Late Deliveries Spur Online Shopping Now – Nearly half of Americans plan to shop online earlier this holiday seasons for gifts, with 63% citing concerns over late deliveries. Last year bad weather combed with over-promises to deliver orders on time caused shopping challenges. This time retailers should prepare well in advance for visibility on shipping packages and reliable delivery estimates. 70% of Americans now consider shipping options to be an important factor in the shipping, comared with 66% last year. One-third also said they plan to pay more attention to shipping this year vs. last year. The poll of 1000 adults was conducted for Pitney Bowes.
SiriusXM Streaming Added to DTS Play-Fi – DTS has added SiriusXM radio to their selection of Internet music services available wirelessly thru their multizone-audio systems using the firm’s Play-Fi technology. Via Play-Fi apps for mobile devices, users transmit music via the home Wi-Fi network to Play-Fi speakers thruout the house from the Cloud-based services, media servers and computers, as well as from the mobile device itself. Play-Fi speakers are available from Wren and Phorus and Definitive Technology and Polk have announced five Play-Fi products for next month. Martin-Logan and Paradigm have Play-Fi products scheduled for 2015. The systems already access Pandora, V Tuner and Songza and will access Deezer when it comes to the U.S.
SOL Republic Expands Bluetooth Speaker Line – The scaled-down model, which is water, shock and dust resistant, can be attached to a bike or camera mount. It is called The Punk, has an eight-hour battery life and a 60-ft. wireless range, and comes in seven colors. Both Line-in and Line-out ports allow it to serve as a Bluetooth hub. It is $70.
Home Technology Specialists Foresee a Strong Q4 – The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), buying group for specialty AV dealers and custom integrators, just came off a successful 2014 CEDIA Expo and they are poised for a strong finish to the year. Latest vendor additions include Wi3, TiVo and Kaleidescape, raising their list to 55 brands, and they have created an enhanced intranet portal providing members with around-the-clock access to vendor leads, sales, marketing funds and integrated plug-and-play campaigns. This year Sound and Vision, Epic Audio Video and Hanson Audio Video joined the group.
Casio Bluebook Smart Watch – Their shock-resistant G-Mix GBA400 ($200) will control a smartphone’s song selection (with a rotary switch) and set volume, adjust EQ, and add sound effects to songs. The app, for Apple or Android smartphones, shows the titles of songs playing on the watch’s digital display.