Happy Friday, everyone! Another weekend of rain coming our way… So before we hunker down with Netflix and a glass of wine, let’s take a look at the top news stories that happened this week in Retail, Marketing, Security, Healthcare and more!
The online retailer has started its first mixed-reality experience. Partnering with Magic Leap, Wayfair has a new program that will virtually place items into a user’s home so that they can have a clear idea of the product before buying it. You’ll need Magic Leap One, Creator Edition in your house before being able to take advantage of this experience. You can view products as true-to scale sizes and move things around to see what will fit best. Co-founder of Wayfair says this is part of “the next evolution of retail.”
This Wednesday, Whole Foods released its curbside pickup option for Amazon Prime members. You can place your grocery order online through the Prime Now app at no additional cost if you spend just $35 or more. You can even pay an additional fee if you’d like your items ready in just 30 minutes. Curbside pickup is currently available at select stores in California and Virginia.
Designer Show Warehouse announced this week a new store concept opening on the Las Vegas strip. It will feature a “shoevator” where you’ll find a wall of shoes that operates like a vending machine. You can order shoes from the wall through your DSW app and an employee will get them to you. It’s exactly the experience a Vegas crowd wants.
There’s been a lot of talk about the name change that happened earlier this summer. From IHOP to IHOb (with the b standing for burgers), this promotion started on June 4th and lasted all month long. There was new coverage, logo changes, and tons of social media discussion. Well, IHOP announced that their burger sales grew 4x thanks to this promotion.
If you pickup a Rice Krispies Treat, you’ll find something quite different and endearing. Kellogg partnered with the National Federation of the Blind and created Braille “love note” stickers and re-recordable audio boxes to include with the treats. The purpose is to send encouraging messages to children who are blind. This was inspired by an 11-year-old musician who is blind and shared her story through YouTube. Find out more searching #SoMuchToLove.
You may see a new campaign out with actor, Luke Evans. Stella Artois introduced StellaSpace, an audio guide narrated by Evans. Its purpose is to focus on being in the moment and telling drinkers how to savor the beer. It’s 20 minutes long and shares stories from Evan’s life, acting experiences, the beer brewing background, and more.
Just this week, CVS Health released MinuteClinic Video Visits. This will allow customers 24/7 access to virtual care. Whether it’s a minor illness, an injury or another wellness need, you can get this help through the CVS Pharmacy app. So far, the service is only available in nine states. We should see a nationwide rollout by the end of the year.
The company filed a 273-page suit towards the generic drug industry at the end of last week against 30 drug companies (Teva, Novartis and Mylan to name a few). Their suit lists 16 generics including antifungals, antidepressants, cholesterol and more.
The American Medical Association is saying that CVS Health’s merger with Aetna would reduce competition and therefore, hinder patients. The merger may increase premiums because of market concentration. AMA spoke with the Justice Department in countering the $69 billion deal. A report recently told us the Justice Department won’t do anything about this based on vertical competition issues. They still may be taking a look at how the pharmacy market will be affected.
After recently merging with Duo Security (for over $2.3 billion), Cisco will still set firewalls, IPS/IDS and gateway appliances, but they will also be able to do much more. The company will be able to capitalize on MFA expansion and also grow their managed security services portfolio.
AI and Facial Recognition
The facial recognition tool, Social Mapper, searches for targets across the biggest social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. There’s another program out there, DeepLocker, AI powered malware. It’s a new kind of malware which hides malicious content until it reaches a specific person. It “unleashes” as soon as the AI model can detect a target through facial recognition. This is really going to change the hacking world.
The FTC and DOJ are telling organizations that they must have some form of vulnerability disclosure program which will let good-faith security researchers report bugs. Right now, a lot of companies do not have any sort of VDP in place. They offer a secure channel for researchers to report security issues. They also provide a logical way to report these bugs. At the beginning of the summer, the FTC even reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that if a company didn’t have a VDP in place, it could be a violation of the FTC Act.