Smart & Blue Unveils 3 New Smart Shower Products plus First International Availability at CES 2017 in Las Vegas

In the run-up to CES 2017 in Las Vegas, French Eco-Tech company Smart & Blue today announced three new HYDRAO smart showerhead products, the much-awaited international availability of its products, plus new industry awards. Smart & Blue is an innovation leader in smart solutions for water conservation. Headquartered in Grenoble, France, the company was founded by founder Gabriel Dell Monica in 2015. The company now employs 10 people directly.sb_logo

The new HYDRAO Loop and First smart showerheads and HYDRAO Drop smart shower light bring innovation, color, enjoyment – and now French design chic – to the bathroom. They are designed to increase awareness of water usage and encourage reduced water and energy consumption. HYDRAO First will be the first product to become available internationally – starting tomorrow.

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Smart & Blue Founder Gabriel Dell Monica

The designs of HYDRAO Loop and Drop have already won two new CES Innovation Awards: HYDRAO Loop in the Smart Home category and HYDRAO Drop in Tech for a Better World category.

THREE NEW SMART SHOWER SOLUTIONS

HYDRAO Loop: a combination of advanced Smart & Blue technology innovation with French luxury design to bring smart-shower capabilities to stylish, modern bathrooms.

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HYDRAO Loop smart shower set (Photo: Business Wire)

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HYDRAO Loop Hand shower

HYDRAO Drop: adds smart-shower water saving capabilities to an existing shower. It is simple to install, and has a flexible arm that can be positioned to illuminate any shower surface or water jet.

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HYDRAO Loop on a showerhead

HYDRAO First: a fun, educational and affordable smart hand shower. Launched in France at the end of 2016, HYDRAO First is available internationally from Jan. 4th 2017.

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HYDRAO First is a LED-illuminated showerhead that brings color and enjoyment to families, while educating users on water usage.

SMART-SHOWER INNOVATION WITH LUXURY DESIGN

DESIGN INNOVATION AND WATER EFFICIENCY: Both HYDRAO Loop and Drop benefit from a new miniaturized version of Smart & Blue’s patented smart shower technology, allowing users to benefit from a sleek, streamlined design, with no compromise to HYDRAO’s water conservation guidance. Also new is the ability to allow individual users to monitor their own personal usage and savings – on either one or multiple HYDRAO smart showers.

New smart water pressure innovations also let users enjoy an enhanced shower experience, even at low pressure levels.1 These enhancements include increased energy efficiency for the internal turbine, new water pressure regulation capabilities and an innovative aerated water flow feature. Together they ensure optimum water flow and lighting intensity, while decreasing overall water consumption.

For professional customers, the fully modular, interchangeable design of HYDRAO Loop and Drop allow for design customization. Smart & Blue smart shower technology can also be integrated into own designs. Continue reading

2016 Black Friday Report: Target Reports Strong Start to Black Friday in Stores and Record-Breaking Online Sales

Savings To Continue With New Discounts And Unprecedented 15 Percent Off Two-Day Sale In Stores And Online This Sunday And Monday

Target Corporation today reported a strong start to the holiday shopping season. Millions of guests visited Target stores across the country and www.Target.com, which had its biggest day ever and experienced double-digit growth, to save on Black Friday deals, including the retailer’s lowest prices ever on select items.

Target Holiday Black Friday 2016

Target Holiday Black Friday 2016 (Image courtesy of Target)

Shopping at Target has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition for millions of our guests, and we’re thrilled at the response we’ve seen this year. We had a record-breaking day on Target.com and traffic to our stores was strong,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, who greeted shoppers at the Jersey City Target store in N.J. on Thanksgiving and who rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of Kids Day earlier this morning. “This year, we doubled down on offering guests an incredible assortment at outstanding prices. Based on early results, it’s clear that our deals are cutting through. We expect this momentum to continue throughout the weekend and into next week as we offer Target’s guests a truly unprecedented opportunity to save 15 percent off nearly everything online and in our stores this Sunday and Monday.”

