Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 06:45 PM
It's not exactly the USA versus the USSR over which country could get to the moon first. (Actually, the technology involved is, in many ways, more complicated.)
But the sudden rivalry between two coalitions of global automakers over fuel-cell technology will be an interesting and important struggle over the next few years. Which team — Daimler, Ford and Nissan, or BMW and Toyota — will be first to jointly bring an affordable, zero-emission car to market powered by hydrogen?
"We believe we were never as close to reaching a breakthrough in fuel-cell cars as today thanks to this partnership," said Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of research and development, according to Automotive News.
The age of mass-market, affordable fuel cell electric vehicles may soon be here thanks to a unique, three-way agreement among Nissan, Daimler and Ford. The three auto giants have joined forces to share Research & Development and investment for this next-generation, zero-emission technology.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 7, 2012 10:35 AM
Why is Microsoft at New York Fashion Week? It's on a digital date with Bloomingdale's, which has been getting increasingly interactive with its window displays to not only promote brands such as BMW, but even allowing passersby to stop and "try on" sunglasses or customize Havaianas flip-flops.
The intersection of fashion, retail and digital technology was highlighted in a co-branded Fashion's Night Out event Thursday night, where Microsoft and Bloomies invited #FNO-savvy fashionistas on Twitter to tag #MSBloomingdales to see their tags show up on the "Printing Dress" — a wearable computing concept (at left) that replaces pleats with tweets.
It's described as:
"a Microsoft Research project that explores the intersection of fashion and technology. This early prototype is an artistic installation that integrates computer components into a dress made almost entirely of paper. With an integrated projector, the dress showcases tweets in real time transforming the skirt into a real-time twitter display. The dress was presented and honored as “Best in Show” and “Best Concept” at the Design Exhibition at ISWC (International Symposium of Wearable Computers) in San Francisco 2011."
More details in the video below:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 11:58 AM
Smartphones can do plenty of things. Now retailers are going to put them to work for them. Don’t feel like waiting in line at Walmart? Get yourself an iPhone.
The retail and technology giants have partnered up to create an app that is now being tested, one that will allow consumers to scan goods onto their iPhones and pay for them in a self checkout line, Reuters reports.
Walmart already offers a mobile app (at right) that can scan barcodes and check prices, along with a shopping list and basket, so self-checkouts are a natural extension as the mobile wallet business takes off, along with its @WalmartLabs R&D team exploring social and mobile commerce products and digital innovations such as semantic search.
The retailer promised earlier this year that it would put in more self checkout lanes into its stores as well as Sam’s Clubs, the wire service notes. If the test works out, the test will likely expand beyond Apple devices to Android and other mobile platforms. Apple's former retail chief is also bringing mobile self-checkouts to his new employer, JCPenney.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2012 01:03 PM
Procter & Gamble is only in the beginning stages of what could be a long turnaround effort under CEO Bob McDonald. One promising step announced today: P&G is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help the consumer packaged goods giant make serious strides towards its sustainability goals.
The company announced that it will be working with the EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory "to develop new tools to optimize sustainability improvements in manufacturing facilities, and their associated supply chains."
The collaboration will focus on the pillars of P&G’s long-term environmental sustainability vision, announced in September of 2010: "Powering its plants with 100% renewable energy; Using 100% renewable materials or recyclate for all its products and packaging; Having zero consumer or manufacturing waste going to landfills; and Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2012 04:13 PM
It's hard to say which is cooler news out of IBM's research labs — the development of plastic ninjas to destroy deadly bacteria, or the news that it's testing augmented reality shopping, "like applying search or a personalized version of Google Goggles to the world of physical store shelves,” as Ad Age puts it.
IBM's mobile app acts like a personal shopping assistant, giving consumers personalized product information while they browse. Consumers download it, then input selection criteria, such as, a low-sugar, high-fiber breakfast cereal, then pan the shelves with their mobile device’s camera across the cereal shelf to identify products that match.
When the app recognizes a product, the AR technology overlays digital details on the image, such as price, ingredients, and discounts, even providing same-day coupons and loyalty points.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2012 03:37 PM
As Walmart battles the damage to its reputation in the wake of the Mexico bribery scandal, in the United States there's still nothing as golden for small vendors as getting a go on the shelves of Walmart stores across the country. With one deal, personal fortunes are made and entrepreneurial success stories are written.
That's why the sky is now the limit for a trio of startup brands that won valuable shelf-space via Walmart's first "Get on the Shelf" crowdsourcing contest: HumanKind Water, Plate Topper and SnapIt Eyeglass Repair Kit.
More than 4,000 inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses entered the contest with video submissions for products ranging from household wares and children's toys to organic food and green items, Walmart said in a press release. The winners' products will be carried on Walmart.com and at Walmart stores in the United States.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 25, 2012 05:15 PM
PepsiCo executives Ian Noble, Senior Director for Breakthrough Foods, and Nick Aiello, Innovation Chef, PepsiCo Europe, discuss the company's innovative approach to R&D and how the partnership with the "world's greatest chef" — El Bulli founder Ferran Adrià — is helping the company develop new methods and concepts for creative food innovation. PepsiCo announced a formal partnership last year with the Spanish gastronomic genius, who is helping PepsiCo not only develop flavors and techniques but healthier options in its snacks portfolio of brands.
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2012 01:44 PM
Some consumers will go to great lengths to find natural foods and ingredients that may unlock some long-lost secrets of nutrition and health. That's why you can find quinoa in every Whole Foods Market and loaves of bread based on biblical recipes.
Now, Unilever wants to put a corporate spin on that kind of a pursuit. The Dutch CPG giant has launched a scientific consortium that aims to identify nutritionally valuable varieties of fruits and vegetables from the past in order to produce natural health ingredients today. They're going to look at everyday foods such as apples, mangos, bananas, onions and tea for some of these hidden treasures.
"We have been studying what the paleolithic diet was like for a few years now in the Unilever labs, and just recently we realized that in ancient times not only did man eat a lot of plants, but additionally the plants themselves would have been very different in both appearance and nutritional value," Mark Berry of Unilever UK's R&D unit told Foodnavigator.com.Continue reading...