Wal-Mart buys iPhone app agency to improve mobile commerce

The group responsible for bringing multinational retail corporation Wal-Mart into the era of mobile and social commerce has just expanded. WalmartLabs, the retail giant’s eight month-old social and mobile product incubator, has acquired Small Society to help improve customers’ mobile experiences, the group announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Apple could bring facial recognition to the iPhone, à la Android

You can bet if one major smartphone manufacturer develops a new feature, its competitors will follow suit. Apple has applied for a facial recognition patent, according to an application form published by the U.S. Patent Office. Looks like Apple is right on Google’s heels; in mid-December the Android 4.0 Galaxy Nexus was released, with the ability to unlock the phone by recognizing your face touted as a key feature.