This is the Exciting Future of Augmented Reality

This is the Exciting Future of Augmented Reality

This is a guest post from Rae Steinbach at Y Media Labs, an award-winning mobile strategy and application development company based in Silicon Valley. The topic, augmented reality (AR), is of particular interest to me both personally and professionally. I have written about use cases for augmented reality in logistics here, and Y Media Labs has actually developed an AR drone flight simulator app in partnership with Drone Company DJI and Epson. These guys are really plugged into the future of AR - I hope you enjoy.

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Connecting the Dots on Amazon's patents in Logistics

Connecting the Dots on Amazon's patents in Logistics

I've dug into Amazon's patent filings over the last five years and mined the patent titles for keywords related to inventory and logistics. Patents range from the mundane like optimization of packaging sizes or allocating regional inventory to reduce out-of-stock costs to the more technologically advanced like autonomous vehicles, mobile ground-based fulfillment centers, and drones. At the far end of the spectrum are topics that appear to be more the realm of sci-fi fantasy like underwater warehouses, airborne warehouses, and beehive-like warehouses, but hey, who knows.

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Location, Location, Location: Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Location, Location, Location: Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Amazon announced on Friday that it is acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. This will be Amazon’s largest acquisition to date but the purchase price is just 3% of Amazon’s market cap. And while many takes are centered around Amazon getting into physical retail, the most valuable component of the acquisition is the 400+ Whole Foods stores that enable Amazon to meet rising consumer expectations around fast and cheap shipping and make a broader push into perishables and food delivery. A few main takeaways:

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Onfleet and a Last Mile Delivery Platform

Onfleet and a Last Mile Delivery Platform

The local last mile delivery market is a fragmented one with about 7,500 courier and parcel delivery companies in the U.S. alone. Within this crowded delivery market are logistics providers that range from giants like Fedex, UPS, and DHL, to retailers like Amazon, technology companies like Uber and Postmates, and many small-and medium-size operations in between. Technology is rapidly changing how consumers interact with businesses and this has led to on-demand delivery business models that enable local businesses to reach more local customers.

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The Amazonification of Logistics

The Amazonification of Logistics

The evolution of eCommerce has had a dramatic impact on both retail and logistics. Much of the changes have been spearheaded by Amazon who are largely responsible for shaping customer behavior and driving customer expectations around delivery. Many customers now want their packages next-day, same-day, or even within one hour and as a result logistics networks have evolved to reflect these changing customer preferences. Amazon has had such a major impact on eCommerce...

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Last Mile Delivery - Is it time to Share?

Last Mile Delivery - Is it time to Share?

There's a growing market in the last mile for same-day and next-day delivery fuelled by increasingly demanding customer expectations. Non-traditional delivery providers, like Uber and Amazon, are building innovative solutions and could be well positioned to be market disrupters in the battle for the last mile. Uber has a first mover advantage via their existing ride-sharing platform; a deep and re-purposable delivery fleet with optimised routing algorithms combined with the ability to raise enormous capital. And then you have Amazon,

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What's that Giant Sucking Sound? Amazon and Retail Revenue

At its current growth rate, Amazon could double in size in the next three years. Or, to be more blunt, Amazon could suck the same amount of value out of the U.S. retail market in three years as it has in the previous twenty. Let that sink in. Even though the size of eCommerce is relatively small - just under 10% of total retail, Amazon is building an almost unassailable moat around online retail.

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Automation in Logistics and the Future of Work

Automation in Logistics and the Future of Work

Several recent studies have suggested that nearly half of all jobs are susceptible to automation in the next 20 years. Robots and artificial intelligence are poised to displace jobs in various industries, and the logistics industry is highly vulnerable to job loss. Recently notable tech leaders have made statements in regards to how to deal with automation displacing jobs. Bill Gates has argued for a robot tax to recapture money that displaced workers would have paid as income tax. Elon Musk advocates for a universal basic income...

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Amazon’s Moat Widens: The Dominance of Amazon in one Chart

Amazon’s Moat Widens: The Dominance of Amazon in one Chart

Everyone knows that Amazon dominates the U.S. eCommerce retail market, but exactly how well are they doing? According to data from Slice Intelligence, which scanned more than 1 million digital shopping receipts, Amazon accounted for 46 percent of all online spending in the U.S. in the final weeks leading up to Christmas. Overall, Amazon took 39% of all online spending from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

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Amazon's Growing Robot Workforce is 45,000 Strong

Amazon's Growing Robot Workforce is 45,000 Strong

According to a recent report in the Seattle Times, in 2016 Amazon significantly expanded the deployment of Kiva Robots in their fulfillment centers. Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012 and the robots automate the picking and packing process. According to the report, Amazon has 45,000 robots deployed across 20 fulfillment centers which represents a 50% increase over the previous year and a 200% increase since 2014. Since 2014 the human workforce has increased by roughly 100%.

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Surging Package Volume Explains Why Drones Make Sense

Surging Package Volume Explains Why Drones Make Sense

The continued rise of eCommerce coupled with the growth of urban populations has put increased strain on last mile delivery in cities. Added to this, is the fact that a growing number of people in large cities expect to get their orders quickly - next day, same-day, or within an hour or two. And, by the way, delivery should be cheap too!

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Logistics Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Logistics Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Making predictions in technology, even just one year out, are generally an exercise in futility, so this really isn't a forecast for 2017, but more a list of trends that I am interested in and keeping my eye on. Technology is rarely released according to plan and surprises can come from many directions. However, it makes sense to keep tabs on what’s coming and it's also great fun to think about what’s coming next. Here's what I will be looking out for in 2017:

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Amazon Patent Reveals Flying Warehouses that Send Delivery Drones to You

Amazon Patent Reveals Flying Warehouses that Send Delivery Drones to You

Amazon has recently made waves in the industry with a series of moves that illustrate that it is serious about getting into the logistics business. Amazon leased 20 cargo planes to deliver goods to and from fulfillment centers, registered as an ocean freight forwarder in China, and built an ‘Uber for Trucking’ app to match truck drivers with shippers. But what if all of these moves are indeed just short-term plays to add capacity to their operation and supplement, instead of replace partners like UPS and Fedex? Maybe Amazon just needs excess capacity until a fully unmanned and aerial warehousing and delivery network becomes a reality. And while that last sentence sounds awfully fantastical...

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The 2016 Techgistics Year in Review

The 2016 Techgistics Year in Review

2016 was an incredible year for tech in logistics as companies both large and small are working on some transformational technologies not just for logistics, but for society as a whole. Here’s a few interesting tech advancements in 2016 that were important for the year, but could also point to what’s to come in the near and long-term future.

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