'Desktop Apps' Category

E-Commerce Environment Still Facing Supply Chain Challenges

Posted by Neal Leavitt on January 31st, 2016 at 2:32 pm

No doubt about it, e-commerce continues to grow and while it represents a burgeoning share of total retail sales, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail,” noted Jeff Jordan of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.
eMarketer reported, for instance, that e-commerce growth by quarter was about five times that of store locations in 2013 and 2014.
Yet there are headwinds.
Market research firm Market Track said companies that want to succeed in e-commerce must operate successfully amidst these risk areas that could undermine snaring and retaining customers:
• Volatility – Prices changing with increasing frequency and predictability;
• Non-compliance – Pricing and promoting brands and products outside established guidelines;
• Illegal/illicit activity – Counterfeiting and unauthorized resale;
• Size/scope – More retailers, resellers and products available online than ever before.
JDA Software Group also conducted a survey of more than a thousand online U.S. - based shoppers last year. Of the approximately 35% who bought online and elected to pick up their purchases at a store, about 50% experienced problems in initially getting their purchases. Wayne Usie, a JDA senior VP, said it may suggest that retailers might find it challenging expanding their e-commerce... Read more

Internet of Things Upending Real Estate Industry

Posted by Neal Leavitt on December 26th, 2015 at 9:40 am

No matter if you’re a realtor or property manager, technology has redefined the real estate business over the past few years. And now the Internet of Things (IoT) is giving the industry a much-needed makeover – and all for the better.
One example – modelling. 3D printer technology can replicate models from computer-assisted design (CAD), photo montages and other established design tools. Urban Land, published by the Urban Land Institute, says by using architects and engineers’ original data, “real estate concepts and images can be visualized three-dimensionally for agents use in supporting customers’ reviews and decision making.”
And software applications, noted Urban Land, can facilitate making decorating and furniture decisions while construction is underway and during the entire occupancy life cycle:
“Over time, such apps could displace interior designers who will recast themselves as design coaches and logistics managers. Clients will browse the Internet and select their furniture, fixtures and equipment online, relying on the coach’s direction and follow-through to procure, supply and place the goods.”
Beacon technology, powered by Bluetooth, is now helping agents market homes. As reported by Meg White in REALTORMag, the official magazine of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), one example is an app created by... Read more

Marketing Baseball Cards: Bubble, Boom or Bust?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 30th, 2015 at 5:54 pm

“Say it ain’t so Joe!”

Those words were supposedly uttered by a small boy outside the Cook County (IL) Courthouse to ‘Shoeless Joe’ Jackson. He had just finished testifying to a grand jury; one of eight Chicago White Sox baseball players who allegedly took bribes allowing the Cincinnati Reds to win the 1919 World Series. Jackson was banned from baseball after the 1920 season but was found innocent in 1921 by a jury.
Debates have raged for 90+ years on Jackson’s guilt or innocence; his baseball cards, however, have stood the test of time. Currently on eBay, for example, you can buy a 1909 E90-1 American Caramel rookie for $10,999.95. If you’ve got some spare change hidden in the sofa, you can grab a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps Rookie RC #311 for only $38,795, also on eBay (with free shipping!). And in late April, a T206 Honus Wagner card sold at auction for $1.32 million.
While the market for certain types of baseball cards is still strong, a paucity of children and even teenagers at major baseball card shows in recent years appears to be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Baseball card prices have been falling in recent years... Read more

Emerging Technologies Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2015 Could Be Tomorrow’s Products

Posted by Neal Leavitt on August 20th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

SIGGRAPH has always served as a unique forum for an array of cool and innovative technologies and computer graphics approaches. Last week’s SIGGRAPH 2015 conference continued the trend.
This marked the 42nd conference and exhibition; SIGGRAPH reported that almost 15,000 attendees, partners and media from 70+ nations descended upon the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Kristy Pron, SIGGRAPH’s Emerging Technologies Program Chair said at this year’s conference, “we wanted to find technologies that can be applied to daily life, whether it will be tomorrow or in a few years. We also wanted to uncover practical emerging technology apps from various industries such as automotive.”
So here are a few examples that are still in the nascent stage but could have real-world applications soon:
SemanticPaint – A collaborative effort by Microsoft, the University of Oxford and Stanford University. The SIGGRAPH demo unveiled what the research team says is a “new and interactive and online approach to 3D scene understanding.” The system lets users simultaneously scan their environment and interactively segments a scene by “reaching out and touching any desired object or surface.” Users have continuous live feedback online. The researchers further stated that errors can be immediately corrected in the segmentation and/or learning, which... Read more

The Robot Swarm Is Upon Us

Posted by Neal Leavitt on June 28th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Exterminate, exterminate.”

-Briefing warning from the Daleks before firing their extermination rays on various "Doctor Who” episodes

What is one of the most well-known catch phrases on the long-running BBC series, “Doctor Who,” might eventually be uttered by a robot greeting you at your front door to take care of your termites.
Farfetched? Maybe right now, but a robot may soon be coming to your home to spray pesticides, clean your windows, and perhaps even tutor your kids.
ABI Research expects the global market for consumer robots to top $6.5 billion by 2017. BI Intelligence says the market for consumer and office robots will grow at a CAGR of 17% between 2015-2019, seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.
And some other key takeaways from BI Intelligence in their ‘The Robotics Market Report’:
• Three distinct categories will dominate the consumer/office side: home cleaning and maintenance; telepresence (i.e., telecommuting to events or remote offices) and advanced robots for home entertainment.
• The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets is making it easier to develop robots for consumer and office applications. The report says mobile devices offer designers the opportunity to ‘outsource’ computing and user interface tasks to companion devices, allowing developers... Read more