Target Holiday Black Friday 2016

Target Holiday Black Friday 2016 (Image courtesy of Target Corporation)

Black Friday Pre-Sale and Thanksgiving Day Shopping

On Wednesday, guests started their shopping early with Target’s Black Friday pre-sale on Target.com. New this year, Target’s guests could take advantage of pre-sale deals in stores via Cartwheel, resulting in the biggest day ever for new users of the popular savings app. Early on Thursday morning, the savings continued as Target offered guests access to nearly all of its Black Friday doorbuster deals on Target.com. Target.com had a record-breaking day, with traffic and sales eclipsing 2015 Cyber Monday, driven largely by doorbusters in electronics. Target also saw an increase in guests shopping via mobile, contributing to more than 60 percent of the retailer’s online sales. Top performing Black Friday deals at Target include:

  • TVs were a top seller, with more than 3,200 TVs sold every minute in the first hour of store opening.
  • Apple products were among the most popular deals, with guests taking advantage of savings on the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and Apple Watch Series 1.
  • Popular gaming systems included Xbox One S and PlayStation 4. Target sold half a million video games within the first hour of store opening.
  • Wearables saw a 50 percent sales increase, including the Fitbit Charge HR.
  • Top-selling toys included LEGO, NERF, Our Generation and the Jetson V6 Hoverboard, which sold out in minutes on Target.com.

    Target Holiday Black Friday 2016

    (Image courtesy of Target Corporation) 

  • Target sold five times more wireless headphones this Black Friday compared to last year, including the popular Powerbeats Wireless In-Ear Headphone 2.
  • Robotic vacuums, including the Hoover Quest 700 Robotic Vacuum, generated 10 times the sales compared to last year.
  • Sales for family sleepwear were nearly double compared to last year, driven by a 30 percent off savings plus an additional 15 percent off in stores with Cartwheel.
  • And, the 3-foot stuffed bear for $10, a surprise hit from last year, sold out quickly in stores across the country.

The Savings Continue, Including 15 Percent Off in Stores and Online Continue reading

Three, Two, One…Holiday! Amazon.com Launches Black Friday Deals Store and Curated Holiday Gift Guides

This Holiday Season, Customers Can Enjoy More Deals Than Ever Before On Everything From Hd Tvs To Stylish Kitchen Staples To Some Of The Most Popular Toys Of The Year

To Help Customers Find The Perfect Gift For Everyone On Their Shopping List, Amazon Offers Curated Holiday Gift Guides For Electronics, Home, Handmade, And Other Categories

Alexa, What Are Your Deals? New This Year, Prime Members Can Use Alexa Voice Shopping To Shop For Almost Anything, Including Exclusive Deals For Customers With An Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire Tv, Or Fire Tablet

Amazon.com has announced the launch of its Black Friday Deals Store and more than a dozen curated holiday gift guides, officially marking the start of the holiday countdown. Customers can enjoy tens of thousands of deals this holiday season on Amazon.com, with new deals as often as every five minutes on everything from HD TVs to stylish kitchen staples to some of the most popular toys of the year. In addition, Amazon offers curated holiday gift guides to help take the guesswork out of shopping for loved ones and make it easier for customers to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list.logo_white_

Customers love discovering the best deals on the most sought-after products, and our Black Friday Deals Store and curated Holiday Gift Guides offer them a place to do just that – plus enjoy the most convenient shopping experience with tons of super-fast shipping options,” said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Retail at Amazon. “This holiday season, we’re offering more deals than ever before and – for the first time ever – giving Prime members an opportunity to use Alexa voice shopping for purchasing their holiday gifts hands-free. They can make purchases simply by asking Alexa-enabled devices, like the new Echo Dot, while relaxing at home with family and friends.

Black Friday Deals Store

Available at www.amazon.com/blackfriday, the Black Friday Deals Store is the leading deals destination for customers with tens of thousands of deals, and new deals as often as every five minutes, now through December 22. Customers can enjoy more deals than ever before this holiday season, including low prices on top gifts such as electronics, toys, clothing, jewelry, kitchen items, and more. In fact, Amazon is offering up to 20 compelling Deals of the Day in a single day. Some examples of the great deals Amazon customers can take advantage of this holiday season include: $20 off the Kindle Paperwhite, savings on an LG 55” 1080p Curved Smart OLED TV, and up to 40% off select Magformers toys.

