Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatches Switch from Android to Tizen

Samsung recently announced it will make two follow-up smartwatches to the Galaxy Gear. The new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available just five months after the release of their predecessor. While most of the key specs are similar to the first Gear, the new models will have a 1.0GHz dual-core SoC of unspecified make, in contrast to the 800MHz single-core chip in the first Gear. The new battery will last twice as long, and most importantly, the next-gen smartwatches will run on Tizen rather than Android. Continue reading Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatches Switch from Android to Tizen

Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Samsung has become the largest smartphone maker worldwide without having many of its own retail stores. Since its growth has slowed while faced with a variety of cheaper models from rivals, Samsung is looking to expand its retail presence in North America and Europe. In the next few months Samsung is planning to open around 60 stores in Europe, and 90 kiosks in Canada. The company has no independent retail stores in the U.S., but teamed up with Best Buy last year to create 1,400 “store-in-store” kiosks. Continue reading Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

3D Systems, provider of 3D printing solutions, and toy and game company Hasbro have announced plans to co-develop creative, immersive play experiences “powered by 3D printing” for children. The partnership aims to commercialize play printers and platforms later this year, combining 3D Systems’ printing products with Hasbro’s portfolio of consumer brands. 3D Systems has been spending more on R&D, and recently announced plans to partner with Hershey to develop 3D printing tech to produce food items. Continue reading 3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, most mobile commerce took place via tablets in 2013, due primarily to the doubling of tablet ownership year-over-year. Javelin reports that $59.7 billion in sales were made from mobile devices last year, up from $20.7 billion the year prior. The study shows that $56.6 billion was made through a mobile site or app while $3.1 billion was made via a mobile POS. Tablets were responsible for $28.7 billion in mobile commerce. Continue reading Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon’s newest app feature will make it even easier to never have to leave your home to purchase media, gifts and common household goods. The new feature, “Flow,” will soon be available in Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, and it will allow users to simply scan any object with their iPhone camera and place an order for that specific product. The app does not require barcodes to work — just a clear image — and it takes less than 30 seconds to place an order. Continue reading Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

More Companies Turning to Video Analysis to Measure Big Data

When it comes to big data, video is being regarded as the next big thing to help collect — and help make sense of — information from consumers. At the Structure Data 2014 conference in March, techies and business people will come together to talk about how video can be used for things other than content creation and passive surveillance. Video analysis, for example, is becoming more widely used by retailers and companies to figure out consumers’ shopping habits. Continue reading More Companies Turning to Video Analysis to Measure Big Data

Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Apple is reportedly looking into ways to expand into a mobile-payments service that would go beyond the iTunes store. Down the line, it might compete directly with the likes of Google, eBay’s PayPal and Square, which have become ubiquitous in mobile payment processing for physical goods and services. For Apple, that would likely mean consumers would be able to use their iPhones or iPads to make in-store and online purchases with greater ease. Continue reading Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases

Millions of game consoles were sold in December, but the weak sales of game software came as a surprise. This has raised a troubling question about the health of the gaming industry. NPD Group reports that sales of new games at retail shops fell 17 percent to $1.31 billion while hardware sales rose 28 percent to $1.37 billion. The lean software sales have come despite the successful launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, that sold in record numbers after release. Continue reading Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases

ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

ComiXology, a digital comics platform that launched in 2009, sold 4 billion pages of comics through its iPad app last year, earning it the title of most profitable non-game app for the iPod for the third year in a row. That figure shows a drastic increase in sales since the launch of ComiXology, which has sold more than 6 billion pages of comics total. CEO David Steinberger says the considerable growth is due not only to long-time comics lovers moving over to digital versions, but new, first-time comics fans. Continue reading ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Although eBay is commonly known as an online auction house, CEO John Donahoe has made strides in moving beyond this perception by expanding eBay’s marketplace to include fixed prices with reliable and returnable goods. In the last five years, eBay has made 34 acquisitions which will help provide retail partners with creating interactive storefronts in real locations, help with the back end of websites, monitor inventory in real time, and streamline the electronic payment process.  Continue reading EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

More Retailers Tracking Shoppers with Sensor Technologies

Sensor devices used to track shoppers are becoming more commonplace in shopping malls this holiday season. The devices, often scattered through malls to identify shoppers’ movements, help retailers track how long people are waiting in line and pinpoint where they’re shopping. Some even use heat maps to show where within a store most people are gravitating. The Future of Privacy Forum estimates that approximately 1,000 retailers are using sensors. Continue reading More Retailers Tracking Shoppers with Sensor Technologies

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

Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Time Warner Cable is marketing a stripped-down, low-cost bundle ($29.99 per month) that includes HBO and a limited number of broadcast TV channels. The new package is targeting viewers who are not interested in paying for a traditional tier of cable channels. The “Starter TV with HBO” package features about 20 channels including local broadcast networks. The special pricing is available for the first 12 months, but does not include set-top box fees or other charges. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Polyvore Drives More Social Traffic Than Pinterest and Twitter

“Discover, shop, and express your style” is the slogan for Polyvore, an online global community that has created over 80 million collage-like “sets,” designed to give everyone a voice in shaping trends and influencing purchases. While it may not be a household name yet, the social network drives disproportionate amounts of social revenue. At 20 percent, it drives more social traffic than Pinterest (15 percent) and four times that of Twitter (5 percent). Continue reading Polyvore Drives More Social Traffic Than Pinterest and Twitter

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