Over the last year eBay’s brand has struggled a bit. It was hit with a massive security breach and announced that it was spinning out PayPal, a divorce precipitated by the overwhelming investor sentiment that eBay was holding PayPal back. Still, the company has shown steady growth and profit, giving it the breathing room it needs to try and reinvent itself. Its newest adventure takes eBay into the world of offline retail: a partnership with the designer Rebecca Minkoff for new “smart stores” in New York and San Francisco.
Walking into the store, shoppers are greeted with massive mirrors that double as touchscreens. They can browse the aisles the old-fashioned way, or swipe through the store’s inventory. Rather than lugging an armful of clothes to the dressing room, you simply tap the items you want to try on. When everything is ready to try on, you get a text alert. Oh, and feel free to order a drink while you’re at it.
After successful results from its Smart store concept in Al Ain Mall, Etisalat has announced that it will open 20 more such outlets across the UAE. The Etisalat Smart store was initially opened in Al Ain earlier this year, and has thus far been a major success, the telecommunications company says.
The tech giant acquires the open platform for smart home devices to “improve the convenience and services in people’s lives”.
Samsung is treading deeper into the Internet of Things with the announcement Thursday that it has agreed to acquire SmartThings, an open platform for smart home devices.
“This idea of connected homes or smart homes is something Samsung has been thinking about for years,” David Eun, head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, or OIC, told CNET. “It became obvious to us [that] this idea of creating a really open platform and making it truly global was absolutely what the industry needed.”
The idea of the acquisition is to pair Samsung’s resources with SmartThings’ platform so that the two can boost innovation in the Internet of Things. Companies across the tech and home-appliances sector, not to mention startups, are working on products that allow devices to talk to each other and connect to the Internet. Smart appliances allow people to do everything from turn on their air conditioners using a smartphone to remotely close the window blinds in their homes.