Target has figured out omni-channel retailing
Target’s earnings numbers, released this week, exceeded forecasts and reflected same store sales growth of 3.4%. Target has perfected omni-channel retailing, which combines online shopping with in-store pickup or same day delivery through its Shipt offering. Yahoo! Finance
dis-rup-shun: Competition makes companies better, and Target refuses to be crushed by Amazon. Target has determined how to offer both the convenience of in-store shopping and meet the demands of those who want products the same day without entering the store. Expect to see other retail outlets emulate omni-channel retailing — hybrid brick and mortar and online model, and expect Amazon to more aggressively experiment with physical stores.
Bose returns to the leading edge
Bose released a surprise, the Portable Home Speaker, that is both a Bluetooth portable, as well as a Wi-Fi multi-room speaker with voice support from Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect. TheVerge
dis-rup-shun: Bose, the coveted speaker brand of the 80s and 90s, let Sonos create and dominate the market for Wi-Fi music as it focused on the highly competitive Bluetooth speaker market. Over the past two decades, two segments of digital music grew in parallel: the Sonos-centered middle market whole-home replacement market, using Wi-Fi to stream music throughout the house, and the low-end portable Bluetooth music player. Bose and Sonos are bridging these segments with products that can both stream via Bluetooth at the lake, as well as be members of the whole-house Wi-Fi music system back at home.
Huawei fires an AI salvo
Huawei, despite its ban by the Trump Administration, has released its NVidia killer AI chip set, called Ascend 910. The chip is designed for AI data centers that require fast processing of large amounts of data to quickly establish data profiles. The chip set will compete head on with Qualcomm, Intel and NVidia, among others. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Earlier this week Cerebras unveiled its giant, AI-optimized processor, signaling a new segment for silicon manufacturers who will serve cloud data centers, autonomous vehicles, drones and robots. Expect a host of similar offerings from Intel, NVidia and Qualcomm as they pursue this specialized category of microprocessors.
Google Photos enables text search in pictures
A new feature in Google Lens, part of the Google Photos app, enables one to search through pictures for text strings, then copy and paste the text using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: A number of expense tracking apps have long supported photos of receipts to input data, but this process relied in part on people to assist with character recognition. Greater ability to convert photos to text means students can snap pics of the whiteboard rather than write notes, product managers can circulate sensitive data from photos of competitors’ conference notes, and people can archive their photos by date, based on images of newspapers, magazines or other dated documents that may appear in the photo. Expect select word processing applications to offer a photo-to-text conversion feature.