Mine Bitcoin with Kodak for Fun and Profit (CES 2018 Review)


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This week, Brian and Phillip get bullish on VR, talk hype in cryptocurrency, and wish for a facial recognition burger ordering system. Listen in for a recap of CES 2018 and all the interesting news in retail tech.

Future Commerce Tells the Future:

Predictions we made in December have already come true: 10 days in:

  • Phillip is Eating a hat with Costco ketchup, because:

  • Brian predicted VR fitness, and BlackBox VR made it so.

  • Choice quotes:

    • "All the nerds are going to be the fit ones now."

    • "We're going to have a super race of Crypto Bros."

Phillip predicted that companies would start using personal attributes to tailor products to you. Two new strange developments to report on that prediction:


  • Either we're idiots or wise pundits depending on when you listened to our episode discussing Bitcoin

  • Worth watching: Seth Meyers Bitcoin commercial

  • Bitcoin reminds us of the early dotcoms. The local news coverage of the "world wide web" is very similar to the reporting happening on cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin in the news:

By no means our last words on bitcoin:

  • If bitcoin is the AOL of cryptocurrency, then we are only at the very beginning of this conversation.

  • Note to merchants: using bitcoin on your website is an antiquated understanding of cryptocurrency.

  • Bitcoin is now a commodified investment similar to oil.

  • It uses up a ton of energy. As much as Denmark.

  • If Visa was on the blockchain, it would take the equivalent of 5000 nuclear reactors to meet its needs.

  • Our favorite bitcoin tweet of the week comes from Petter Brannen, author of The Ends of the World.

  • Remember: cryptocurrency has nothing to do with buying and selling goods right now.

Will Amazon buy Target?

  • NOPE - But Brian says they probably will continue to buy companies like body labs to acquire tech or patent that will take too long to develop on their own.

  • But there might be a logical progression to this idea:

  • Target did just acquire shipt.

  • Then they announced they were rolling out $99 year same day delivery.

  • This leads to a logical end: Target and Walmart can truly compete with Amazon. They could probably beat Amazon. So Amazon may have incentive to buy Target - but they won't do it.

  • Target having $99 same day delivery shipping is compelling. It's an interesting turn of events.


  • Intel CEO gave keynote. Despite spectre meltdown, and seemingly being out of touch, almost every computing device you use is powered by Intel in some degree.

  • They made a bunch of cool announcements in transportation, including a vertical takeoff and landing device at the show.

  • Quote of the episode: "Dear 1950s, you're version of the future is finally here."

  • Pizza Hut announced self driving pizza delivery cars.

  • This gets back to Phil's supply chain theory: property doesn't have to be a physical brick and mortar place anymore.

  • CVS doesn't have to be just a building with pharmaceuticals. CVS can actually be a fleet of vehicles always wandering around, omnipresent, you just have to hail it like an uber and it will be there in a minute to deliver your order.

  • We're very bullish on AR and VR techs with a context that makes sense for retail. 2018? Probably not. But more of it will keep coming.

Why we talk about seemingly tangential tech:

  • It's important for retailers to know what's happening in these tech spaces.

  • Consumer product technology adoption will create consumer demand for good experiences in your retail spaces. That doesn't have to be just digital commerce.

  • No one is safe in brick and mortar. The element of experiential retail will follow even into the retail experience.

  • This is why we talk about CES, bitcoin, and all of these things.

  • We want you to know them to avoid being blindsided by your customers.

  • Technology affects commerce. You don't have to be an early adopter.

  • You can bide your time on a lot of this technology.

  • But they come fast. Voice is hear, even though it was a far tech a year and a half ago.

  • The rate of adoption is faster and faster. Know what these developments are and how they apply to you.

Brian's tangential segue into toys and tech:

  • Sphero mini is an app enabled toy for kids to learn how to code.

  • Earlier Sphero released a Lightning McQueen toy that shows the future for what's next with toys.

  • Toy tech and robotics are getting to the point where we can tell even more engaging stories There's even an updated Teddy Ruxpin (although, Teddy Ruxpin is, and always will be terrifying).

More on voice and recognition:

  • Apple slept on Siri in a big way.

  • Amazon realized they've been sleeping for a year on Echo, and CES proved they've woken up.

  • Everything has alexa built into it now.

  • And it's not because amazon is so smart developing this tech, but that they've opened it up for others to develop.

  • Facial recognition for burgers is a thing. Caliburger's kiosks can now repeat and order based off facial recognition.

  • Phillip wants a facial recognition burger chain to look at his face and place an order based off what it sees.

We'll be at NRF next week!


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