IKEA Place is a mobile app that allow shoppers to plant & view digitally rendered products in their own home.
ALIBABA + INTIME Shopping mall’s AR mirrors allows visitors to try on beauty products. Visitors can virtually test the makeup product and purchase through a vending machine.
Walmart filed a patent for tech that will detect the emotional state of shoppers as they walk around the store. The technology uses video cameras and store checkout lines that monitor facial expressions and movements to determine varying levels of dissatisfaction. If the system detects an unhappy shopper, it will ping employees in other parts of the store and order them to report to a checkout register, in the hopes of alleviating consumers’ distress. According to a patent filing, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world (likely looking for ways to compete with Amazon)
Consumers are concerned about automation-fueled unemployment. But never underestimate the human ability to feel multiple and contradictory things at the same time! Many of the same consumers worried about job displacement are already hunting out brands that harness automation to make their lives better.
Google Duplex will soon be booking haircuts for users around the globe
Target will begin to test a service that uses Bluetooth-connected household devices to monitor your supply of toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap, and automatically order more when you need it.
The subscription service is called Target Fetch, and Target will launch a campaign May 1 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to solicit 250 beta testers in the US for the service.
Microsoft is reportedly working on technology that will eliminate cashiers and checkout lines in stores, similar to Amazon’s technology already implemented in its Amazon Go brick-and-mortar store.
According to the report, Microsoft’s technology tracks which items customers put into their carts. While it’s unclear how far along Microsoft is in developing this technology, the company has reportedly shown sample tech to potential partners and has even talked to Walmart about implementing it.
The exact technology used in Microsoft’s service isn’t explained, but it may be linked to the company’s new Kinect for Azure project. Detailed at Microsoft Build last month, this project builds on Kinect’s current abilities and includes integrated computing power and a sensor package with a depth-mapping camera. It can be used to execute spatial mapping and motion tracking, which could come in handy when tracking customers’ hands as they reach for items on shelves.
Microsoft’s store tech is designed to help retailers “keep pace” with Amazon as the online shopping giant dabbles more in brick-and-mortar endeavors. Specifically, retailers who may use Microsoft’s technology could better compete with Amazon Go, the company’s cashier less convenience store.
Though, it’s unclear when Microsoft will roll out a final version of its checkout-free retail technology or if the project will be scrapped completely
Apple has signed Oprah Winfrey to a multiyear deal for new original programs.
Apple is now going head to head with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in a war for consumers’ attention.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”
Apple did not specify whether Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, but she is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer. The company also declined to discuss financial aspects of the deal.
Apple said the deal will not affect Winfrey’s contract with OWN, the television network she launched in 2011. Winfrey recently extended her contract there through 2025.
Apple, Amazon and Netflix have been competing to lock-in producers, show runners and performers, and paying unprecedented sums to do so. Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with big names like Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant.
Netflix recently signed former President Barack and former First Lady Michelle Obama in a multiyear deal that will see them producing and starring in original shows. Netflix also has a show hosted by David Letterman that features interviews with the world’s biggest celebrities.