Paying with LevelUp – The LevelUp payment system recently announced a new payment dock. This payment system has users link a credit card to a 2D barcode they scan on a special dock at participating retailers. Their new dock now apparently allows for NFC as well.
NFC is an interesting choice given the ongoing non-adoption of NFC on many mobile devices. It’s been next year for sure since 2005, and the iPhone 5 didn’t have it, but hey, the Nokia 920 looks incredible, as does Windows Phone 8, and they offer NFC, so you never know.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have many options given the ongoing uncertainty around mobile interfaces and payment infrastructures. Bluetooth is a good option to keep – never know when that might show up. The new dock sure appears to hide a Genesis Imager under that white case, does it not?
Drive Through Grocery Pickup – Tesco recently announced it is tripling the locations that offer click and collect for orders. Online grocery shoppers can opt for picking up their orders at the store in a special drive through area instead of having to be at home to accept their order during a specific delivery window.
It’s interesting how demographics, geography and timing play such massive roles. Publix decided not to pursue this channel at the beginning of 2012 after a 2 year pilot at three sites. This appears to be solution that has to have the right fit and it may be difficult to find. It’s certainly a polarizing subject. There are many interesting comments for and against on a retailwire article on grocery delivery/pickup.
Google Glass – There was lots of talk back in the spring about Google’s Project Glass. For the uninitiated, these are a set of glasses that effectively overlay a smart phone experience on glasses so users get the benefits of a smartphone without the smartphone. The user interface elements are ‘projected’ over real life in front of your eyes. To date, most of what has been shown to the public has been concept videos and a live demo at Google I/O. Wall Street Journal’s Spencer E. Ante – a regular human outside of the Google Hive got to try them out. Sounds like it’s not ready for primetime, but that’s how new tech evolves! This is still a technology that should be watched one way or the other.