Retail exchanges work on common standardsBy 2003, two competing retail industry marketplaces plan to push their catalogue providers to use a common set of data standards. The GlobalNetXchange and the Worldwide Retail Exchange announced a joint initiative under which 12,000 global manufacturers will look to migrate to Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) standards. The GCI is a voluntary body of manufacturing and retail companies committed to implementing new e-commerce standards in their industries. Bharat Popat, vice president of product development at GNX, believes that ordering and payment using the common standards will begin to take off by late next year.
Dick's cyber pooch
Dick Smith Electronics has begun offering the i-cybie robotic pet dog (Y 3099), under an exclusive arrangement with the manufacturer. The i-cybie can develop and expand its behaviour over time, based on the interaction between itself and its owner. It learns how to interact with its environment through processing cumulative experiences and responds to commands such as beg, sit, lie down, as well as sounds such as clapping. Users can train i-cybie to respond to voice commands. It even tells its owner when it needs to have its batteries charged by assuming a special position and flashing its eyes red and green. Dick Smith is offering the product for a retail price of $498.
Ozbuy.com gets rolled into Strathfield.comIT e-tail site Ozbuy.com has been merged with the Strathfield Group's own Web site to become Strathfield.com. Strathfield Group, which bought the online retailer in July last year, will now offer a range of IT, sound, home theatre and mobile electronics products - more than 80,000 items in all - through its signature Web site and national call centre. Existing Ozbuy.com customers will be able to log into the site using the same username and password as their Ozbuy account.