3D Parts Printing – As 3D printing becomes increasingly mainstream, we can expect to see more companies taking advantage of that to differentiate themselves. Swedish Synth Company Teenage Engineering allows customers to print their own parts from CAD files on their website. This is a wonderful use of the technology and while keeping clients happy, allows TE to spend their time on their next product instead of fulfilling low profit, manual, but very important requests for small replacement bits for currently installed product. I would love to see more of this!
Sail is Done – Verifone Sail is discontinued already. Released last year as a dongle for smartphones to be used as part of a service to accept payments aimed at smaller retailers, Verifone are apparently backing away from Verifone Sail as they say the segment is not viable in the long term, though the website is still up at present. Curious challenge since this segment is the entire business model for Square, though their partnership with Starbucks provides an out for them to other business models.
SilverCar – SilverCar is a car rental service offering one kind of car – Silver Audi A4s. That’s it. Clients use the website or mobile app to book their reservation. Clients build a profile that includes not only the usual information like dates and times for rental, but addresses that they plan to visit, and even their favourite radio stations. When clients get to the airport, they enter in their information on their mobile and their car unlocks with all of their information uploaded to the vehicle. On return, instead of dealing with a mobile wielding attendant, the app automatically charts out all of the costs and passes the receipt electronically. Looks like they are only operating in Dallas at present, but will be very interesting to see how they make this work. It could change car rentals everywhere.