Some Whole Foods Getting ‘Just Walk Out’ Tech; LG’s ‘Real Folding Window’; Ford Steals Top Apple Car Exec; PayPal Snaps Up Japan’s Paidy

Amazon has been running its ‘Just Walk Out’ tech in Amazon Go stores and some of their Fresh supermarkets for a while now. Engadget.com is reporting that they are now ready to roll it out in a couple Whole Foods locations. One will be in Sherman Oaks, CA, and the other store is in the Washington, DC area. Both should be up and running by next year. Just Walk Out uses computer vision, sensors and AI to let you walk into a store, sign in with an app, fill up your bags and leave without the need to join a checkout line. Besides their own stores, Amazon is planning to license the tech to third-party retailers. Although unions have objected that the tech will cost jobs, Amazon said using the tech will actually employ a comparable number of team members. Amazon says they will be in a position to interact more with customers to give them a better shopping experience. 

LG thinks they have a better solution than folding glass held together by a plastic film as in the Samsung folding screen phones. According to theverge.com, they call their product a ‘real folding window,’ and are saying it will ship in 2023. Actually, the LG product drops the glass part entirely. The claim is that their ‘new material’ is used to coat both sides of a sheet of plastic film similar to the plastic in your clear soda bottle. LG says their material then covers a flexible OLED panel, and that the whole thing will lat longer and have a less noticeable crease than existing folding devices. LG claims the coated PET can work with tablets, laptops, and even rollable-screen phones. In addition, it can be folded outward as well as inward. Samsung is apparently also working on a coated PET material. The real question…will it help bring the high cost of folding devices down?

Ford has hired Doug Field away from Apple, where he was a VP of Apple Special Projects…his team there has been working on Project Titan, AKA the Apple Car.  Techcrunch.com notes that prior to Apple, he was a senior VP of engineering at Tesla. At Ford, he will be chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer. Field’s experience at Tesla, especially with the Model 3, should be a big boost for Ford as they roll out a number of new EVs. It is a homecoming of sorts for Field…he started his career at Ford as a development engineer from 1987 to 1993. 

PayPal will complete the acquisition of Paidy shortly, according to Nikkei.com. They are dropping $2.7 billion for the Japanese ‘buy now, pay later’ firm. PayPal is working to beef up its business in Japan via cross-border e-commerce payments for overseas payment. PayPal already has 4.3 million accounts in Japan, but they hope with the acquisition to pick up more ‘pay later’ clients. Right now, Japan is 70% cash for payments. Paidy enables buy now, pay later without the need for a credit card. There is no interest charge or fee for a limited amount of time. 



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