Walmart to Test Retail Tech With Launch of Sam’s Club Now

Walmart is upping the ante with rival Amazon by opening a cashierless “Sam’s Club Now” store in Texas, vying with automated Amazon Go stores. Walmart is experimenting with the concept via its members-only Sam’s Club. According to Jamie Iannone, chief exec of SamsClub.com and executive vice president of membership and technology, the store is “very close to opening” and will be the “epicenter of innovation for Sam’s Club.” In the soon-to-open shop, users will rely on a new Sam’s Club Now app to scan items, and a staff member will scan the entire purchase before the user exits. Continue reading Walmart to Test Retail Tech With Launch of Sam’s Club Now

Thington Concierge Helps Users Navigate Their Smart Homes

The smart assistant app Thington just launched, with the aim of making the smart home and its devices less intimidating. Thington’s Concierge is a conversational bot that helps the user set up smart devices in the home and get the maximum benefit from them. The idea, say its founders, is that Thington is a “super smart remote” that will talk users through the confusing process of setting up an Internet of Things-enabled home. Thington is currently compatible with devices from six manufacturers. Continue reading Thington Concierge Helps Users Navigate Their Smart Homes

Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers became the first air travelers to benefit from wearable technology while flying into London Heathrow airport this week. Concierge staff has begun using Google Glass and the Sony Smartwatch to give a more personal customer service experience by greeting travelers by name and keeping them updated on their flight status. Down the line, wearable tech may even be used to track travelers’ food and beverage preferences. Continue reading Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

IBM’s Watson Tech Behind Three New Apps Coming in 2014

IBM’s Watson technology, known for beating out human competitors on the game show “Jeopardy!,” is playing a big role in a number of apps coming out next year. The first three known apps will come from IBM business partners Fluid, MD Buyline and Welltok. Each respective app uses Watson’s access to Big Data to provide users with information that will allow them to make informed decisions about their purchases and even their health needs. Continue reading IBM’s Watson Tech Behind Three New Apps Coming in 2014