SRAX Recap: Germany tests virtual IDs, Hulu prepares for original content push, Google Maps partners with local businesses

In this week’s digital news, Germany plans to utilize virtual IDs, Disney plans for original content push on Hulu, Google Maps allows businesses to reward followers, and more.

Germans can soon use iPhones as virtual ID cards

Earlier this week a report revealed how German citizens can use Apple’s NFC software in more ways than one. Although NFC is generally used for getting on the subway and shopping, Germany will take  advantage of the iOS 13’s updated NFC support. First off, the update comes with “Apple-approved NFC identification documents.” The software will allow residents to scan virtual ID cards. As well as use them online and for check-ins at international airports as well. However, people will have to wait for the release of both iOS 13 in September and the German government’s ‘AusweisApp2’ first.

Of course there is no guarantee that these virtual ID’s will see widespread use. Especially since Germans, very privacy-conscious individuals, may not feel comfortable storing their identity on an iPhone. But if these digital cards help save time with security lines and check-ins, they may prove to be very practical. And maybe even expand to other countries after all.

Via Pexels

With Disney in charge, Hulu plans original content push

Disney shared its plan to release more original content on Hulu earlier this week. Now that the company has taken ownership of the streaming service, it should be no surprise that Hulu will avail itself of Disney’s assets. With Disney now holding the reigns, Hulu CEO Randy Freer noted that “Hulu’s investment in original programming will increase significantly.” In addition, he credits the content push to “the capacity inside of the Walt Disney Company.” As well as Disney’s ability to expend resources on  top-tier writers and the best talent.

Even including Hulu’s previous original content such as Shrill, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Catch 22 before Disney took control, the streaming service still remains far behind Netflix. But with Disney now in the mix, Netflix has reason to worry.. Apparently Hulu has already started promoting two upcoming Marvel series: Helstrom and Ghost Rider. As of now, there is no confirmation on how much Hulu plans to invest.. However, with Disney‘s influence, there will most likely be high expectations of this new wave of incoming content.

Google Maps lets local businesses reward followers

Early yesterday Google announced a new feature on Google Maps that benefits both local businesses and customers. As of yesterday, businesses can offer various perks and discounts to customers who follow their business on Maps. Business owners can customize deals based on goals and customers can get discounts with a simple tap. In addition, companies can post status updates directly to their listing and choose a cover photo on Maps. Followers can see status updates in the ‘For You’ section of the Maps app. The concept originally started last year. Apparently, Google Maps has seen a 50% increase in “near me” questions since last January of 2018. Plus, a big increase in monthly bookings in the past year. Google Maps will also get storefront decals for businesses to promote their “shortnames” and invite customers to review their company.

Via Pexels

Netflix claims new Sandler movie drew record views

Netflix recently shared exciting news about its latest original film, ‘Murder Mystery.’ The comedy starring both Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston recorded over 30 million global views within the first three days of streaming. Which makes it the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix original film. However, since Netflix is habitually reserved with viewership data and ratings, the film’s figures have raised some skepticism. Much of the public finds it hard to believe that the Sandler comedy received more views than some of this year’s most popular projects. Such as the Game of Thrones series finale.

Be that as it may, ever since Sandler signed with Netflix back in 2014, his legendary comedies have been amongst the most popular films on the streaming service. In fact, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, once stated that “users have spent nearly half a billion hours watching the comedian’s movies on the platform.” So setting skepticism aside, it’s fair to believe Murder Mystery received high views upon release.

Hopper app expands monitoring platform to hotels

Hopper recently announced the expansion of its price-monitoring app to hotels across the globe. The nifty travel app that predicts airfare prices using AI will bring in its same technology to more than 270,000 hotels in more than 200 countries and territories. Similar to airfare prices, hotel rates fluctuate dramatically over the course of months, especially with traveler demand. During busy times, prices are higher, and when  hotels have rooms to fill, their prices drop.

Hopper’s new feature allows travelers to narrow searches not only by city, but by neighborhood and points of interest as well. Apparently, people don’t always know if certain rates are available to them or if they qualify. So the app added a new function called ‘private rates,’ which allows users to monitor hotels based on packaged deals, member rates, perks, and amenities. Lastly, Hopper will include a ‘Watch a Hotel’ feature that tracks the prices of the specific hotels that users bookmark.

Published on June 21, 2019

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