The Last Word: Spacee’s Skip Howard on His HoverTouch Tech in Action at Sam’s Club

“It’s an unbreakable touchscreen.”

Skip Howard
Founder and CEO
.…in a tease of the company’s HoverTouch tech at Sam’s Club at Tech Titans’ Industry Lunch last month.

Who doesn’t like to see Dallas tech in action? Spacee brings next-gen retail tech to life with virtual touchscreens and “invisible” inventory robots powered by AI.

The company’s original groundbreaking HoverTouch technology has found a new use case at Sam’s Club. The giant touchscreen is replacing theft-prone iPads with HoverTouch tech that turns any surface into an interactive experience — walls, glass, tables, and more become engaging consumer touchpoints with no power to the surface.

“You’re touching air,” says Howard. “Cameras recognize hands in three-dimensional space.”

Sam’s Club members in Dallas-Fort Worth and Bentonville, Arkansas, can browse tangible membership benefits to their heart’s content using the unbreakable virtual touchscreen. Howard says the “rollout has been wildly successful, with a conversion ratio that beat expectations by orders of magnitude.”

HoverTouch in action at a Sam’s Club. [Photo: Spacee]

Spacee has also deployed its “invisible robot” inventory tracking system at a Plano Home Depot. The robot lives inside a metallic tube on shelves, capturing images every 20 minutes to provide real-time stock visibility with its futuristic blend of computer vision and AI.

The company leverages AI for things like out-of-stock detection, planogram compliance, inventory management for online orders, shopper behavior analytics, and more in retail environments.

At a recent Tech Titans luncheon, Howard discussed the basics of AI, explaining the difference between narrow/niche AI versus general AI, and contrasted generative AI versus real-time AI. He advises companies to use the tech to solve high value problems first, then figuring out how to apply AI/ML as a tool to address those problems. But he says, “AI is a tool—not a be all, end all. You have to get your electrical engineering correct and mechanical design correct. You have to get your programming correct delivering the data correct.”

Howard founded Spacee Inc. in 2016 with the idea of building natural user interfaces and reactive intelligence into the physical world.

His advice to budding entrepreneurs? “In my opinion, the biggest lesson learned is to fall in love with the problem first and then go solve it.” Howards cautions against falling in love with the tech for the sake of the tech: “There’s so much noise around what is possible,” he notes, advising founders to “take it down a few notches, because I had to learn this the hard way.” 

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