Electronics Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/electronicsgiftguide, the 2016 Amazon Electronics Gift Guide features more than 500 of this year’s hottest technology products all in one convenient location. Enthusiasts can explore new releases such as 360-degree cameras and buzz-worthy gifts like virtual reality headsets and 3D printers. The Electronics Gift Guide also features innovations from up-and-coming startups in the Amazon Launchpad program. Customers can browse more than 10 categories, including smart home, home entertainment, music, wearables, photography, gaming, gadgets and gizmos, and more. The Electronics Gift Guide also includes expert reviews and product demonstration videos to help customers find the perfect gift. And shoppers looking for budget-friendly gift ideas can find top gifts under $100.

Home Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/homegiftguide, the 2016 Amazon Home Gift Guide is a curated list of more than a thousand of this season’s must-have products for the home. Filled with gift ideas for indoors and outdoors, customers can easily discover presents for everyone on their list, including cooks, bakers, home decorators, arts and crafters, smart home tech lovers, pets, backyard enthusiasts, kids and more, curated by experts in the industry such as Smitten Kitchen and Design*Sponge. Holiday decorators and party planners will find everything they need to set a festive scene at home. Customers can also shop the latest trends in the Home Gift Guide, including copper appliances, rose gold cutlery, and handmade ceramics, as well as browse products that are new this holiday season, including the KitchenAid Mini, NEST Fragrances Classic Candle (Hearth), Petcube Play Wi-Fi Pet Camera, and Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum.

Handmade at Amazon Holiday Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/handmade, the Handmade at Amazon Holiday Gift Guide offers customers curated lists of genuinely handcrafted items sold directly by artisans. Featuring products for her, for him, and for kids, as well as handcrafted stocking stuffers for friends and family, the Gift Guide makes finding the perfect holiday present easier than ever. Heading into this holiday season, Amazon customers visiting the Handmade at Amazon store will see hundreds of thousands more handcrafted items, thousands of which are eligible for Free Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime. For shoppers looking for a personal touch, over half of the items listed on Handmade have options for customer personalization. With handcrafted items in categories from toys and games, to home décor, handbags and accessories and kitchen and dining, Handmade at Amazon is a one-stop-shop for artisan-crafted gifts this holiday season. Continue reading

Top Trend in Holiday 2016 Lighting: Points of Light LED Lightshow

Outdoor decorating is easier and more stunning than ever before in 2016 with the new Points of Light LED LightShow from the leading holiday lighting industry innovator, Gemmy Industries.

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Points of Light LED LightShow (PRNewsFoto/Gemmy Industries)

The Points of Light LED LightShow (MSRP $34.98) sets up in minutes – simply stake it into the ground or set it up with a tripod, plug it in and switch it on – to transform a yard, home or event space into a holiday winter wonderland.

Points of Light offers 12 color combinations from white to multi-color options, including 98 separate lighting effects from static to falling animation in three speeds of fading effects. Points of Light also incorporates safe and energy-efficient LED technology.

Our Points of Light LED projection is the easiest way to create maximum lighting impact with minimal effort,” said Gemmy Industries Vice President of Product Development Steven Harris. “Whether creating a magical starry sky, a winter snowfall or a brilliant color display, Points of Light is a customizable and innovative way to illuminate your holidays.

Each energy-efficient Points of Light unit can create a 50-foot wide display. The projector includes a remote control for easy on/off and to change lighting effects.

Points of Light is presently available exclusively at Walmart stores and at www.Walmart.com. For more information, go to www.LEDPointsOfLight.com.

Build-A-Bear Workshop® Debuts Scented Sweet Hugs Furry Friends And 2016 Share Your Heart Program

New Furry Friends and Accessories Arrive to Kick off Partnership for Save the Children

As the leading expert on children, we inspire and achieve lasting impact for millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls and boys. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.”

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., an interactive destination where guests can create personalized furry friends, has introduced a new collection of scented, make-your-own Sweet Hugs gifts just in time for Valentine’s Day. The new Build-A-Bear Workshop Sweet Hugs Heart Bear, Sweet Hugs Swirl Bear and Sweet Hugs Pup have candy-scented fur made possible by Celessence™ Technologies microencapsulation, a license of Genius Brands International, which uses touch to release an irresistible fragrance. The more you hug them, the sweeter they smell.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Sweet Hugs Group

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. has introduced a new collection of scented, make-your-own Sweet Hugs gifts just in time for Valentine’s Day. The new Build-A-Bear Workshop Sweet Hugs Heart Bear, Sweet Hugs Swirl Bear and Sweet Hugs Pup have candy-scented fur made possible by Celessence(TM) Technologies. (PRNewsFoto/Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.)

