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By Daniel Phan | Stories on digital innovation, the retail industry, and tech tips to get you in the digital mindset. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanielPhanMpls

11 perspectives on the future of brick-and-mortar retail stores

Last week, we asked readers for their predictions on what role they think brick-and-mortar stores will play in the future. We received many great …

Brick and Mortar

What Exactly Is Amazon's Smart Home Strategy?

If you were hoping for a straightforward, ‘here’s our smart home’ announcement from Amazon, you’re out of luck.

And unlike others in the space, Amazon’s efforts so far can’t really be summed up easily in a sentence or two. Instead, they’ve put together what appears to be a hodgepodge of random …

Amazon

Home Automation System Seed Labs Launches Silvair Control To Make Your Lightbulbs Smart

As our homes becoming increasingly wired (or unwired) it’s important for our teakettles to talk to our fridges and, potentially, for both to gang up on our vacuums. But how? They can now use something called the Silvair Control from Seed Labs.

We last met up with Seed Labs last November when they …

Domestic Technology

Philips’ Hue Go promises a portable bowl of light, and it delivers

With summer rapidly approaching, Philips is introducing a new mood lamp that will work inside and out. The Hue Go is a semi-spherical bowl of colorful light that features a battery to make it portable around a home. You can connect it to the supplied cord or use the light for around three hours …

Apple Store

Google Unveils a Stick That Turns Any Display Into a PC

If you plug the stick into an LCD display or a TV, you can run the sort of software you typically run on a personal computer.The post Google Unveils …

Google

Flipboard Launches Private Magazines For Groups

Flipboard, an online and mobile service that allows readers to explore content from around the web in a beautiful magazine-style layout as well as create topical, mobile magazines of their own, is today expanding its curation abilities with the debut of “Private Group Magazines.” As the name …

Personalized News

Amazon wants to help you find a plumber

The company expanding from goods to services.

Amazon is taking aim at dominating yet another area of your life: household services.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company on Monday launched Amazon Home Services, a new platform helping customers find help with a variety of local services. Some of the …

Amazon

Amazon’s On-Demand Services Marketplace Launches Monday

Amazon’s Angie’s List competitor, called “Amazon Local Services,” has been rebranded as “Amazon Home Services” ahead of a larger launch happening Monday, sources familiar with the plans tell TechCrunch. The site, which previously featured only a limited number of service offerings in a handful of …

Amazon

Google To Build Robotic Surgery Assistance Platform With Johnson & Johnson

Google and Johnson & Johnson have announced that the will team up to develop an advanced, robot-assisted surgery platform. The team effort will involve “capabilities, intellectual property and expertise” from both companies, and will involve Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, maker of medial …

Google

August Raises $38 Million To Expand Smart Lock Retail Availability

Smart Lock purveyor August has raised another $38 million in funding, bringing the company’s tally up to $50 million, the company’s co-founder Jason Johnson told TechCrunch. August’s Smart Lock attempts to reinvent the front door and rid the world of physical keys by relegating that duty to a …

Apple Store

Apple and Beats Developing Streaming Music Service to Rival Spotify

In what would be the biggest change to its music strategy in years, Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify.

Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for Beats, the …

Entertainment Industry

Uber For Kids: Shuddle Raises $10 Million To Replace Mom's Minivan

In an age of “Uber for X” startups, it was inevitable that we’d start to see ride hailing services splinter into more specialized use cases.

Running to the head of that line is Shuddle, a new Uber-like service that arranges car rides for busy families. The app, launched officially last October, …

Facebook just bought a startup that can find every product for sale online

Facebook has bought shopping search engine The Find.

We first spotted the news in a tweet before the company announced the acquisition in a post on its website.

TheFind bills itself as "the only way to search the entire shoppable web." Its proprietary search engine lets you type in something you're …