By Corinne Clements

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s installment of TraQing News! From mixed reality showrooms to the future of front lawns, here are some of our favorite articles from last week to get you back into the swing of working:

Amazon eyes VR and AR homewares stores to show you products in your virtual home | Adario Strange: It can be extremely frustrating to try and imagine how appliances or furniture will fit into your house. How are you supposed to decide whether or not that couch is just right? Mixed reality might be the newest way to see if the furniture fits the house! In the future, Amazon would like you to use VR and AR in their own stores to see how that new range will fit into your kitchen.

ikea-1376853_1920Ikea’s Next Big Frontier | Mark Wilson: For all the chatter about smart homes, they’re still working their way into the main stream. Ikea is hoping to shake things up by introducing their own smart lighting kit. They’ve created their own take on a smart home user experience by using the extensive research they do on how people live in and use their homes.

Samsung’s biggest challenge now is Google software, not Apple hardware | Vlad Savov: Smartphone design has reached a sort of homogeneity (hence why we’ve seen some nostalgic designs in feature phones lately). There’s also only so much excitement one can work up for incremental changes to processors and the like. What might really become the deciding factor on cell phone choices, especially in the next few years, is the software inside them. With the new Galaxy S8, you can see the groundwork being laid for Samsung to come into its own on the software side as well as the design side of smart phones.

Front Lawns affected by shifting motivations | HBSDealer Staff: You know that joke about everyone being “special snowflakes” these days? When it comes to how people want their front lawns viewed, that might not actually be as much of a joke. Research from Houzz indicates that homeowners today want their landscaping to be unique to the neighborhood. Savvy retailers can capitalize on trends like this as more lawn and garden projects start rolling out as the months warm up.

If articles like these have whetted your appetite for more consumer durables industry news, follow @TraQline on twitter and The Stevenson Company on LinkedIn! See an article you think we should feature in our weekly round up? Let us know by tweeting us and tag it with #TraQingNews.

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We’ll see you next week!