Sea Change in Guest Experience Announced by Carnival CEO

When CTA announced Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, as the opening keynote of CES 2017, it was reasonable to anticipate a major announcement and speculate that the defined characteristics of cruise ships and travelers could be a proving ground for smart tech and the promise of IoT technologies. This morning, Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, introduced the development of Ocean Medallion, what he described as “the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.” Continue reading Sea Change in Guest Experience Announced by Carnival CEO

Bluetooth 5 Aims to Increase Speed, Reliability of IoT Devices

With the launch of Bluetooth 5, Internet connectivity is expected to be greatly improved. According to the Bluetooth SIG, which oversees the standard first announced earlier in 2016, Bluetooth 5, in its low-energy format, will enjoy twice the speed and up to four times the distance of today’s version. Manufacturers are just beginning to develop Bluetooth 5-compliant devices, which will be introduced into the market in the next two to six months, with the added prediction that “major products” could debut by the end of 2017. Continue reading Bluetooth 5 Aims to Increase Speed, Reliability of IoT Devices

Salesforce Debuts IoT Cloud to Monitor Data of Smart Devices

Salesforce.com just introduced IoT Cloud, a service that will allow customers to monitor data relayed by smart devices. As the Internet of Things becomes more of a reality — sensors are now found in a wide array of devices and machines — companies need to gather and make sense of the data that those sensors generate. Emerson Electric announced its plans to use Salesforce’s IoT Cloud to combine data from its smart thermostats with weather forecasts to help its users manage their heating and air conditioning. Continue reading Salesforce Debuts IoT Cloud to Monitor Data of Smart Devices

Target Aims to Enhance Shopping Experience with Beacon Tech

Target will start using Bluetooth beacon technology to send recommendations about product deals directly to the smartphones of customers who opt-in for alerts. Users with the latest version of the Target iPhone app on their phones will receive in-app updates and two push notifications per shopping trip. Target is testing beacon tech in 50 of its stores around the country, and plans to use consumer feedback to adapt the service, and release it nationwide by the holiday shopping season. Continue reading Target Aims to Enhance Shopping Experience with Beacon Tech

Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

Google is launching Eddystone, a new format that uses electronic beacons to track users’ locations and link their smartphones with nearby objects. Its purpose is to provide useful information to users, such as electronic bus tickets when they’re detected near bus stops, or information on paintings when they are touring museums. Google is competing against Apple’s iBeacon technology, which was released in 2013. Eddystone will be open to multiple platforms and will include features that work on both Android phones and iPhones. Continue reading Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Amazon recently confirmed that it has acquired 2lemetry, a startup with a focus on creating real value of data being processed and shared via Internet-connected devices. Under Amazon, Denver-based 2lemetry will continue to service its existing clientele, which includes companies such as Honeywell and First Mile. All other deal details remain undisclosed. Amazon’s acquisition of 2lemetry reflects the company’s early efforts to develop an Internet of Things business strategy. Continue reading IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Facebook Tests Beacon Tech to Provide Users with Local Info

Facebook wants to use beacons to test a new service called Place Tips that transmits information about shops, restaurants and landmarks to users nearby. Facebook will begin testing the service in New York City at different shops and city landmarks. Place Tips uses location services to identify when a Facebook user is nearby any one of the designated locations and then pushes content such as photos, reviews and tips about the location directly above a user’s Facebook News Feed. Continue reading Facebook Tests Beacon Tech to Provide Users with Local Info

Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

For nearly three decades, Universal Display has provided mannequins to fashion retail stores such as Lord & Taylor, Saks and Uniqlo. In an effort to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, Universal Display has developed an innovative way to use modern tech with mannequins to push information to nearby shoppers. Mannequins are tagged with beacons that push messages to customers’ mobile phones complete with photos, sizes and prices of ready to buy clothing inside the store. Continue reading Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

Beacon Market Projected to Reach 60 Million Devices by 2019

Beacons, hardware devices that can be detected by mobile apps, have seen interest from fields other than just retail. According to a new report from ABI Research, retail is one of the smallest markets for iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy-powered devices. While stores can better communicate with customers via apps — through special offers, alerts and ads — even more interest has developed in asset tracking, personal location, and connected home markets. Continue reading Beacon Market Projected to Reach 60 Million Devices by 2019