Each Sweet Hugs friend can transform into a unique, huggable Valentine with the addition of a Build-A-Sound® recordable chip featuring a personalized message, plush conversation hearts, and customized clothing.

From sweet scents to sweet dreams, the new Build-A-Bear Workshop 2 Fun 2 Sleep slumber party line includes new furry friends, a make-your-own Rainbow Hugs Stuffable Pillow, plus matching pajamas for kids and furry friends.

Build-A-Bear Workshop guests with a sweet tooth can also indulge in an assortment of all-natural, premium chocolate bars from PRAIM Group, Froose co-branded fruit snacks, Clever Cookie iced and mini cookies, as well as new co-branded NECCO® Sweethearts® candies.

Build-A-Bear Workshop is starting the New Year in yet another sweet way by inviting guests to support Save the Children through the company’s Share Your Heart program in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. From now through March 2, Build-A-Bear Workshop guests can share their heart by donating to Save the Children‘s Journey of Hope program in stores or online at www.buildabear.com.

Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, they are dedicated to ensuring every child has the best chance for success. Their pioneering programs give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm; and their advocacy efforts provide a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves.

Launched in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program empowers children of all ages to identify their own strengths, build coping skills, self-esteem and overall resilience. The program has since been delivered to more than 85,000 children in the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain,New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The Build-A-Bear Foundation will match all U.S. guest donations up to $100,000. At Build-A-Bear Workshop U.K. and Canadalocations, guests can purchase a purple satin heart, $1 of which will be donated to Save the Children.

We want to make it easy for guests to start the New Year on a positive note by sharing their hearts and doing something good for others,” said Gina Collins, chief marketing officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.We believe all children deserve a chance at a great future and our partnership with Save the Children will help young people in the Journey of Hope program to thrive.”

At all Build-A-Bear Workshop locations, guests can fill out a special Share Your Heart card to send positive thoughts and encouragement to children in the Journey of Hope program.

Following disasters and other traumatic experiences, children often struggle to move forward, and they need support to develop coping skills and strategies to deal with their emotions in healthy ways,” said Natalie Vega-O’Neil, Save the Children’s acting vice-president for U.S. Programs.With the support of Build-A-Bear Workshop, we will work with communities to build on children’s strengths and resiliency as we expand the program and reach even more children in need.”

For more information, visit www.buildabear.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

 

National AIDS Memorial Grove Announces Recipients of 2015 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

$40,000 In Scholarships Awarded To Six Young Leaders Fighting The HIV/AIDS Epidemic, Through Program Sponsored By Unitedhealthcare And Wells Fargo

The National AIDS Memorial Grove has awarded six outstanding undergraduate students each with a Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship for their commitment to active roles of public service and leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The National AIDS Memorial received the honor of being designated the official national AIDS memorial in 1996, in large measure because of the leadership of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi who helped pass legislation that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, elevating the Grove to join the company of the nation’s other 43 federally designated memorials. The National AIDS Memorial is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park at the corner of Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Drives.

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Manuel Venegas, Abdon Orrostieta, Eric Ciasullo and Chanel DeLaney (PRNewsFoto/National AIDS Memorial Grove)

The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, named in honor of AIDS educator, activist and reality television pioneer Pedro Zamora, who passed away more than twenty years ago from an AIDS-related illness, has helped support the education of young people who today are engaged in a variety of HIV-related work in their schools, communities and chosen academic fields. The scholarship program began in 2009 and is funded primarily through grants provided by UnitedHealthcare, Wells Fargo and Project Inform.

This year marks the largest distribution of funds from the program with a total of $40,000 awarded to six undergraduate students, two of whom are two-year scholarship recipients with $5,000 awarded in 2015 & 2016. The six recipients will each receive $5,000 to support their educational goals as they continue to provide much needed leadership and community service in HIV/AIDS public awareness and prevention, public policy, and treatment and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Chanel DeLaney, Mark Ng greet scholarship recipient Abdon Orrostie (PRNewsFoto/National AIDS Memorial Grove)

We are pleased to see the growth of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship and see first-hand how our support is helping the next generation of leaders who are actively engaged in AIDS-related work,” said John Cunningham, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove. “This couldn’t be done without the strong support and funding from UnitedHealthcare, Wells Fargo and Project Inform.”

