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Cole Haan offers omnichannel shoe customization

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Cole Haan is opening The Driver Shop in six retail locations, offering personalization of the driving moccasin with several accessories in dozens of colors. In stores, accessories are available at stations where on-site "mechanics" will outfit Cole Haan Drivers to customer specifications by appointment or while customers wait, or they can return later to pick them up.

The Driver Shop is available online and the customization service is available at Cole Haan flagship stores in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta, as well as other select locations. Cole Haan is encouraging customers to visit The Driver Shop, then share a picture on Facebook or Instagram @ColeHaan, using #TheDriverShop for a chance to be featured as the weekly “Style Driver.”

"In a world obsessed with purely digital customization, we took a unique analog approach to creating an experience for our customers to have some fun and create their very own personal driving shoes," said David Maddocks, chief marketing officer of Cole Haan.

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Tobii Glasses releases wearable consumer research device

BY Dan Berthiaume

Stockholm, Sweden – The Analysis Division of Tobii Technology is launching Tobii Glasses 2, a wearable eye-tracking research system in the world. Based on a new, proprietary, wearable eye-tracking platform from Tobii that will support research and consumer applications, Tobii Glasses 2 offers wireless live viewing.
Key new features of Tobii Glasses 2 include:

• Live View: Provides a live viewing feature that allows researchers to watch a video stream of exactly what a person is looking at, wirelessly and in real time on any Windows 8 tablet, while moving around freely in any environment.

• True View: Equipped with a wide-angle 1080p HD scene camera and four eye cameras, all built into a thin frame. This enables eye tracking of the “true view” of what participants see in large gaze angles, including peripheral sight. This feature, unique to Tobii Glasses 2, makes it possible to conduct studies of activities that naturally involve peripheral viewing, such as driving.

• Flexible Mapping: Offers a new flexible manual mapping tool that reduces time for coding videos with gaze data. This feature helps researchers more quickly and easily aggregate and process data from multiple participants related to specific objects in the study environment, such as a store shelf or a second screen.

“Our new Tobii Glasses 2 offers amazing opportunities to obtain real-world gaze data in real time, which provides great value for a wide range of users,” said Tom Englund, president of Tobii Technology Analysis Solutions. “In addition to offering live viewing, we’ve made the technology easier to use and more affordable, which supports our mission to help more researchers use wearable eye tracking to generate new insights and discoveries.”

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Study: M&A activity in retail mobile payments rises

BY Dan Berthiaume

Greenwich, Conn. – Merger and acquisition (M&A) dealflow in the retail mobile payment sector has risen 500% between 2009 and 2013, while investment dealflow has grown 300%. According to data from Mooreland Partners, a mid-market investment bank specializing in technology deals, there were 232 M&A deals in this sector from 2009-213, and 259 from 1999-2013.

In addition, deals of less than $500 million have grown in the past three years, while use of handhelds for mobile POS are expected to see a 380% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2013-2017. Mooreland data also shows that POS change will be accelerated by the Europay, Mastercard Visa (EMV) chip-based card payment liability deadline of October 2015 and the end-of-life of Windows XP. And as retailers upgrade POS, they are seeking seamless “omnichannel” solutions.

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