When Best Buy Co. (BBY) said yesterday it was closing 50 big stores and opening 100 smaller ones, the world’s largest electronics retailer was adjusting to reality: The era of big-box retail dominance is coming to an end.
The new mantra is small box. While Best Buy, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Target Corp. (TGT) are still opening large stores, all are putting increasing emphasis on smaller ones. Best Buy plans to double the number of its smaller Best Buy Mobile stores by 2016. Wal-Mart is building as many as 100 small-format stores this year, while Target is opening five CityTarget locations.
After 50 years of putting mom and pops out of business, big-box retail is having a mid-life crisis. A slow economy has hurt same-store sales, narrowing margins at big stores. Meanwhile, consumers, armed with price-comparison technology, are visiting more stores seeking deals or exclusive merchandise rather than making one-stop, fill-the-cart excursions.
For a new film festival in Thailand called Film on the Rocks Yao Noi, an outdoor cinema was constructed in the most unlikely of places: right on top of the water. And it just might be the most amazing place you could ever want to watch a movie.
The amazing venue is called the Archipelago Cinema and is tucked away inside a bay surrounded by towering island rocks and lush jungle plants. It's a natural paradise, and it just happens to be the perfect spot for a floating movie theater. The lagoon itself is shallow enough that it turns into a watery beach during low tide. Once the tide shifts, the ocean once again fills the area.
Christie® MicroTiles® are drawing rave reviews at the recently remodeled University of Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 15,500-seat arena is the home of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes men\'s and women\'s basketball teams, as well as the university\'s wrestling (winner of 23 NCAA championships - including 11 straight starting in 1975), men's and women's gymnastics, and volleyball teams.
Located in the main lobby of the new entrance, the 10 wide (13 feet 4 inches) by 7 high (7 feet) Christie MicroTiles array greets Hawkeye fans with commissioned video art, slideshows and graphics of upcoming events, and videos of current players and alumni of the college powerhouse.
"We collaborated with KJWW Engineering on this project and originally there was another brand of traditional LCD-type video wall that was supposed to go in there,\" said Nate Lawrence, vice president of operations, Electronic Communications Systems (ECS). "We saw the Christie MicroTiles and thought this renovation project would be a good application for them. ECS has done a lot of video walls and we were really excited to get this new technology in there."
When you walk into the home, you're greeted by "Grace," a disembodied voice named after computer pioneer Grace Hopper. Grace gives you a rundown on what's happened since you left, including the news that your electric scooter will be charged in 37 minutes, your daughter got an A on her math test, and you have four voicemail messages.
Microsoft envisions a near-future where everything is connected to the cloud. That means your home will learn a lot about you, including your routine. It can remind you to take your medicine and automatically send a message to your relatives if you do anything out of the ordinary like come home early or leave your doors unlocked.
Hundreds of tiny sensors are located throughout the home, tracking everything from whether your suit is at the cleaners to when a plant needs more light. Knowing what's in your fridge and pantry, the home suggests a suitable recipe, which Grace can read out while you cook.
According to a new market research report, “The global 3D technology, products and applications market is expected to reach $227.27 billion in 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 15.81% from 2011 to 2016. North America will remain at the top followed by Europe and APAC. Gaming and animation will be leading application areas in 3D industry..marketsandmarkets.com), the total market is expected to reach $227.27 billion by 2016, at a CAGR of 15.81%.
Three Dimension (3D) technologies has now commercialized in most of the products and applications such as Smartphone, TV, Animation, Gaming, Medical imaging etc. After the success of ‘Avatar’, numbers of producers are releasing their movies in 2D as well as 3D version. Thus, 3D cinemas have become the additional revenue generator for cinema producers.
Products like 3D Smartphone, 3D printer, 3D gaming consoles etc. are latest 3D technology based products, which have just been launched and are yet to capture the market, but as 3D market is progressing rapidly, these products are expected to perform better in near future.
Eight in ten US broadband households have installed a home network, with nearly 40% of home network routers located in residents’ primary living rooms, more than twice the number installed in home offices, according to a new report from TDG, The Diffusion Group.
The number of broadband-networked US households installing home network routers in their living rooms increased 26% in the last year, from 30% in 2010 to 38% in 2011. Conversely, the number installed in home offices declined 30%, from 26% in 2010 to 18% in 2011, according to TDG’s “The CE and PC Ecosystem of the Broadband Household: 2012.”
“The migration of home network hardware from the ‘home office’ to the primary living space offers both functional and figurative insight,” notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. “TDG noted in 2005 that, driven by the incessant desire to optimize their entertainment experiences, consumers would progressively place their network access point adjacent to key net-enabled video entertainment platforms such as game consoles, disc players, and DVRs. In 2012, this is precisely what we observe and most would acknowledge. The meaning of this shift, however, remains lost on the majority of observers.”
Rapid Displays has debuted its new intelligent shopper recognition software platform that identifies gender and age group. The software can be integrated into a kiosk to allow retailers to identify who is viewing their ads and then tailor the message accordingly.
The technology also tracks analytics, including who saw the media and how long they dwelled in front of the display, said Alan Foshay, vice president of business development for Rapid Displays.
"It will allow brands and retailers to actively evaluate in real time who's actually watching, what they're watching, how long they stay there, and if that's proving to not be the target they anticipated they can instantly change that content."
