tech innovation

Smarter (and Sexier) Wearable Tech Looks Beyond Early Adopters

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 1, 2014 10:45 AM

The world's biggest e-tailer is now in the wearable tech business. That's right: Amazon, that bellwether of all things retail/e-tail, just opened a Wearable Technology store this week, devoted exclusively to selling smartwatches, activity trackers, healthcare devices, wearable cameras—even trackers for your pet.

From top brands like Samsung, Jawbone, LeapFrog (yes, there are kid wearables) and GoPro, to brands-to-watch like Basis and Misfit, "Wearable technology is an exciting category with rapid innovation and our customers are increasingly coming to Amazon to shop and learn about these devices," says John Nemeth, Amazon's director of Wireless and Mobile Electronics.

Facebook just paid a staggering two billion dollars to acquire Oculus VR, the virtual reality startup whose Oculus Rift gaming headset resembles a scuba mask with a metal plate on the front, while Intel acquired smartwatch-maker Basis Science for $100 million and insiders say that Apple will bring its highly anticipated iWatch to market this year.

As the New Yorker observes, “Companies love the idea of wearable technology because that constant data stream would be a bonanza for marketers, measuring what people are doing every second, even while they’re asleep.” Consumers, however, are not flocking to bulky, strap-on devices as proven by hundreds of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatches that popped up on eBay a mere six months after launch.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Intel Sets its Sights on Mobile at MWC '14

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2014 12:33 PM

After a broad presentation at January's Consumer Electronics Show, debuting consumer facing products like a charging bowl, and some more in line with Intel's usual business in computing, the chip company has set out to make a global impression on the mobile market at Mobile World Congress. 

Intel is using the MWC 2014 stage to outline its product roadmap and broader strategy to gain a bigger piece of the mobile industry market in 2014, including the launch of a 64-bit Atom processor, previously code-named Merrifield, and a 64-bit mobile Atom processor, code-named Moorefield, both of which are key ingredients in next-generation smartphones and tablets.

Matt Dunford, global Chief Benchmarking Manager at Intel, said these improvements maximize overall performance above that of Apple's A7 chip in the iPhone 5S, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800, and the battery life is superior to both as well.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nestle, PepsiCo, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2014 09:08 AM

In the News

Nestle opens world's first Kit Kat boutique in Tokyo as Cadbury keeps fighting candy bar's trademark shape in UK.

PepsiCo axes stevia-sweetened Gatorade products as Mtn. Dew plans big spending boost behind Kickstart and Diet Dew.

Twitter makes racial diversity an ad-selling point.

AT&T plans to take orders this week for new flexible-screen smartphone from LG.

Build-a-Bear appoints new CMO and "brand bear."

Burger King wins free primetime Super Bowl radio ads in UK.

Facebook sees leveling off of decline in teens.

Ford embarks on quality push in time to improve before important '14 product launches.

Infiniti eyes bolder sub-brand.

Intel sells under-developed online-TV line to Verizon.

Jeep eyes 37 percent sales boost this year as feds end controversial recall investigation of Grand Cherokee and Liberty models.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: A-B InBev, Volkswagen, General Mills and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 20, 2014 09:35 AM

In the News

A-B InBev pays $5.8 billion for Korea's largest brewer.

Volkswagen goes on offensive to bolster US product lineup.

General Mills files patent to cut salt and fat in dough.

Chevrolet endangers effectiveness of Manchester United deal by pulling back from Europe.

Dropbox value hits $10 billion.

EPrize rebrands itself as HelloWorld.

GM runs risks in how much new CEO Barra is symbolic.

GMC undergoes an overhaul.

Geely dismisses any concerns about Volvo management.

Hongqi's revival efforts are dashed by low sales in China. 

IBM revives efforts to sell low-end server unit, likely to Lenovo.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, China Mobile, Cadillac and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2014 09:21 AM

In the News

HP sets to announce two large smartphones today.

China Mobile receives 1.2 million iPhone pre-orders.

Cadillac updates its crest. 

Axe strikes a more earnest tone in advertising.

Bud Light challenges football fans with digital gaming ad and prepares new tag line for A-B InBev's reduced Super Bowl effort.

Charter woos Time Warner Cable shareholders.

Coca-Cola releases interactive mini-bottles to honor World Cup.

Daimler wins as US Supreme Court throws out Argentine human-rights suit.

Dunkin' Donuts focuses on expansion and one-to-one marketing.

Facebook CEO calls Snapchat a "super interesting privacy phenomenon," and it makes inroads in Russia.

Fiat will give first batch of new Alfa Romeos to top-selling US dealers.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

CES 2014 Recap: Tech Connects to Get Up Close and Personal with Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 07:16 PM

As the International Consumer Electronics Show wraps up its annual spectacle in Las Vegas, it's difficult to make the call on who or what exactly 'won' CES 2014. With brands (and marketers) big and small from nearly every sector presenting impressive tech, it's hard not to call everyone a winner—especially consumers. 

Still, this year's show presented some key themes, the most apparent being "connectivity." As consumers adopt more technology into their lives, the task at hand is to now connect those technologies—create an ecosystem of sorts that allows for seamless control and enjoyment. 

On that front, the automotive and mobile industries made a strong showing at CES, where Google's Android unveiled the Open Automotive Alliance and connected-car platform with nearly 10 major automakers signed on, including GM, Honda, Audi and Hyundai. The Alliance, meant to develop connected-car innovations with the same standards, plans to see the first vehicle with Android integration by the end of this year. 

Similarly, AT&T announced its own connected-car platform and new AT&T Drive Studio in Atlanta, where the company will partner with developers to create specialized apps for automakers like Audi and Tesla. 

But the car wasn't the only environment to get the connected treatment.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

CES 2014: Small Gadgets Make Big Impacts on Day 3

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 9, 2014 08:17 PM

CES 2014's biggest trends, from Samsung and LG's curved TVs to Sony's 4K, wearables from Pebble and Razer Nabu, and high-tech cars and the connected home have already made their mark. On the next to last day in Las Vegas, the patina is fading, the crowds are thinning, but what’s left are the smaller, eye-catching and inventive products that could have profound impacts. 

Intel's broad CES presentation saw the chip company present a plan for wearables and devices, including a Smart Bowl wireless charger that pairs with Intel's new smart headset, Jarvis, and automatically charges devices when you drop them in. But the company didn't stray too far from its roots with the introduction of Edison, a PC shrunk down to the size of an SD card for digital cameras. Each Edison contains an Intel Quark dual-core processor, integrated WiFi and a Bluetooth radio, can run apps, and is small enough to be embedded in a coffee cup or Mimo’s wearable baby monitor.Continue reading...

rebranding

Intel Sheds Troubled McAfee Name in Antivirus Rebrand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 7, 2014 05:36 PM

John McAfee created an antivirus program that became the industry standard, making him an unbelievably wealthy man. But since splitting from the company in 1994, McAfee's wealth—and personal reputation—have taken a tumble, especially after he hid out in Belize while being considered a "person of interest" in a murder investigation—and blogged about it.

But McAfee's antics have also drawn some negative attention to Intel, which bought McAfee Inc. in 2010. Now, after grappling with McAfee's outspoken opinions and unruly actions, the company announced it will be officially rebranding the security software, devoid of McAfee's name. 

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the change at the Consumer Electronics Show, where Intel is busy unveiling new efforts in wearable tech. While the McAfee sheild logo will remain, the software—which will be made available for free on mobile devices—will now be known as Intel Security, a change that is estimated to take a year to implement.Continue reading...

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