Companies Prep for Brunt of California Consumer Privacy Act

Beginning January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will allow that state’s residents to find out exactly what personal data companies hold about them — and ask them to delete such information. Consumers will also have the option of opting out of allowing their personal information to be sold. The legislation — which was designed to make Amazon, Facebook, Google and others more transparent — will impact a wide range of companies, large and small, including airlines, banks, retailers and restaurants. Continue reading Companies Prep for Brunt of California Consumer Privacy Act

Google Debuts Software Tools for AR App, Web Developers

Google just released ARCore, software to enable developers to more easily create augmented reality apps. The company took its first step into augmented reality in 2014, when it introduced Tango, its 3D mapping system. But it had a hard time getting Android phone makers to make the necessary hardware upgrades to foster widespread AR adoption. Google now hopes that, rather than expensive hardware upgrades, developers will be more enticed by its software solution for allowing apps and sites to track physical objects and overlay them with virtual images. Continue reading Google Debuts Software Tools for AR App, Web Developers

W Magazine Tests New Features Enabled by AR Technology

Fashion-centric publication W Magazine, in partnership with visual effects house The Mill, features augmented reality in its September 2017 Collector’s Issue. With Katy Perry on the cover, the issue appears to be an ordinary magazine, but if a user views it through a smartphone or tablet lens, he will see various augmented reality images. The viewer must first install W Magazine’s new companion app, Beyond the Page, available for iOS and Android, that activates the AR imagery in the issue. Continue reading W Magazine Tests New Features Enabled by AR Technology

Retailers Push AR Shopping Apps for Tango-Equipped Phones

While most consumers may currently think of gaming or video when they hear “augmented reality,” retailers are experimenting with a new batch of AR apps that leverage mixed reality tech. For example, Amazon’s Product Preview lets shoppers visualize different TV sizes and brands in their homes, Lowe’s Vision accepts measurements to map out placement of kitchen appliances, and WayfairView helps consumers place new sofas and cabinets with their existing furniture. Gap plans to launch DressingRoom on Google Play at the end of the month, providing users with the ability to dress virtual mannequins with different clothing options. Continue reading Retailers Push AR Shopping Apps for Tango-Equipped Phones

Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Online shoppers are now expecting their purchases to be delivered faster and cheaper, and online retailers are scrambling to meet the delivery demands of today’s consumers. According to a Deloitte survey, only 18 percent consider the standard five- to seven-day shipping “fast,” while more than 90 percent consider same-day to two-day delivery “fast.” Many shoppers aren’t willing to pay more for fast delivery either. Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping service set a new standard for retailers. Continue reading Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Startups Offer New Possibilities with Interactive Video Tech

Brands are getting closer to the long-awaited “shoppable video” model that provides consumers with the ability to purchase items directly through their favorite TV show or online music video. Companies are developing interactive video technology that provides direct links to items within video content via a click or touch of the screen. Israeli startup Interlude, founded by musician Yoni Bloch, has raised $18.2 million so far. Cinematique, founded by CEO Randy Ross, has raised $5.4 million and has developed touchable video tech for numerous brand partners. Continue reading Startups Offer New Possibilities with Interactive Video Tech

Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

As concerns continue to rise regarding credit card theft and data breaches, Visa and MasterCard have separately announced new plans to increase the security of their customer data. The world’s two largest payment networks will expand their cybersecurity measures for online transactions through new tokenization and biometrics verification technologies. The announcements coincide with increased efforts by the federal government and numerous industries to combat future cyberattacks. Continue reading Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Major stores including Walmart, Gap, Rite Aid and CVS will no longer allow the use of Apple Pay. Instead, these companies are trying to push their own app, known as CurrentC, which would enable customers to pay directly with their checking accounts. CurrentC would save the retailers money on credit card transaction fees, but consumers seem to have already adopted ApplePay. In the first 72 hours of the Apple Pay launch, the service registered one million credit cards. Continue reading Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Major Retailers Continue to Downsize Due To Poor Earnings

Major retailers continue to downsize as a result of poor earnings, which could lead to the elimination of thousands of store locations. Most experts agree that much of the problems experienced by retailers can be attributed to Amazon’s success, with annual sales approaching $100 billion. Best Buy, Office Depot, RadioShack, Sears and Staples are among the major companies that have already announced the planned closing of multiple locations.  Continue reading Major Retailers Continue to Downsize Due To Poor Earnings

Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

Disney has launched the Future Internet Games Contest with Scotland’s Abertay University in an attempt to find games that blend physical and digital worlds. The contest revolves around three key areas. The first involves consumer products, which includes games based on fashion, toys, etc. The second area is location-based installations that intend to engage visitors with real world objects. The third is citywide games that encourage a large quantity of players to engage with the game in an urban environment. Continue reading Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

Cartoon Network Anything App to Experiment with Micro-Content

Cartoon Network plans to launch a “micro-network” later this year that will feature 15-second content bites that only play through a smartphone app. The purpose of these videos, polls, games and trivia is to deliver device-specific content. Unlike the current Watch Cartoon Network app, which requires a cable subscription, Cartoon Network Anything will be accessible to everyone. The short form content will be updated regularly to match consumers’ reduced attention span common during smartphone use. Continue reading Cartoon Network Anything App to Experiment with Micro-Content

Twitter: Branded Vines Shared More Than Branded Videos

Video tech company Unruly Media has released Vine metrics to coincide with the celebration of the mobile video app’s first 100 days. According to the research, five Vine videos are shared on Twitter every second and branded Vines are now four times more likely to be shared by users than branded online videos. Weekends are by far the most popular time to share Vines. To compile its report, Unruly Media collected data from more than 10 million Vines over a one-month period. Continue reading Twitter: Branded Vines Shared More Than Branded Videos

App & Mortar Economy: New Battle for Consumer Relationships

Instead of using the term “mobile commerce,” analytics provider Flurry describes “App & Mortar” trends in its new report about the rise in smartphone shopping. “This report confirms what we already knew about mobile commerce, but takes it a step further by figuring out who is benefiting the most right now from the trend. Surprisingly, it’s physical retailers,” according to AllThingsD. Continue reading App & Mortar Economy: New Battle for Consumer Relationships