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Google leads tech innovations

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FridayReads-tech-innovations

My picks this week are five that I’ve enjoyed reading regarding innovations, along with trials and lessons on new technology.

1. Google goes hands free

First up, Google has been trialling its new payments system, Google Hands Free Payments, in a limited area, South Bay in San Francisco. The blurb goes like this: “Imagine paying for things without lifting a finger. No digging around for cash, credit cards, or loose change. Just tell the cashier you’d like to pay with Google, and you’re good to go.” Before you wonder about yet another wallet, especially one competing with Android Pay, well, this isn’t that. Still, it’s intriguing if only just a trial.

You can read more, and see a video, on the official website here: https://get.google.com/handsfree/

Read Shirley Siluk’s piece about it here.

2. Mugshot payments, otherwise known as selfie-pay

Still on the subject of innovating in payments we have Amazon and its fast moving push into selfie pay, but it wasn’t the first. Alipay and MasterCard have already been working on facial recognition technology. Here’s a video from Alipay which shows its system in action:

My only question is this: what if I’m having a bad hair day, or have a haircut?

“Gesture recognition can tell the difference between smiles and winks. So, Amazon plans to use facial recognition to first make sure that it is the person who owns the account that wants to make a purchase, and then gestures to tell if it’s the real person or their photograph held against the camera.”

Read more about Amazon’s selfie pay and the patent it’s pursuing here on Re/code.

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3. Making payments with your shoes and handbag

Using one’s face is all well and good, but I’m not that kind of customer and sometimes a little discretion is called for. Taking the NFC payment system championed by card issuers and electronics companies Apple, Samsung and Android, one step further means integrating and linking the technology into everyday items; jewellery, sunglasses, watches, and textiles.

Maria Lamagna at MarketWatch has a nice piece on what the future might bring courtesy of MasterCard linking up with the Parsons School of Design and offering a generous incentive.

Read it here.

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4. The beacons are watching!

Coca-Cola loves to innovate and trial new technology along with its marketing efforts, and this is a great example of something we can all learn from. A while ago it placed beacons in vending machines.

“Using the internet of things and knowing when a customer is approaching a machine means we can deliver very personal messages. For example, we could can have a Powerade message [on a vending machine] because we know someone is going to the gym or show them one for a protein drink after their workout. Strong occasional driven content can help us be that much more powerful.”

It makes for interesting reading and one that can certainly be implemented in other ways throughout retail or events, or museums and the like. There’s an array of opportunities if you get it right; how about issuing a time-limited coupon in-store as customers browse certain “zoned” floors? It reminds me of Spielberg’s Minority Report where we see Tom Cruise’s retina scanned by billboards followed by targeted advertising.

Read Seb Joseph’s piece here.

5. Your beer knows you

I’m quite obsessed with targeting and “proximity-based marketing” so I’m going to stick with another story about beacons as Heineken USA’s marketing manager Amberly Hilinski fills us in on how the beer brand is leveraging beacon technology in its marketing efforts.

“We talk a lot at Heineken USA about test & learn and experimenting. For me, it’s just getting exposed to what are some interesting, cool ways that people are pushing digital advertising and the way that we can harness that in a very challenging category.”

Read Minda Smiley’s piece here.

And that wraps up another week of our recommended reading, which we hope you’ve found useful. If it’s one thing I love, it’s mobile payment innovations, and all things tech!

If you’re interested in all things payments, why not come along to the All Payments Expo in New Orleans? Merchants can go for free! Go to our main All Payments Expo event website and sign up. Take a look at the great topics we’ve got lined up in our agenda then come by, listen and meet others with the same interests!

Elliot Richards is a Digital Content Marketer and works for Informa plc in the Knowledge & Networking Division. His background is in retail, technology solutions, and ecommerce, spanning a wide array of organisations including HMV, Sega, Virgin, and Apple. Informa's Knowledge & Networking produces content-driven events and programmes that provide platforms for communities to connect and learn, equipping professionals with the capabilities and network they need to deliver enhanced performance. It is the world’s biggest events producer with several thousand events annually welcoming 150,000 delegates in over 70 countries.

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