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Amazon's Treasure Truck takes to Seattle's streets

Amazon will debut its Treasure Truck in Seattle on Saturday, bringing a variety of products directly to shoppers, who can track down the truck via Amazon's mobile application. The retailer's truck brings "flash sales" to consumers by pulling shoppers to the truck's location instead of delivering to a doorstep. "It's all about getting as close to customers as they can get," said Victor Anthony, an Axiom Capital Management analyst. Bloomberg (6/25)

Video pros talk HDR, 4K UHD at CE Week
The future of high dynamic range viewing and 4K Ultra HD depends on more than just "peak light" -- it depends on factors such as ambient light, contrast ratio, power consumption and a common file format, a panel of video professionals said at CE Week in New York City on Tuesday. "Because contrast ratio goes down as ambient light goes up, I would like to propose that high dynamic range have to do with contrast ratio and not absolute light output," said Joe Kane, a founder of the Imaging Science Foundation. HD Guru (6/25)

Kenwood rolls out receivers for CarPlay, Android Auto
Drivers who have older cars that aren't equipped with Apple's CarPlay or Android Auto can purchase aftermarket receivers to enjoy these infotainment features. Kenwood released two receivers that allow users to switch between Android Auto and CarPlay without changing settings. Digital Trends (6/25), Ubergizmo.com (6/24)

ISPs, manufacturers to make network equipment more energy-efficient
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the Consumer Electronics Association have reached a voluntary pact to make modems, routers and other small network devices more energy-efficient. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and other Internet service providers are joining the pledge alongside top equipment manufacturers, including Arris and Cisco. "With Americans continuing to connect more devices to their home networks, reducing the energy footprint of Internet equipment is an industry priority," said NCTA President Michael Powell. Broadcasting & Cable (6/25), Light Reading (6/25)

Netflix eyes India's rapid-growing Internet user base
Netflix will launch streaming services in India on its way to expanding to 200 countries by the end of 2016. India is the fastest-growing market in terms of Internet users, with 63 million people getting connected for the first time last year, data from the 2015 Internet Trends report indicate. The country is said to have 240 million people online. Time.com (6/25)

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us."
-- Ashley Montagu,
anthropologist

 

Report: Apple Watch may have a better first year than the iPhone did

Apple's first iPhone garnered more initial consumer interest than the Apple Watch has, but the smartwatch may be holding interest better than the first iPhone did. One report says the Apple Watch could top the original iPhone in first-year sales. Ubergizmo.com (6/24)

Exec: HP preparing "seamless" transition ahead of split
Hewlett-Packard's partners "will see no business interruption" during the company's split, and increasing sales to small and midsized businesses will be a focus, executive Sue Barsamian says. "Our collective opportunity together for the SMB market is to bridge where their IT is today and where their business needs their IT to be tomorrow," Barsamian says. Channel Partners (6/22)

CES Call for Speakers closes on June 30
Don't miss your chance to share your vision and experience at CES® 2016. The CES conference program, consistently ranked as a top speaking opportunity for CEOs, features 800 industry speakers addressing the latest industry trends, strategies and upcoming business opportunities. Visit CESweb for all the details. Call for Speakers closes June 30, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Don't delay, apply to be a CES speaker today.

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."
-- Arthur Miller,
playwright

Ily Internet-connected device aims at family communication
Insensi has introduced the $200 Ily, an Internet-connected device designed for long-distance family communication. Paired with a smartphone application, the device has an 8-inch touch screen, camera, microphone, speaker and separate handset for making calls. TechCrunch (6/23)

Google brings ads to free version of Google Play Music
Google has launched an ad-supported version of Google Play Music that allows consumers to try the online music streaming service for free. Accompanied by the tagline, "Free music for everything you do," the service is available on the Internet and will soon be rolled out to Android and iOS devices. MediaPost Communications/Search Marketing Daily (6/23), Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (6/23)

CEA forecast factoids -- Drones
Drones have become a niche market for the consumer electronics industry with the global market expected to approach $130 million in revenue in 2015, which would be an increase of more than 50% from 2014. Unit sales are expected to approach 425,000, an increase of 65% over 2014. According to CEA's semi-annual industry report, U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts, consumers are responding favorably to new technology categories, including unmanned aerial vehicles. To learn more, visit CE.org.

