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Aisle411 and Google’s Project Tango to create 3D maps of stores

BY Michael Fickes

San Francisco — Aisle411 on Wednesday announced a new functionality that will allow retail shoppers using Google’s Project Tango to search and navigate to product locations while getting rewarded in retail environments in a revolutionary new way.

Fully unveiled at the Google I/O Developer Conference on June 25, Google’s Project Tango is a new technology used for creating 3D maps of indoor spaces with the ability to show a user’s precise location and orientation within centimeters of accuracy. Aisle411 is leveraging the Project Tango technology and integrating it with its inventory searchable indoor maps for retailers. The combined solutions from Project Tango and aisle411 allow users to search and navigate to specific products in a 3D augmented reality experience inside the store. Users of aisle411’s in-store mobile marketing platform can also simultaneously discover personalized coupons, offers and rewards that “pop out” of the shelf along their in-store route, along with collecting loyalty rewards just for walking down aisles.

“We are thrilled to be working with Google’s Project Tango team to continue deploying mobile technologies that enhance the in-store shopping experience for shoppers,” stated aisle411 CEO Nathan Pettyjohn. “Today’s shoppers are engaged with their mobile devices while in store. They are smart and digitally savvy and in this highly competitive retail ecosystem, it’s critical for retailers that their shoppers have the right tools to keep them engaged in the shopping experience. This new application is a fun way to shop and is sure to engage anyone using it.”

Project Tango is a multi-partner effort with universities, research institutions and over 40 industry partners that builds upon over a decade of research in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a mobile platform. The performance of mobile processors are now just getting powerful enough to put this into the hands of consumers. Just one of the engagement features in aisle411’s initial app experience includes the opportunity for loyalty points to be earned when the user “walks through a particular aisle and collects points,” similar to a video game. Augmented special offers on the shelf can also then be “clipped” to the loyalty card.

The new Project Tango technology is being piloted in multiple locations with major retailers, including Walgreens, over the coming months all with unique 3D augmented reality indoor maps and other engaging in-store experiences. These stores will join more than 12,500 retailers across the United States that benefit from aisle411’s comprehensive in-store mobile marketing platform technology, the company stated.

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Walmart shows support of women-owned businesses with new logo

BY Michael Johnsen

Washington, D.C. — Walmart, along with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International, on Wednesday joined forces to establish a unique logo for retail packaging of products from women-owned businesses. The new logo will bring consumer recognition of products provided by women-owned businesses on store shelves both in the U.S. and international markets.

Women-owned businesses that are WBENC and/or WEConnect International certified will be eligible to display the logo on their product packaging. Walmart’s collaboration with WBENC and WEConnect International on the new logo is aligned with their overall strategy and focus on women-owned businesses.

"At Walmart we are committed to empowering women and impacting women-owned businesses from around the world-and so are our customers. In fact, we recently conducted a survey that found 90% of female customers in the U.S. would go out of their way to purchase products from women, believing they would offer higher quality," stated MiKaela Wardlaw Lemmon, senior director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at Walmart. "We hope our collaboration with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International will make customers around the world more aware of great products from women-owned businesses, and help these women continue to grow their businesses."

In September 2011, Walmart launched its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative, committing to source $20 billion from women for the U.S. business and to double sourcing from women internationally by the end of 2016.

Women-owned businesses contribute over $1.3 trillion dollars to the U.S. economy and women are responsible for more than 80% of the consumer decisions globally.

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Alibaba to list on New York Stock Exchange

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — China’s Alibaba Group Holdings plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, Bloomberg reported. In a filing on Thursday, the company revealed it will use the ticket "BABA."

Alibaba filed for its IPO in May. The online giant is looking to sell about a 12% stake, the report said. Experts have said it could be the largest U.S. IPO ever.

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