In this week’s digital news, United Airlines begins using facial recognition to speed up TSA lines, Apple Watch can now record surf sessions, Amazon reduces wasteful packaging, and more.
United Airlines offers easier clearance for frequent flyers
United Airlines recently revealed that it’s adopting the use of biometric security to speed up security lines. To do so, the airline has partnered with the tech company Clear. Soon, the airline will offer quick facial recognition and fingerprint scanning to frequent flyers. But of course there’s a catch. The partnership greatly reflects the airline’s goal to boost growth with a “strategic equity investment.” Basically, Clear comes with a cost. United’s MileagePlus members can use Clear for $119 per year. The price seems somewhat steep, but it’s a significant deal compared to the standard $179.
In addition, United credit card holders will only pay $109 and Global Services or Premier 1K members will have free access. What it comes down to is how long the individual flyer wants to wait in line. Is it worth it to breeze through the lines and relax at the gate? Or is patience a virtue and not worth an extra payment on top of a plane ticket? Another major concern with biometric security is the fear of privacy data breaches. To assuage these fears, Clear and United have assured the technology is seamless and secure.
Surfline’s Apple Watch app records your next big wave
Earlier this week Apple introduced a new Sessions feature that allows surfers to record and track their rides. Many surfers already use the Surfline app to help plan trips and monitor sets. However, Apple is now using Surfline’s high-definition cameras to record all the good stuff from intense wipeouts to best waves. Before paddling out, tap on the large Start button in the Apple Watch app and try to stay within the field of view of the camera. When finished, tap to end the session and the video will be ready to view.
For those interested in more than how they look while surfing, workout details are also made available on the Health features app. In addition, all ride details about each session are automatically saved including the number of waves caught. As of this week, Surfline app users with a series 2 or later Apple Watch can start using the new Sessions feature.
Amazon begins fining sellers for shipping oversized packaging
It’s no secret that Amazon is always searching for ways to maximize profits and cut unnecessary costs. That said, early yesterday the company revealed new guidelines to help reduce wasteful packaging. Most of us have received a small product within an oversized box, and this practice has actually created an issue for the company. So Amazon’s solution, dubbed the “Frustration-Free Packaging Program,” is to give customers functional and protective packaging with each order. Of course, the program also acts as a reward system for Amazon members. Sellers will receive a $1 credit for every item that meets the new guidelines, and they’ll be fined $1.99 for packages that don’t meet new standards. All in all, Amazon hopes these guidelines will help cut down on shipping costs as well as lessen the harmful environmental impact. The Frustration-Free Packaging Program officially begins September 3rd
Snickers lifts moods with mobile micro-gifting push
Snickers recently launched its first mobile micro-gifting campaign with the help of Walmart. The inspiration behind the “Big Mood” campaign came from the increasing negative content and conversation shared on mobile devices. Snickers is attempting to lift consumers’ spirits with quick and easy personalized gifting. The real kicker is that the gifting is all done on mobile devices. The company wants to encourage the public to use their devices for good, not evil. For $1.65 people can send a personalized message and gift card redeemable for a Snickers bar at any Walmart.
Gifters can also send one of six funny or sweet videos created by YouTube star and rapper Caleon Fox. It’s obvious that a seamless user experience is critical to the campaign’s success. Especially since the campaign completely relies on mobile-based technology. To place an order text “BIG MOOD” to 62770, or scan a QR code on “Big Mood” displays in Walmart stores. Snickers will direct gift-givers to a microsite to enter the recipient’s name and mobile number. For those wondering, the Big Mood campaign will run through the end of September.
Burger King takes Impossible Whopper nationwide
Burger King announced a partnership early yesterday with the Impossible Foods company to add a plant-based Whopper to its nationwide menu. The menu expansion reportedly stemmed from several successful trials in smaller markets. The food chain first introduced the Impossible Whopper back in April of this year in St. Louis. From then, Burger King added the Impossible Whopper to its menu in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Baltimore, Columbus, Georgia and Alabama. The results from the trial showed that the new Whopper had much more traffic than the national average before the plant-based burger.
The Impossible Whopper will be available at all U.S. Burger King locations starting August 8th. On top of the Impossible partnership, Burger King also partnered with DoorDash. From August 8th to September 1st, DoorDash will deliver the Impossible Whopper with no delivery fee. To sweeten the deal, customers can also order the “Impossible Taste Test.” Which comes with both the original and Impossible Whopper for $7 with no delivery fee. To hop on this limited deal, use the code IMPOSSIBLE at checkout on DoorDash.Published on August 2, 2019