Shopping malls are waning in terms of customer traffic, due to on-line shopping, outlet shopping, and various other factors. Westfield is working towards  countering this trend, by trying to find the sweet spot between virtual and physical, co-working and retailing . . . Bespoke opens May 29 at the SF Center. http://www.sfgate.com/style/article/Futuristic-retail-tech-hub-at-Westfield-San-6276790.php

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Even though this article’s title was slightly off the mark, this Q & A with Tim O’Reilly, did point out an interesting way of looking at the latest wave of tech innovation;
  • ” . . . Uber is a company built around location awareness. An Uber driver is an augmented taxi driver, with real-time location awareness. An Uber passenger is an augmented passenger, who knows when the cab will show up. Uber is about eliminating slack time and worry. . . ”  

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/tim-oreilly-explains-the-internet-of-things/?ref=technology

Technology augmenting both business and the end user, so that they together can communicate and are better for it.  That is one possible avenue where the “retail of the future” is heading.
Or are people overcomplicating the obvious, as this Little Caesar ad makes fun of?

There have been rumors that Amazon may be on the market to acquire some of Radio Shack’s brick and mortar store locations, given that Radio Shack is heading towards bankruptcy court.

But wouldn’t a better indication of what Amazon might do in the physical realm, would be their experiments on college campuses?  Think mini-distribution center/automat.  Will “retail of the future” be a tech-enabled cabinet of “1-click” shopping?
http://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-makes-a-push-on-college-campuses-1422825521

I saw this via Ifoapplestore.com.  It’s always great to see something that “suspends your disbelief”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5yWXtoFmcI

And for their next act? . . .

As the year’s ends, you can always find articles forecasting trends for the new year.
There are a number of retailers (Walmart, Staples, Lowes, Westfields, Target, Ebay) who have started up retail innovation labs, to explore and navigate through the new tech landscape.
Here are some links which foreshadow an exciting new year in retail  (I find the Lowe’s one especially humorous):
http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/techbytes-top-three-disruptive-retail-technologies-2014
http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/meet-7-brands-are-building-future-digital-retail-through-innovation-labs-161470
 
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/12/23/inside-the-secret-ebay-lab-changing-real-world-shopping/

With newly minted MBAs being taught the parlance of Silicon Valley in terms of Lean Management, A/B testing, rapid prototyping and data-driven decision making, should Architects and Design Professionals also be streamlining or creating anew their processes?

“Those skills are not just for high-tech start-ups. They are required now in every industry.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/business/mba-programs-start-to-follow-silicon-valley-into-the-data-age.html?ref=technology&_r=0

Wow, a real life Wonka-vator.

Right now there are only computer visualizations in the demo video, so I want to see the real thing before passing judgement.  But it will add a new level of complexity and architectural fun if they run at a reasonable speed.

http://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/thyssenkrupp-announces-horizontal-elevator-prototype_o.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ANW_120314&day=2014-12-03&he=e749b8e8e3208b01643d06708f7ee5e09514ec3e