Beacons on the bus
London bus commuters are to be the first in the country to receive targeted offers on their phones while they travel.
Beacon technology has been installed on 500 London buses as a trial, for selected advertisers to push offers via bluetooth, using location-based apps.
This means commuters passing a coffee shop could receive a coupon for a reduced price drink, putting the brand front of mind when the person exits the bus. Or they could be pinged a trailer for a film as they pass close to a cinema.
In a six-month trial in Norwich involving 110 buses and 20 local businesses, 30 per cent of users clicked through on their notifications, while there were more than 2,000 app downloads during the period as phone users opted in to receive the offers.
New face of online passwords
Development of the next generation password has taken a step forward with Mastercard announcing this week that it is beginning facial recognition ID.
Selected users accessing the Mastercard app can choose to use fingerprint recognition or facial. To use the facial option, the phone is held in front of the face and the user blinks to authorise it. The blink is a security feature to stop thieves holding up a picture of someone to gain access to their account.
More surfers Duck out of Google
Internet users fed up of being tracked and monitored as part of Google’s sophisticated analytics activities are increasingly finding a new way to surf the web.
Duck Duck Go, the search engine that promises not to track you, passed 10milion searches in a day last week for the first time. While this is still less than one per cent of the total internet searches performed – compared to Google’s 64 per cent of the desktop market – it is still a sizeable and growing number opting out of the Google spotlight.
Rather than previous activity being used to serve a user tailored ads, Duck Duck Go makes money by showing search ads based on the keywords they type at the time of the search. The search engine launched in 2013 and now handles 3billion queries per year.
Twitter plans to be the go-to place for breaking news
Twitter’s appeal as a news source is set to increase with the launch of a new feature, potentially to be called Moments, this year.
Live events, such as sports games and breaking news stories will be curated, allowing users to see the best tweets and photos on a major subject at a glance and in real time.
This job will be done by editors, not by algorithms, giving the feature added journalistic credibility as it seeks to be the place people come for the most important and relevant updates and opinion on news as it unfolds. Crucially, users who aren’t logged in to twitter will still be able to follow breaking news in this way from the company’s homepage, giving this feature impact far beyond the chattering classes of the twitter community.
Big news from Amazon and Apple
E-commerce retailers and high street outlets whose customers like paying by card might want to note a couple of dates in their diaries for next week.
First, Apple Pay is planned to launch in the UK on 14 July, with the smartphone and watch payment system being accepted for payments up to £20, similar to contactless cards.
Eight major banks, Transport for London and 250,000 shops will be able to take payments when the service goes live.
Meanwhile, Amazon is celebrating its 20th anniversary with Prime Day, which is set to rival Black Friday for the sheer number of deals being offered to the public in a 24 hour period.
It will run on 15 July, with commentators speculating that new deals may be offered as often as every 10 minutes.