If you need convincing that artificial intelligence will transform the world, I'd like to take you on a trip to Mars. Well, not the planet, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's annual invite-only MARS conference last week in Palm Springs that takes its name from its focus on machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. Over 200 of the world's leading scientists and technologists gathered to discuss their latest far-out research, a nerve-racking experience for those who presented in front of Bezos himself. A.I., and its ability to make sense of data, was a common theme. But while it's easy to dream about the future of A.I., and all the benefits it will supposedly bring, our present day version has room for improvement.
People love having pets almost as much as they love complaining about their pet's hair. Flying fur is an inevitable, but finding hairballs in random corners of the house doesn't have to be: The Eufy Robovac 11c Pet Edition Vacuum is $90 off at Walmart today, making it just $199.99. Use your voice with Alexa or Google Home, phone app, or manual controls to set schedules or start cleanings, with four specialized modes to give your Eufy an idea of the next project. Eufy's Boost IQ technology automatically increases suction over areas that are hard to clean (litter box rooms, carpets, etc), plus two extra rolls designed specifically for stubborn fur and dust. When the 100-minute battery needs a recharge, the Eufy will automatically stop cleaning and take itself home.
Snag premium supplies from Walmart on sale -- the retailer is offering up to 38% off select dog food and 10% off Seresto flea and tick collars. PupBox is offering the first box for only $5 with 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions using code OFFERS5. BarkBox is also running a deal for National Puppy Day, offering $10 boxes for first-time subscribers. Find lots more great deals for your dog right here. There are some great tech items on sale today, including robot vacuums and smart TVs.
Be it online, offline or omnichannel, today, retail is all about giving the best customer experience and technology is helping the industry to achieve its newly discovered goal. From frontend to backend, the new age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are not just making machines smarter but also business by helping it make optimum use of the allocated resources. After a lot of hits and misses, retailers today understand that they have to become a digitally savvy business to remain relevant in the future. If they fail to do so, their stubbornness will make them irrelevant. This awareness and how digitalization will revolutionize the industry is triggering the shift among retailers to adopt new technology.
People attend Shoptalk, a retail and technology conference in Las Vegas. If you weren't at Shoptalk in Las Vegas last week, you missed a great conference. Shoptalk has evolved into a must-attend retail event with more than 8,000 attendees and growing, a destination where retailers and brands go to learn and collaborate and where networking opportunities are key. The conference included content on the latest retail trends around technology, data, and wins and losses in the online vs brick-and-mortar battle. Here are my key takeaways from the conference.
Vacuuming has to be *at least* in the top five most annoying chores ever. Half the time, your hard work completely goes to waste and you end up going over the same spot 500 times just to suck up a stale fruit loop. It's a real pain, and hiring someone to help you clean is just too expensive -- but there's another way to delegate the work, and we're sure you've heard the name: Roomba. Pick up one of these robot companions and avoid the seemingly inescapable darkness that is handheld vacuuming for good. Walmart is currently selling the Roomba 680 for $60 off of its original $299.99 price tag -- meaning you'll only be paying $239.99 if you grab one while this deal is live.
I love shopping at a Nordstrom store, but hate shopping on the Nordstrom website. Unless I know exactly what I want, like my favorite shade of lipstick, I have a time trying to find what I might want. Take a search for a blue dress. Nordstrom served up nearly 3,000 options and after narrowing it down to casual styles, I had a mere 1,000 to go through. Included in that search were jumpsuits (sorry, not a dress), plus sizes and maternity dresses.
Process-Mining techniques aim to use event data about past executions to gain insight into how processes are executed. While these techniques are proven to be very valuable, they are less successful to reach their goal if the process is flexible and, hence, events can potentially occur in any order. Furthermore, information systems can record events at very low level, which do not match the high-level concepts known at business level. Without abstracting sequences of events to high-level concepts, the results of applying process mining (e.g., discovered models) easily become very complex and difficult to interpret, which ultimately means that they are of little use. A large body of research exists on event abstraction but typically a large amount of domain knowledge is required to be fed in, which is often not readily available. Other abstraction techniques are unsupervised, which give lower accuracy. This paper puts forward a technique that requires limited domain knowledge that can be easily provided. Traces are divided in sessions, and each session is abstracted as one single high-level activity execution. The abstraction is based on a combination of automatic clustering and visualization methods. The technique was assessed on two case studies that evidently exhibits a large amount of behavior. The results clearly illustrate the benefits of the abstraction to convey knowledge to stakeholders.
IKEA will reveal the first of its Sonos connected smart speakers at an exhibit in Milan next month. This isn't the first we've seen or heard of the speaker, and we knew IKEA had plans to start selling it in the US and Europe this August. An unveiling next month seems to follow the original timeline, which is good considering IKEA just delayed the launch of its smart blinds. The "bookshelf speaker" is the first in IKEA and Sonos' SYMFONISK range, and a video released by the company suggests we might also see a wall-mounted version in the future. Speakers in the SYMFONISK line will be compatible with Sonos' existing wireless speakers and with IKEA's Home Smart lights and switches, as well as its connected blinds.
IKEA is delaying the launch of its smart blinds until later in 2019 in order to work on a firmware update. The Verge reports that the Swedish furniture maker pushed back the release date for the smart blinds, which were expected in Europe last month and in the US in April, because it found an opportunity for "improved functionality". IKEA said that the belated launch means that the smart blinds will be compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant right away, instead of in a later firmware update. Both the KADRILJ and FYRTUR smart blinds are attractive due to their low price; the KADRILJ starts at around $113 dollars and the FYRTUR starts at around $136 dollars, based on their European pricing. Some existing smart blind options such as Somfy or Velux start at twice that amount.