Qualcomm unveiled fresh deals to boost its presence in the retail sector, the company’s latest bid to push its technology beyond smartphones.

In a presentation, VP and global head of retail IoT Art Miller detailed agreements with Taiwanese software company CyberLink and online retailer Shopify, and detailed Qualcomm’s work in adapting its chipsets to enable services including smart shopping trolleys and robotic inventory systems.

Qualcomm and Cyberlink developed facial recognition technology which is being deployed in a US shopping centre to ensure staff wear face masks, while its deal with Shopify involves providing handheld devices to enable retailers to make sales outside their stores.

Miller told journalists the retail opportunity is “massive”. He predicted staff productivity benefits as robots take on menial tasks and noted the company’s smartphone expertise was being applied to help connect stores to consumers, opening the door for products to be automatically delivered when a person visits a shop.

AR is another key element in Qualcomm’s strategy. “One of the largest companies on the planet uses our AR glasses to train employees”, Miller stated.

Miller told Mobile World Live private 5G networks will be important for some retail use cases, including handheld point-of-sale terminals and unattended storefronts connected to the cloud.