Instacart acquires smart checkout startup Caper AI for $350M

Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 

Instacart today announced that it acquired Caper AI, a startup developing technologies to automate brick-and-mortar checkout experiences, for approximately $350 million in cash and stock. With the purchase, Instacart says that it aims to help retailers “unify in-store and online shopping [flows] for customers.”

Caper’s New York-based workforce will join Instacart, adding hardware engineering talent to Instacart’s existing product development team. Over time, Instacart expects to integrate Caper’s technology into the Instacart app and the ecommerce websites and apps of its retail partners, allowing customers to build online shopping lists and browse recipes ahead of time and check off their lists as they go.

“Over the years, Instacart has continued to expand its retailer enablement services, helping brick-and-mortar grocers across North America move their businesses online, grow, and meet the evolving

Read More

Flingbot, a robot that hurls paint at canvases

Jay of JBV Creative is an engineer and artist who specializes in 3D printing to make gorgeous automata — you can see some of his models, like a handcranked marble coaster or flapping crane, at his online shop here.

Last month he unveiled Flingbot, a robot that — in a vaguely Jackson-Pollock-like fashion — hurts paint at canvases. It’s made of 3D printed parts, servos, tubes, and a deformable silicone scoop made in a custom-designed mold, all controlled by an Arduino.

In that video he documents the build, and describes his design decisions — including injecting enough randomness in the robot’s throwing and paint-picking parameters that it produces over 3 trillion possible combos, meaning every work of art is makes is unique.

From his YouTube description …

To my surprise, it actually worked! Flingbot created paintings that far exceeded my own personal ability to paint (This was the

Read More

Get all the perks of a MacBook Air for $400 off usual price

We’ve certainly put our laptops to the test over the last year and a half. Whether working from home, online shopping, or zoning out with a good ‘ole Netflix binge, computers have been a lifeline keeping us connected with the outside world. If logging all those extra hours on your trusty sidekick means your laptop has seen better days, it might be time for an upgrade.

There’s a reason everyone loves MacBook Airs: they’re light, easily portable, and packed with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to love from Apple. If you’ve previously been scared off by the MacBook Air price, a refurbished one provides the best of both worlds. Right now, you can snag a Grade A refurbished Apple MacBook Air

Read More

Everything you need to know about CBS Essentials, your guide to online shopping

Here’s everything you need to know about CBS Essentials, from our writers to our business model.

CBS Essentials/Getty Images

It’s pretty simple: CBS Essentials is your complete guide online shopping. Our mission is to help you find great products for your home and work life, and to plug you into the latest deals and news about brands you love.

Our writers and editors live and breathe online shopping, with years of collective experience covering the retail business and reviewing products. We compile expert advice, customer reviews and first-hand experience to find just the right products to recommend. We are in constant contact with retailers to make sure we know when deals drop, new products launch and sales begin.  

And this is important: Our editors work independently of the CBS News newsroom; we work independently of retailers; and we make money when you buy things from our links. We will always

Read More