Blockchain at CES: Evaluating the Tech’s Hype and Potential

There were twice as many people as chairs throughout the nearly four-hour “Future of Blockchain” CES conference program this week. The enthusiasm of the program’s attendees mirrored that of exhibitors as well as the general anticipation surrounding blockchain and its applications at the show. The new offerings discussed at CES 2018 ranged from Kodak’s resurgence as a rights management platform to fast food chains asking users to mine tokens by eating chicken wings. A number of entertainment-specific blockchain technologies showed promise beyond an alternative means of purchasing content. Continue reading Blockchain at CES: Evaluating the Tech’s Hype and Potential

Taco Bell Is Experimenting With New Marketing Vehicle: Lyft

Fast-food chain Taco Bell is teaming with ride-sharing firm Lyft to offer passengers a “Taco Mode” in the Lyft app for requesting rides between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. that include a stop at a Taco Bell drive-through. The option will be tested around Newport Beach, California the next few weeks, and will likely expand nationally in 2018. “I kind of think of this like inverse delivery — like we’re delivering you to Taco Bell,” said Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer. “You’re being delivered to the food as opposed to having to get in your own car and drive.” Continue reading Taco Bell Is Experimenting With New Marketing Vehicle: Lyft

Google Launches Pilot Program for Hands-Free Mobile Wallet

Google launched a pilot for Hands Free, a mobile wallet application that allows a buyer to use her phone for purchases without taking it out of her purse. The pilot, conducted in the southern San Francisco Bay area, is available in a few stores and designated McDonald’s and Papa John’s locations. The cashier’s system can detect the user’s phone; to close the transaction, the user asks to pay with Google and gives her initials to the cashier. The cashier can also detect if the user is the same person in the Google profile. Continue reading Google Launches Pilot Program for Hands-Free Mobile Wallet

Starbucks Mobile App to Add Feature: Online Orders for Pickup

Starbucks will soon allow its customers to place orders using the company’s mobile app. The service will have a test run before the end of the year and will roll out nationwide shortly after. The idea is to make the order/purchase process more convenient while reducing wait times at locations. The feature should also make it easier for those who place large orders. The move may be a natural next step for some, since a growing number of customers already use the mobile app at checkout. Continue reading Starbucks Mobile App to Add Feature: Online Orders for Pickup

Tabletop Computer Screens Bring Change to Dining Experience

Tabletop computer screens could improve the restaurant experience for diners and employees. Restaurants such as Chili’s Bar & Grill plan to introduce such technology in the future. The causal dining chain, which has been testing the approach this year, will install tabletop touchscreens in most of its 1,266 restaurants by early next year. Dallas-based Ziosk LLC provides tablet computers mounted to a base that include menu options, a card swipe device and video games. Continue reading Tabletop Computer Screens Bring Change to Dining Experience