"The intellect of the wise is like glass: It admits the light of heaven and reflects it."
-- Augustus Hare,
writer

Philips touts Quantum Dot monitor
Philips is the first to bring Quantum Dot technology to PC monitors, Brad Jones writes. The 27-inch Phillips 276E6ADS will hit shelves in the U.S. and Europe this summer and is on sale in China. Digital Trends (6/20)

Brown University immerses students in VR "Cave"
Brown University has opened its $2.5 million 3D virtual-reality room called the "Yurt," which enables students to interact with and explore science and arts applications with 3D virtual objects inside the dome. Computer science professor David Laidlaw, who headed the project's design, said the VR "Cave" is meant to be a place to experiment with the future of VR and "accelerate science." The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (6/20)

Apple News app gives publishers tools to shape content
Tools on tap in Apple's upcoming News application will allow publishers to customize the viewing shape of their content, which will be loaded in the app itself and ready to go, eliminating load times. Chris Handy provides a step-by-step analysis of how it will work. HubSpot.com (6/22)

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
writer and statesman

Taylor Swift sways Apple to pay artist royalties from the get-go

Apple now plans to pay royalties during its free three-month trial to artists for content streamed via the Apple Music platform, thanks largely to Taylor Swift, who said she would otherwise withhold her music. Apple Music is set to launch June 30. "Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation," Swift said. Bloomberg (6/22)

EPIX, Starz expand TV Everywhere apps
EPIX and Starz have each expanded their TV Everywhere applications. EPIX unveiled an app for Google's Android TV system that features live streams from four networks, a wide selection of video-on-demand titles and movie trailers. The Starz app, which includes about 300 movies and more than 150 episodes from original series, is now available on the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick. Multichannel News (6/19), Multichannel News (6/19)

Intel gives Android users a remote control for their PCs
TheNextWeb.com (6/22)

Google may have plans to eliminate app downloads

A future in which applications can be streamed from the cloud may be in the works at Google, which has confirmed last year's purchase of startup Agawi, a company that specializes in app streaming. Google has said little about the move, but news reports note the company may be in a position to shake up the existing app ecosystem. Ubergizmo.com (6/18), International Business Times (6/19)

How virtual reality could reshape retail
The introduction of virtual reality headsets to the consumer market this year could bring new changes in retail that allow shoppers to transport to places around the world and try out products before they buy. Cost to add VR technology to a store will start at around $5,000, according to Sanjay Mistry of VR software company Unity. Reuters (6/22

"When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective."
-- George Marshall,
military leader

Wearables shipments are set to soar, IDC projects

Shipments of wearable devices including headsets, smartwatches and activity monitors are expected to grow 173.3% this year from 2014 to an estimated 72.1 million units, according to IDC. The gain is credited to products such as Apple Watch and Hololens, as well as lower-cost options by Fitbit and Xiaomi. Ubergizmo.com (6/18)

"If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business."
-- B.C. Forbes,
financial journalist

Retailers embrace tablets as the new cash register

Retailers are reporting faster, easier and more consumer-friendly perks of switching from traditional point-of-sale systems to tablets. Jeff Davidson of small business Davidson Business Equipment says tablets are the biggest industry shift he's seen since the introduction of digital point-of-sale machines. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (6/18)

Microsoft makes new Lumia phones available in the U.S.

