President Trump Disbands Business Council
After several members of President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative announced they would resign from the council based on Trump’s reaction to the Aug. 12 events in Charlottesville, Va., the group disbanded last week. Trump stood by his initial assertion that “many sides” were responsible for the violence and fatalities triggered by demonstrations from the Ku Klux Klan and other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.
Our Take: Trump’s doubling down was more than many of the CEOs could personally stomach, but whether the dissolution of the councils ends up being anything more than symbolic remains to be seen.
Monster Brings On Sean Kingston
Monster has added a new musician to its roster of celebrity brand ambassadors: Sean Kingston. The Jamaican-American pop artist, perhaps best known for his 2007 international hit “Beautiful Girls,” will help Monster promote its headphones and speakers, including its new Ravebox wireless Bluetooth speaker. Select Monster products will be featured in Kingston’s upcoming music video, timed with his upcoming “Made in Jamaica” album.
Our Take: Kingston and his accompanying dedicated fan base are good gets for Monster as it continues to carve a niche for itself in the OTB (Other Than Beats/Bose) headphones category.
Best Buy Holding Nintendo World Championships Qualifiers
Best Buy will once again host qualifying events for the Nintendo World Championships. Eight Best Buy locations will offer consumers the chance to compete for the best time trial in “Mario Kart 7” on the Nintendo 3DS. Two winners from each store — one 12 or younger, one 13 or older — will move on to the Oc. 7 finals in New York City. Consumers will also be able to demo the new “Super Mario Odyssey” on the Nintendo Switch and “Metroid: Samus Returns” on the Nintendo 3DS. Both titles launch later this fall.
Our Take: As GameStop continues to shrink its store count, Best Buy can use gaming events such as a market-share grab.
LG Installs ‘World’s Largest’ OLED Screen And HD Video Wall
LG Electronics unveiled what it’s hailing as the world’s largest OLED screen and HD video wall. Located at the Dubai Aquarium, the video wall was created using 820 open-frame LG OLED digital signage panels. LG’s business solutions division partnered with Emaar Entertainment, operator of the aquarium in the Dubai Mall, for the 7,600-square-foot screen measuring 164 feet wide by 45 feet tall.
Our Take: The Dubai Aquarium is adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world — a fitting location for this massive installation
‘Alexa, I’m Ready To Take A Walk’
Bionik Laboratories announced it has integrated Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant technology into its Arke lower-body exoskeleton, geared toward those who have suffered a spinal-cord injury or other severe lower-body impairment. Built-in sensors used in combination with Alexa will allow wearers to activate the exoskeleton by saying such statements as, “Alexa, I’m ready to stand” or “Alexa, I’m ready to walk.” Artificial intelligence will translate the sensor information to activate the Arke, mimicking movements that allow an able person to take steps, said Bionik. The device is currently in clinical development
Our Take: Just as exciting as Arke’s potential is the news that Bionik has partnered with Wistron, a Taiwan-based ODM for information and communication tech products, to produce the exoskeleton at a more accessible price point for the average consumer. The ultimate goal, Bionik said, is to make the devices financeable with monthly payments.