It was fitting that on Monday my hyperactive friend, Ray Wang live streamed portions of the keynote from the Microsoft Convergence event using his Meerkat app and then raved about it at dinner. Over the weekend he was in Austin and described three use cases for the app. It was a huge hit at this year’s SXSW
Popular Mechanics on how The New York Times operates in modern times including the digital innovations it keeps delivering.
“The R&D Lab opened nine years ago with the goal of looking three to five years into the future. (The Times declined to say how much it cost to build.) Marc Frons, the company's CIO says he has no idea how people will interact with the Times in ten years, "whether it's on your wrist, or your forehead, or you take a pill, or it's a holographic contact lens, or a head-up display in your vehicle—or on your mirror in your bathroom." The lab explored E Ink before the Kindle even existed, was responsible for delivering the earliest versions of the paper's mobile news alerts, and helped the Times become the first publisher with an application on Google Glass. One of the lab's researchers recently designed a brooch programmed to light up whenever a topic is mentioned that matches something the wearer read about online that day. What good would that do, exactly? Boggie answers with enthusiasm, "We don't know yet!"”
While many have highlighted Apple Watch’s payments software and health-monitoring capabilities, its ability to connect us to what our phones already know about where we are and what we’re doing—augmenting our reality with a new layer of data—makes me think it could bring about profound behavioral change in its users. As Apple illustrated with the iPhone, it’s changes in what we find it easy and enjoyable to do that beget changes in our habits and social norms. And those are the shifts that create real opportunities for the next billion-dollar startup.
There are 25 Surface tablets available at every NFL game now for each team — 13 on the sidelines, and 12 up in the assistant coaches’ booths. Devices on the sidelines connect to a private, secure in-stadium WiFi network, while assistant coaches hook up to a wired connection. All other features of a consumer-grade Surface Pro 2 have been stripped away. The tablets only allow access to a Sideline Viewing System app that provides the photos of recent plays.
Traditionally, images would be sent to a printer, and a team assistant would have to print the photos and compile them into a binder.
South Africa certainly seems to have embraced mobile payments with enthusiasm - roughly half the population now owns a smartphone.
And one bank, FNB reports that its customers are making 230 million mobile payment transactions per month, compared to 45 million on the popular M-Pesa platform in Kenya.
SnapScan has also partnered with the City of Cape Town to allow motorists to pay parking marshals in the city using the app. Each marshal is equipped with a unique QR code that motorists scan to pay for their parking.
In December, Starbucks will launch an app that will allow customers to pre-order and choose a pickup time. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza Subway, and Dunkin' Donuts are already using, testing, or developing similar apps.
OrderAhead, a three-year-old startup based in San Francisco, is assembling a network of merchants and taking a 5 percent to 10 percent cut of each transaction. Mobile-payment startup Square released its preorder app for restaurateurs in New York and San Francisco in October and has signed up hundreds of businesses. The Starbucks app allows customers to choose their item and pickup location; they will then receive an approximate wait time.