Microsoft is importing a pair of Lumia smartphones to the U.S., with Verizon Wireless now selling the sub-$200 Lumia 735. AT&T will introduce the Lumia 640 XL next week for about $250. T-Mobile US also will sell that phone, with its prepaid service, MetroPCS, reportedly set to charge $39 for it. Re/code (6/18), PCWorld (6/18), International Business Times (6/18)

Jaguar Land Rover touts Mind Sense to decrease distracted driving
Jaguar Land Rover said it is researching advanced safety technology including a product called Mind Sense, which will monitor drivers' brain waves to reduce accidents caused by tired or distracted driving. The system, which is not in production yet, will monitor drivers' alertness, and provide audio and tactile warnings when it senses the driver is not paying enough attention to the road. Mashable (6/18)

Samsung goes global with Wireless Audio 360 speakers
Samsung is expanding into global markets with its dinosaur egg-shaped wireless speakers, featuring "Ring Radiator technology," which Samsung executive Jurack Chae says achieves "non-directional, omni-directional" sound. Samsung hopes to carve out a piece of the worldwide wireless audio market, which company research found is growing 30% per year. CNET (6/18)

Intel purchases Recon, adding to wearables portfolio
Intel said it has purchased Recon Instruments and will fold it into its New Devices Group. "Going forward, we'll continue leading the smart eyewear category for sports, and we'll be able to bring our technology and innovation to completely new markets and use cases where activity-specific information, delivered instantly, can change the game," Recon CEO Dan Eisenhardt wrote in a blog post. PCWorld (6/17), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/17)

What is Next for Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is advancing quickly into new areas. IHS provides comprehensive research on advantages and challenges, revenue forecasts, unique features, and long-term developments in wearable technology. Please take a look at this free whitepaper on Wearables and Glucose Monitoring to see an example of the depth of our coverage.

LG's Minibeam Nano projector is designed for portability
LG's Minibeam Nano weighs a little more than half a pound and can wirelessly connect to a smartphone and enlarge pictures and videos up to 100 inches on a flat surface, which makes it portable, LG says. Ubergizmo.com (6/17)

Nest debuts Dropcam-inspired WiFi security camera
Nest will begin shipping its Wi-Fi security camera, the "Nest Cam," next week, with prices starting at $199 plus $10 to $30 per month for storing recorded video in the cloud. The Nest Cam shoots 1080p video and will work with older Dropcams from the company Nest purchased to help make its new security solution. TechCrunch (6/17)

Microsoft appoints leadership team for restructuring

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has appointed a 12-person leadership team to oversee the restructuring of the company into three engineering groups: Windows and Devices, Cloud and Enterprise, and Applications and Services. Executive Stephen Elop will leave the company, and Windows head Terry Myerson will assume more responsibility. The VAR Guy (6/17), Reuters (6/17)

BlackBerry 10 links to Amazon Appstore in U.S.
BlackBerry is addressing its relative dearth of applications with an operating system update for its BlackBerry 10 phones that opens access to the Amazon Appstore. The update was previously available in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia and is coming to the U.S. over the next few weeks. Ubergizmo.com (6/17)

Project aims to bring augmented reality to smartphones
Marketers will have broadly expanded advertising horizons with technology being developed with funding from NSF, Nokia and Google. The OverLay project will provide augmented-reality software that enables smartphones to use their cameras and other capabilities to sense a user's surroundings in real time and display relevant information.

Apple Pay avoids loyalty plan to favor ubiquity
Apply Pay is not offering a loyalty program, which may help build mobile-payment usage by relying on those best positioned to encourage it -- the retailers themselves -- writes Evan Schuman. "The rationale for avoiding an Apple Pay-led loyalty play is a healthy long-term mobile payment market needs to feel constantly present, just like plastic payment cards today," Schuman writes. PaymentsSource (6/18)

5 key findings about the Chinese consumer technology market
China is poised to become the largest economy in the world and for many international companies is an untapped opportunity. In fact, Chinese consumers last year reported spending more than $1,200 USD on consumer electronics during the previous 12 months -- 64% higher than the average online U.S. household. CEA has released new market research findings about the opportunity and growth of consumer tech in China. Read about the five key findings on the CEA Blog.




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