The scholarships recipients are from six states and include:

Raymond Jackson is working on his associate’s degree in Business Administration at Essex County College in Newark, N.J. Raymond’s goal is to work with the Centers for Disease Control in their Global Health Economics Department, the financial resources to help individuals in third world countries with HIV/AIDS. In addition, he is working as a peer educator at Project (WOW), where he has the opportunity to share his personal story of living with HIV and educate his peers of the importance of protecting themselves.

Adrian Nava is a second-year recipient and third-year student at the University of Denver. He plans on completing his bachelor of arts in International Studies and Sociology. Adrian plans on working in the nonprofit sector, focusing on health and access to health services for LGBT people and people of color. Adrian has worked in the sexual health field for five years and continues to do work around sexual health at state and national levels.

Uzo Okoro is a senior at Brown University in Providence, R.I., majoring in Public Health. Upon graduation, she will attend The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University to pursue her medical degree. Uzo was selected by the nonprofit group Advocates for Youth to be a Youth Ambassador for NYHAAD (National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day) to promote a message of prevention, treatment, care and youth empowerment. She also uses events, forums and social media to amplify the voice of HIV+ survivors. At Brown University, she is a lead coordinator of the Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG), where she participates in sexual peer education.

Abdon Orrostieta is a two-year scholarship recipient and junior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. He volunteers with Latino Salud, a nonprofit community- and minority-based HIV agency that provides HIV rapid testing and linkage services making Ryan White support and other medical services accessible to HIV-positive individuals. He is also a member of the Health Awareness and Prevention Society, which promotes increased awareness and healthy living through education and prevention, and plans to incorporate what he has learned through his involvement with HAPS and Latino Salud into his future professional endeavors. Continue reading

More than Two Dozen Policymakers, Regulators To Speak at CES 2016

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, announced that 27 international, federal, state and local government officials will speak at CES 2016®. Among the policymakers delivering remarks or speaking on panels: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta, every member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee, Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron. In total, more than 160 top policymakers, regulators and staff are expected to attend. Owned and produced by CTA, CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology.Print

CES has become a must-attend event for government officials who sit at the intersection of public policy and  technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “CES is the ideal gathering place for policymakers and regulators to engage with the tech companies and entrepreneurs driving innovation and the global economy. As an industry, the tech sector understands the importance of showing government officials how emerging and disruptive technologies are improving our world and changing the way we live and work. And we understand the need to explain that pro-innovation policies allow for the next generation of tech breakthroughs.”

A full listing of all government officials speaking at CES 2016 conference sessions follows:

Tuesday, January 5

Hyperdata and the Mobile Future
Peter Marx, CTO, City of Los Angeles

Roadmap to FDA Approval: What You Need to Know

Bakul Patel, associate director for digital health, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA

Wednesday, January 6

FAA Press Conference featuring CTA, 3D Robotics, DJI and Google

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

SuperSession: Insights with the FTC and FCC 

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

SuperSession: An Inside Look: Industry Innovators and Government Join Forces

Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy, White House OSTP

U.S. CTO Megan Smith, White House OSTP

Internet of Things: Myriad Benefits and New Challenges 

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)

Alan Davidson, director of digital economy and senior advisor to the secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Germany’s State Secretary for Justice and Consumer Protection Gerd Billen

When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies

Ann Barron Di Camillo, director of US-CERT, Department of Homeland Security
2016 Preview: FTC and FCC Commissioner Roundtable 

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny

FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

Cyber Security Starts at the Top

Suzanne Spaulding, under secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Thursday, January 7

Beyond Smart Cities: The Future of Urban Mobility 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Innovating Privacy: New Frameworks for Changing Technology

FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen

SuperSession: Global Innovation

France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

Rules for Drones: Best Policies and Practices

Marke “Hoot” Gibson, senior advisor, UAS Integration, FAA

Managing Low-Altitude Airspace for Safety and Privacy

Parimal Kopardekar, Ph.D., principal investigator, Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management (UTM), NASA Ames Research Center

LIT Reception and Dinner

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

Friday, January 8

What’s Next for Patents? Promoting Innovation and Preventing Abuse

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) 

Michelle Lee, Under Secretary, U.S. PTO