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tech innovation

How Moonshot Thinking Informs Everything Google Does

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2015 08:02 PM

While Google has a part of our daily lives, it never stops dreaming big.

From its futuristic new headquarters concept (all curved glass) to its Google X lab "moonshot" R&D projects including contact lenses that monitor glucose levels, Google Glass wearable tech, balloon-based Wi-Fi (Project Loon), drone delivery (Project Wing) and self-driving cars, there are few areas its engineers, developers and dreamers won't explore.

Some of those transformative innovations are becoming reality. As revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, its Project Loon Wi-Fi is getting close to launching (and could make billions), while it could launch driverless cars this year. Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Mobile World Congress: Johnnie Walker Smart Bottle Can Chat Up Your Phone

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 4, 2015 04:04 PM

Diageo Johnnie Walker smart bottle mobile world congress

Of all the unexpected companies and brands jostling at the 2015 Mobile World Congress this week, Diageo is likely not one of them.

The leading global drinks-maker is in Barcelona with a prototype for a JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL “smart bottle” that can communicate with users through NFC-embedded labels, a technology it developed in collaboration with Thinfilm. Not only will it send messages to your phone, it knows if the bottle hasn't been opened yet.

"Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future," commented Helen Michels, Global Innovation Director, Futures Team at Diageo.Continue reading...

retail

Target's $2 Billion Layoffs Savings Goal: Mobile, Hispanic and Smaller Stores

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2015 01:39 PM

Following a few rough years—think data breach and failed expansion into Canada—Target is aiming atputting itself back on track, but it will be at the expense of more than a few employees.

To help cut $2 billion from its costs in the next two years, Target CEO Brian Cornell told analysts on Tuesday that the retailer is going to send thousands of its employees packing, Reuters reports.

Those cuts will mostly come from the retailer’s US headquarters in Minneapolis and offshore, in India. In addition, the company will continue to try to find ways to bring more Millennials and Hispanics into its stores and online sales channels, including through targeted marketing, a greater focus on design and investments in mobile.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Pizza To Go: 5 Questions with Pizza Hut Chief Digital Officer Baron Concors

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2015 03:31 PM

There was a time when pizza chains battled over crusts, toppings and delivery times. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Pizza Hut and Domino’s demonstrated that today’s challenge is about who has the best "pizza tech"—making digital ordering quick, informative, intuitive and accurate, wherever the consumer might be.

Pizza Hut announced a new mobile initiative with Visa and Accenture to test mobile and online purchases in connected cars, while Domino's unveiled its smartwatch ordering app for Pebble and Android Wear.Continue reading...

retail

Whole Foods to Wall Street: We're Back—And Feeling Our Oats

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2015 11:01 AM

Whole Foods Market has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Austin, Texas, in 1980, to more than 400 stores in the US, UK and Canada today.

In the wake of positive response to its first ad campaign, "Values Matter," which debuted in the fall with the goal of highlighting its purpose, values and mission, Whole Foods is touting its renewed momentum—and explaining how it aims to make sure that 2014's letdown never happens again while tripling its store footprint to 1,200 locations.

With that in mind, Co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb, joined by new CMO Jeannine D'Addario, welcomed investors and analysts to the 2015 investors' day at company HQ in Austin on Friday to explain how Whole Foods is on the rebound, and how it plans to continue the momentum going foward. Continue reading...

going mobile

Domino's Brings Pizza Orders to the Smartwatch

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 2, 2015 02:22 PM

Domino's pizza smartwatch

Pizza-lovers can already order Domino's on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Kindle Fire mobile devices—even via in-car tech powered by Ford, not to mention at dominos.com.

Add smartwatches to its list of digital ordering innovations, as Domino's customers can now place and track their order by downloading an an app for Pebble and Android Wear smartwatches. 

In an announcement timed to Mobile World Congress, the move marks the first time that Domino's ordering is available on smartwatch technology.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Mobile World Congress: Google Confirms US Mobile Network Plan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 01:28 PM

Following weeks of rumors, Google confirmed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday that it plans to offer talk and data plans in a US wireless service that's now in development, using Google Fiber and Wi-Fi technologies.

When it comes to Google, of course, small doesn’t usually stay small for long. The brand plans to become a wireless carrier by launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), meaning it could buy access from “Sprint and T-Mobile networks and then sell cellular plans to its own customers,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps, told MWC attendees.

The goal, he added, isn't to compete against telecom incumbents such as AT&T or Verizon. Continue reading...

mobile brands

IKEA Turns IQIA With Mobile-Charging HomeSmart Furniture Collection

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 1, 2015 01:15 PM

Global home furnishings retailer IKEA announced its first home collection of wireless charging furniture at Mobile World Congress on Sunday.

A partnership with Samsung, the Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks aim to eliminate cable mess and make it easier to stay connected with always-charged mobile devices.Continue reading...

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