By Corinne Clements

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s installment of TraQing News! Thanks for letting us be a part of your Friday routine over the course of 2018. As usual, we’ve rounded up some content for you as you wind down your work week. From smart displays to the burgeoning direct-to-consumer market, here are some of our favorite articles from this week:

The rise of the direct-to-consumer home | Diana Budds: It’s not just mattresses and eyeglasses anymore- the direct-to-consumer business model is blossoming across product categories. While there are logistic difficulties for some products (such as the challenges of shipping a sofa to someone’s front door), homeowners are embracing the ability to purchase furniture, mattresses, and more online.

Smart displays came into their own in 2018 | Nicole Lee: Smart speakers have earned their places on counters across American homes in the last few years, but now people are seeing the utility of having a smart speaker that comes with a screen. While there was initially some concern as to whether screens were a good idea or just a gimmick, smart displays have become another way for Google and Amazon to differentiate themselves from one another and the rest of the competition.

The mobile world in 2019 might finally be exciting again | Roger Cheng: Smartphones have more or less looked alike for a while now, with only increasing screen sizes, the appearance of a “notch”, and the lack of headphone jacks to differentiate between many models. 2019 may be the year that things get shaken up. From the introduction of ‘foldable’ phones to the opportunities that 5G wireless will bring to phones’ capabilities, there is a lot to look forward to.

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 roundup? Let us know by tweeting us and tag it with #TraQingNews.

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