Sensible Objects, a startup that develops games that become interactive through the use of smart speakers, has raised $3.2 million in a funding round that included an investment from the Alexa Fund. The London-based startup's first game works exclusively with Alexa, but a Google Assistant version will be available early next year.
Cybershoes, which use foot sensors to provide a more immersive experience, are helping to showcase the potential of virtual reality. The shoes are compatible with existing VR platforms, with inventor Michael Bieglmayer reporting, "The Cybershoes ... allow you to walk in virtual reality, and enhance your immersive experience by letting players control their gameplay through natural movement, and it can be used by anyone with a VR system and a swivel bar stool."
Capacity issues and rising logistics costs are creating challenges for Sysco, US Foods and other companies. US Foods is using its own trucks to save on costs, while Sysco has had to use "the spot market more often than we normally would," said Chief Financial Officer Joel Grade.
Predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and other tools could transform the way we think about supply chain management within 10 years, write Allan Lyall, Pierre Mercier and Stefan Gstettner. Fewer supply chain professionals will be needed, they predict, and those that remain will need a different set of skills.
NRF PROTECT, US retail's premier loss prevention conference, wrapped up last week in Dallas. The show attracted thousands of people in the loss prevention field and delivered dozens of sessions including an appearance by Captain Tammie Jo Shults, who expertly landed Southwest Flight 1380 after an engine explosion. See highlights.
Retailers including Dollar General and Costco Wholesale, and manufacturers like Hostess Brands and Hormel Foods, are making changes to the supply chain amid rising freight costs and shipping delays. Dollar General has added distribution centers, expanded its private truck fleet and added more trucking companies to encourage competitive pricing.
The 16-foot fiberglass statue of Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe that stood in the lobby of the retailer's headquarters will have a new home at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Liquidation adviser Joseph Malfitano paid an unspecified fee to buy the statue and will spend $10,000 to ship it to the hospital.
Wegmans and Publix were named consumers' favorite grocers in a survey by Market Force Information. Wegmans took the top spot for the third straight year, followed by Publix, Trader Joe's, ALDI and H.E. Butt Grocery.
Sprouts Farmers Market has seen strong growth from its partnership with Instacart, CEO Amin Maredia shared at a conference last week. Instacart has excelled at meeting the challenges of fresh delivery to consumers' homes, Maredia said.
Several major grocers including Costco and Walmart have formed search alliances with Google that include being featured in results from its digital assistants. Instead of paying for ads, the stores agree to share sales revenue with Google, which coordinates purchases through its shopping cart.