The Atlantic Technology WA-5030 Wireless Transmitter/Amplifier System combines a brand new WA-5030-r zone amplifier and wireless receiver with the company's proven three-zone WA-50-t wireless transmitter. The WA-50-t transmitter can be sourced from any RCA analog audio line outputs or to a Mac or PC via a built-in USB connection. It broadcasts lossless, uncompressed CD-quality digital audio with a 48 kHz sampling rate over on the 2.4 GHz radio band. The wireless technology is highly robust with no data drop issues and essentially no time delay over distances of 150 to 300 feet depending on intervening structures. A three-position zone switch on both the transmitter and receiver allow up-to three separate WA-5030 systems to be used in close proximity to each other.
The system's WA-5030-r receiver/amplifier contains a matching 2.4 GHz RF section, digital-to-analog converter, and a high-quality 30-watts per channel stereo power amplifier. The receiver is is suitable for driving most compact bookshelf or in-wall/ceiling 8-ohm speakers to high sound levels with low distortion. The WA-5030-r also comes with an infrared wireless remote control, to allow users adjust volume and to mute the system. WA-5030-r can also be programmed to drive speakers in the bi-amp mode or to drive speakers in a commercial or distributed audio system.
Finding the perfect fit so clothing conforms to a person's unique body shape is at the heart of the Bodymetrics Pod. Developed by Bodymetrics, a London-based pioneer in 3D body-mapping, the Bodymetrics Pod was introduced to American shoppers for the first time today during Women's Denim Days at Bloomingdale's in Century City, Los Angeles. This is the first time Kinect for Windows has been used commercially in the United States for body mapping in a retail clothing environment.
Bloomingdale's, a leader in retail innovation, has one of the largest offerings in premium denim from fashion-forward brands like J Brand, 7 for all mankind, Citizens and Humanity, AG, and Paige. The Bodymetrics services allows customers to get their body mapped and find jeans that fit and flatter their unique shape from the hundreds of different jeans styles that Bloomingdale's stocks.
During Bloomingdale's Denim Days, March 15 - 18, customers will be able to get their body mapped, and also become a Bodymetrics member. This free service enables customers to access an online account and order jeans based on their body shape.
Beijing - Television manufacturer TCL said Friday that its Shenzhen-based China Star Optoelectronics Technology subsidiary has developed the world's largest 110-inch 4K HD 3D LCD screen.
The company formally launched the technology at a recent ceremony here by donating two of the mammoth screens to the Great Hall of the People for public display.
"The successful launch of the world's largest 110-inch screen once again proved TCL's research and development capabilities," Li Dongsheng, TCL chairman and CEO, said. "Not only will TCL benefit from the development of this breakthrough technology, all TV manufacturers in China and overseas, will be able to capitalize on this revolutionary product design."
There was no word yet on plans to introduce the LCD in the U.S. or how much the set will cost.
Digital Signage Expo® (DSE), the world's largest and longest running International Conference and Tradeshow dedicated exclusively to digital signage, interactive technology and digital out-of-home networks (DOOH), today announced that its ninth show held last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center has officially shattered previous records, set a new attendance milestone and reinforced DSE's position as the digital signage industry's preeminent show.
While additional specifics will be forthcoming, show management has just confirmed that new all-time benchmarks established last week include:
*4,024 qualified attendees (excluding exhibitors) - a 9% increase over 2011
*Record conference attendance
*Record international attendance from a total of 69 countries
*Record exhibit sales: 62,440 net square feet - a 4% increase over 2011
Cutting edge visual displays and content creation and management systems were showcased last week at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.
For restaurants, the largest takeaways included a look behind best practices and usage at Dairy Queen and Wendy’s, where operators said digital menu boards and supporting technologies have increased sales, helped drive consumers to specific, margin-friendly items and helped inventory management.
“I get goose bumps thinking about it,” said Sue Culver, vice president of retail merchandising for International Dairy Queen, while discussing the potential of digital signage to more easily manage the presentation and promotion of 47 different menu types that exist for the chain’s DQ Grill & Chill, Brazier and “Limited” concept variations.
Kaleidescapes movie servers allow user to copy DVD (but not Blu-ray) content to their server’s hard disk for playback with the Media Server. Even though this content cannot be copied to another location, the DVD CCA claims this is in breach of its contract with the DVD CCA. Kaleidescape and its agents and distributors cannot continue to sell the product and the courts agree. Moreover, Kaleidescape cannot provide any support related to the Content Scramble System (CSS) copy-protection scheme.
If this becomes a legal precedent, the DVD CCA could go after any vendor that creates a product allowing the ripping of DVD’s. This could be the shot in the arm that Project Phenix and UltraViolet need. Ultraviolet allows a digital copy to be freely copied and played on registered players and the new Project Phenix will create and license solutions that secure high definition and other premium copyright-protected content on local and portable hard drives, and flash memory products such as USB flash drives, SD™ cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs). Of course, industry-wide buy would be required and two big players (Apple and Disney) are not on-board.
In related news Walmart today announced its new Disc to Digital service for UltraViolet: http://hometoys.com/news_detail.php?pr_id=19998617
Stephen Gillett, the Starbucks chief information officer who revamped the retailer's technological approach to selling coffee, is joining electronics giant Best Buy. The 36-year-old former college football player is charged with no small task: helping Best Buy go up against Amazon while continuing to sell products in brick-and-mortar stores.
Gillett joins Best Buy (BBY) Monday as president of the company's digital business, including its online stores, as well as replicating the information-systems responsibilities he held at Starbucks (SBUX). At the Seattle coffee company Gillett was instrumental in offering free wireless Internet service to customers as well as allowing payment by smartphones. The moves were credited with being a part of the rejuvenation of the customer experience at Starbucks under CEO Howard Schultz. In recognition of his efforts, Fortune named Gillett to its list of 40 top executives under age 40 in 2010.
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