Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2014 02:03 PM
The wearable technology train has logged quite a few miles so far this year, making big stops at CES, Mobile World Congress and now SXSW, where two more unlikely players are entering the space.
“Wearable devices are the next frontier,” Steve Yankovich, VP innovation and new ventures at eBay, wrote in a blog post. “Personalization will be key for the future of mobile—creating seamless experiences for shoppers on the go." The e-commerce company, which also owns PayPal, hopes to be a portal for mobile payments on every type of screen, whether its on a smartphone, smartwatch, or other wearable device.
eBay and PayPal—who are at the center of an activist investor tug of war—were busy touting their smartwatch apps at SXSW for both Pebble and Samsung's Gear line, which was recently announced at Mobile World Congress and now includes the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Gear Fit. The apps were launched on Samsung's original wearable device, the Galaxy Gear, last year, so the apps have achieved a coveted spot as a "featured app" on the latest editions.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2014 12:58 PM
McDonald's just introduced a Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich and is testing new McCafe Petite Pastries for breakfast. But will either product save the chain's dough?
That's not likely after McDonald's posted the fourth consecutive month of declines in US same-store sales, a 1.4-percent drop in the market that the brand blamed on "challenging industry dynamics" as well as the severe winter weather that has slowed much of the American economy.
Neither is McDonald's offsetting its sluggish US performance with strong overseas sales as it once was capable of doing. Globally, sales declined 0.3 percent at locations open at least 13 months in February. In a region encompassing the Middle East, Africa and Asia, sales declined by 2.6 percent; there also was weakness in Japan and Australia. McDonald's said a change in the timing of the Chinese New Year also was a problem.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 11, 2014 11:47 AM
Famed fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger may be turning 63-years-old in a few weeks, but he's not exactly coasting toward retirement. Instead, he's heading off an entirely new business.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that Hilfiger “is negotiating to buy The Raleigh Hotel” in the South Beach area of Miami, which carries a reported $100 million price tag. “I’ve always wanted a hotel property,” Hilfiger said. “We’re going to turn it into a five-star chic hotel with all the amenities.”
The 74-year-old Art Deco hotel won't be Hilfiger's last, either. He has launched Hilfiger Hospitality, a venture centered around "fashion, art, music and entertainment." Hilfiger is reportedly pursuing unique properties in both US and international markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 11, 2014 10:52 AM
First came Google's driverless cars, and then Amazon’s drone-delivery experiment. Now Rolls-Royce is going much, much bigger on the unmanned front with the design of remote-controlled cargo ships.
Via a $4.8 million grant from the European Union to the Maritime Unmanned Navigation project, Rolls-Royce's Blue Ocean development team designed a remote-controlled cargo ship to help “solve some of the problems of crowded European waters and increasing environmental requirements,” Mashable reports. The unmanned ships are also a big cost-saver for obvious reasons—no staff to be paid, and no creature comforts like air conditioning and sewage needed, which can cost up to $3,000 a day.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2014 09:28 AM
Audi passes BMW in global luxury-auto sales race and predicts record sales.
McDonald's introduces Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich as US same-store sales decline for fourth month.
P&G and ConAgra sideline rivalry to promote end to childhood hunger.
Birds Eye touts its recipe-readiness.
Bud Light extends Super Bowl promo to March Madness.
Chobani may file for IPO, report says.
Draftfcb rebrands for integrated future, will just be called FCB.
eBay rejects Carl Icahn's board nominees.
GM faces congressional hearings over ignition-switch recall.
Google discloses $9.5 million in top-exec bonuses.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 06:42 PM
As more information and new reports of data hacks continue to pour in, striking major retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus and others, the US is becoming increasingly aware of the many dangers associated with using debit and credit cards
MasterCard and Visa, whose businesses are eroded every time a consumer’s information is stolen, have decided to take action and are leading an effort to form a “cross-industry group to improve security for card transactions and press US retailers and banks to meet a 2015 deadline to adopt technology that would make it safer to pay with plastic,” Reuters reports.
Other members of the group include credit unions, banks, retailers, and industry trade associations, which are initially pushing for the implementation of technology already used in Europe and Asia—EMV cards—which “store information on computer chips rather than on traditional magnetic strips, making them harder to counterfeit,” according to the wire service.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 10, 2014 05:37 PM
Ads on Instagram are about to get much more invovled thanks to a reported $40 million deal inked between Instagram and ad agency Omnicom (brandchannel's parent company) whose clients include Nissan, AT&T, Pepsi, Bud Light and more.
The agreement, which is essentially a "volume inventory buy that will include Instagram's current static promos as well as other emerging products," throws open the door for Omnicom brands to show promotional videos and pictures to Instagram users, part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s push to garner increased revenue from its mobile users who now comprise more than half of the social network’s ad revenue, according to Adweek.
Omnicom, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its merger with Publicis Groupe, forming the largest agency in the world, is set to fully exploit the mobile-social platform's growing ad business, which it introduced late last year with brands including Michael Kors, Ben & Jerry's and General Electric.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 04:43 PM
Comcast has set the TV world aflame in the last few years with its purchase of NBCUniversal and its yet-to-be-finalized deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. But there’s another industry that Comcast is looking to be a serious player in as well: theme parks.
Comcast, which already had $2.2 billion in revenue last year from its theme parks and resorts unit, isn’t shying away from horning in on the territory long dominated by Disney, either. The company's Universal Studios is “investing hundreds of millions of dollars into theme parks in California and Florida.” While it is investing in new attractions for its Universal Orlando Resorts, it also building “the largest hotel construction project in North America: [an] 1,800-room, 1960s-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort,” of which Comcast is sharing the bill with Loews Corp., the Philadephia Inquirer reports.
Six hundred of the rooms will open this month, with the rest scheduled to open by year's end. With that, Universal will have 4,200 rooms, a 75 percent increase from the 2,400 it previously boasted, but NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says the complex could have between 10,000 and 15,000 hotel rooms in time.Continue reading...