Weekly Roundup Featuring Apple, Amazon, AARP, Walmart and more

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Rabbit, rabbit! Happy June everyone. Before we cross our fingers for sunshine this weekend, let’s take a look at this week’s roundup with updates in retail, healthcare, marketing and security/enterprise.

Retail

Sears

Yesterday the company announced that are planning to close 72 stores in the near future. These are the stores that have been identified as ‘non-profitable.’ They want to focus on their remaining top stores by the end of Q3. Sears reported this week a net loss of $424 million.

Jetblack, Walmart’s Click-Free Shopping Service

Walmart has been very quietly testing a new membership-only shopping service called Jetblack. It starts with a 10 minute evaluation call and a home visit where Jetblack can get an idea of your pantry items and most loved brands. The service uses AI and and human knowledge to source products from Walmart and Jet for delivery to your door. Jetblack is also unofficially collaborating with Pottery Barn, Gap and Blue Mercury.

Healthcare

AARP

Collaborating with healthcare startups, AARP will start studying diabetes management using an AI-enabled healthcare assistant. This study will start this summer. AARP will also team up with another startups for projects including voice applications to reduce social isolation and other digital tools to improve diabetes management.

UnitedHealth Group

CEO, David Wichmann, mentioned this week that there’s an expectation of 150 million Americans that will be in value-based coordinated care programs by 2025. Right now, the payer has 15 million members receiving care from physicians in value-based contract. The payer is focused on using OptumCare to push patients away from the ER and toward a more realistic setting if they don’t need emergency care.

FDA

The Food and Drug Administration is starting an innovation challenge which will encourage digital health applications aimed at treating and preventing opioid addiction. The challenge is for products at any stage of development or even with an already existing product. If a company is accepted, they will collaborate with FDA on a number of interactions.

Marketing

Amazon

The powerhouse company delivered a 40-foot long box to The Grove in LA yesterday with the ‘Jurassic World’ logo. Stars of the new movie will release the surprise contents of the box on Saturday. You can scan a barcode on the box which gives you a short video and discounted tickets for the movie. There’s also a hashtag to follow along with this surprise box. Alexa is of course making an appearance, giving visitors voice clues to what’s inside.

Pedigree

The pet care brand launched a campaign this week called “Fetch Across the Internet.” Users start on Facebook and move their phone around to follow a dog. Then, users go through a social media journey on each platform – Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, etc. By the end of their journey, an augmented reality dog is waiting and ready to play. The goal is for pet owners to have some play time with a pup before getting home to play with their real one.

Security and Enterprise

Apple

Next week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, we may get some exciting news about a new augmented reality capability for apps. This will be part on ARKit 2.0 software release, which is in connection with the iOS 12 update. Apple may also release some news on cross-platform apps. We’ll finally be able to have a single version of an app that could work on all your Apple products,

Coca-Cola

In September of 2017, the soda company experienced a data breach that affected 8,000 of its employees. This week, we learned all the details on what happened and who it affected. A former employee stole an external hard drive and the company has been trying to get down to the bottom of this. Employees who were affected all received notifications and get a free year of identity monitoring from the company. 

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