food is about to go off or run out.
"The internet of things will affect every aspect of business operations and customer experience," says Niall Murphy, the company's co-founder and CEO. "The investment allows us to accelerate our mission to connect every individual product to the web with its own intelligent online identity, working with global product manufacturer and retail brands."
Cisco's vice president of corporate development, Yoav Samet, said that the company was "excited about the applications Evrythng provides to give products a presence on the web. Their efforts support our goal to connect the unconnected."
Cisco has previously estimated that the internet of things will contain 50bn "things" by 2020, and lead to a market worth $19 trillion (£11.2tn) . "The internet of everything provides the platform from which an ever-increasing number of connections will ‘wake-up’ the world around us," said the company's UK chief, Phil Smith.
"With just 1% of the physical world connected at this time, this is just the beginning of an amazing future. As connections become smarter, faster and more insightful, we will only see more imaginative and ambitious applications of the internet of everything which will quite literally change the world."
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