Google “Aero” Gets In On Home Services Market.

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Google has emerged (no surprise) as the next big player to take advantage of the growing restaurant and home services business. Last week, Google announced the launch of Google Aero, a new app that emerged in Mumbai and Bangalore, India, focused on allowing users to order food and schedule appointments with local service e providers (e.g. electricians, painters, cleaners.)

In this scenario, Google is basically brokering the dialogue between local advertisers and merchants and the consumers (a platform play), making it easier and more accessible to find what’s needed from any mobile device.

Google is already operating and scaling its rapid delivery service “Google Express” which is delivering items from Costco, Walmart, Petsmart, Whole Foods and more.   Google faces steep competition from Amazon who already is operating a Home Services  Business through which consumers and find and book local service offers.

Knowing these two, the battle will become big and aggressive, especially as Amazon looks to monetize more of the consumer traffic with Google like ad services.

Clear Coffee Launches In UK and Slovakia

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Clear coffee is apparently a possibility says the brother and co founder duo of Adam and David Nagy.

They have invented a way to remove the dark colored appearance of normal coffee, keep your teeth from endless staining, and still deliver you the full dose of caffeine you are looking for. The product is called Clr Ciff (or Clear Coffee with no vowels) and claims to be free of preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners and or stabilizers…in fact ingredients simply state water, coffee and caffeine.

Big question will be how people feels about adding milk to their clear beverage…making an even merkier looking beverage.  Consumers in UK and Slovakia will be first to find out

IKEA Gets Into Smart Home Market…Makes Total Sense

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Ikea is jumping on the smart home bandwagon by offering its own suite of smart home connected furniture. From floor lamps and light bulbs to backlight kitchen cabinets and TV stands, they are quickly helping to not only decorate the home, but empower it.

All of the various offerings are connected to your preferred device through an in home hub (called Zigbee) that uses essentially netowrks all devices via radio signals. You can program and control lights all from the comfort of your phone.

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You can quickly see how Ikea is morphing to meet the demand of the digital home by leveraging its significant foothold in consumer products to unlock future value for the brand and consumers.

 

Starbucks Goes Mobile Only For The Entire Experience.

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Starbuck’s is taking the next step in its journey to becoming the world’s best consumer driven, digitally advanced beverage company in the world.

Next week, their flagship café in Seattle will begin testing a mobile only concept…meaning you will only be able to order using the app. The experience will move from the traditional cattle corral approach to ordering to a streamlined pickup window model, greatly reducing the need for retail space and potentially enabling higher through put, given the efficiencies in mobile payments. You simply pick location, choose your selections and pay….the app will tell you where to pick up your order and when it should be ready…so no more waiting.

You can imagine how this type of business shift will enable Starbucks to drive more efficient supply lines, automate coffee production and reduce wait times and overcrowding (a nice problem to have)

“Spyfruit” could change the expectations of supply chain delivery

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Managing produce quality from farm to table has long been an issue for growers, manufacturers and ultimately distributors given the limited lifespan of a mature product. Given the dramtic advancements in sensors it seems like there must be a better way to use data and monitoring to drive higher quality.

A swiss company called Empa is looking to help manage the process using data and sensors to predict quality and freshness.

Essentially the concept is to place sensing devices (“spy fruit”) in produce boxes (and yes they look like the real thing) to measure temperature, density of packing (causes bruising) and quality of ride. These devices not only look like the real fruit, but they are made from material that makes them the same density…this is how you get to knowing how the fruit felt about its journey.

To date, the company has developed apples, oranges, mangoes and bananas. Devices are expected to cost somewhere around $50 USD to begin and can be used endlessly.

Adidas Taps Technology To Create Personalized Products

RTX31WBTAdidas is looking to breakthrough long design and production cycles by enabling on demand manufacturing…of sweaters (not shoes.) German fitness apparel company recently launched a pop up store in Berlin that allows consumers to design, manufacture and purchase a unique merino wool sweaters for ~$200 USD.

Here’s how it work… consumers set into a dark booth that projects a variety of pattern options and colors on the individual so they can get a sense for how it would look. They can then adjust for colors, styles, size and then place the order in the store. Instantly the robotic looms go into action and knit the sweater. Some elements appear to require a hand finishing, then the products are laundered, dried and packaged for delivery. The entire process takes about 4 hours start to finish. Memory of experience hopefully last longer.

While sweaters aren’t set to be the next breakthrough fashion trend, Adidas is tapping into localized manufacturing capabilities that enable them to maintain virtual shelves of products without having to retire expensive inventory.

This could radically change distribution models and place many traditional manufacturers at risk…something many industries are watching closely.

Amazon Private Labels Vitamins

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Amazon continues to stream roll its way across the eCommerce landscape, causing many brands and manufacturers to question how relevant they will remain in the future. In the past 3 months alone, Amazon has rolled out some 50 private label products. As you can imagine, just about every space or vertical is ripe for a potential entry by Amazon and as they scale they manufacturing capabilities, the chance of massive disruption is great.

Most recently, Amazon is rolling our private label vitamins and supplements. These products have been sourced by various 3rd parties who have produced part or all of the product. Amazon has made it easy for consumers to learn information about the product by adding a simply QR code to the side of each bottle which links to just about every piece of information you would want.

Distribution will be a combination of ecommerce sales and the potential for shelves at Amazon Go to be stocked with private label products as well. As you can imagine, there is a lot Amazon could potentially stock and distribute without carrying the burden of regulations by OTC offerings.

More to come, but definitely worth keeping an eye on.