Moto 360 launch and the weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

I recently dropped my Nexus 5 on concrete while looking at a grocery list and holding my 6-month old at the same time. I was as upset with myself as anyone. At the same time, that spelled the most compelling reason for getting an Android Wear watch, which is why I’m quite happy to find out that the Moto 360 will be launching on September 4. Say what you will about the lack of functionality of wearables but I am willing to bet on its future ubiquity. As for Google Glass, it might be getting a lot of bad rep but its commercial and practical applications are wide ranging. I’m currently working on a post about wearables and I will talk about the what, why and why not of wearables. In the meantime, here are the most relevant news in tech and retail this week.

In Tech

  1. Samsung enters the area of Internet of Things and buys SmartThings, a smart home platform startup; will join Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, CA
  2. Motorola will finally launch Moto 360, Google’s Android Wear watch, on September 4, 2014
  3. Y Combinator and Mithril Capital invest in a nuclear-fusion company, Helion Energy Inc.
  4. Citing passenger safety concerns, Berlin bans Uber app; Uber continues to offer service its service
  5. Spring by Jello Labs, the shopping app for mobile shopping, launches in the Apple store; backed by high-profile investors: Google Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Michael Kors, Coach, Uniqlo

In Retail:

  1. Amazon launches a competitor to Square, Local Register to offer a mobile payment service and smartphone-compatible credit card reader for brick-and-mortar retailers
  2. US Department of Commerce reports flat US retail and food services sales for July 2014 (original report here)
  3. JC Penney shares gain after beating forecasts in fiscal second quarter earnings on sales of $2.8 billion
  4. Macy‘s stock falls as it misses estimates for second quarter earnings of 80 cents a share (vs. analysts’ estimates of 86-cent average); cuts annual sales forecast with unlikely second-half rebound
  5. Yahoo unveils new version of Yahoo Stores for small businesses to compete against Shopify and Etsy; will charge merchants $9/month
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