Thursday 25 July 2013

Pay your bills with your face. Keep smiling.

Pay your bills with your face. 

Like fingerprints, facial recognition software is even more foolproof and whilst it has been in development for things like security access at Banks, Hospitals and so on, it has never been used for payments.

What happens is that the payment provider holds your encrypted credit card data and your facial features. When you go to pay for something, you simply look into a camera (like at an Airport), it recognises you, clears the payment and you just click 'ok'.

So no need for plastic, no need for cash. Ideal if you're abroad or just stuck somewhere. Furthermore, it has big implications as it develops, for credit card issuers like Visa/Amex. It also has implications for currency exchange businesses and banks.

Developed by a Finnish company, Uniqul, it has been tested in Helsinki according to Mashable. But of course, the key here is the cost and uptake of the camera kit by retailers. You need retailers onside first and foremost and then the confidence of consumers.

But people will like it once they see it works and have used it once. It's a much easier way to pay and the initial intrigue, will drive it on. Furthermore, it should be more secure and overcome credit card theft and ATM phishing frauds. So it's a safer way to pay.

The world just changed.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Tired of The Royal Baby? The Guardian has another version of its site for you today.

The Birth of a Royal Baby is big news for one part of UK society but a bit of a yawn for the other. Notably, the birth was greeted by a poor response on Twitter, well behind The Pope for example.

But of course it's "local" news in one way whereas The Pope is more well, "global" really.

But for those tired of the Royal Baby news, UK publisher The Guardian, has developed today, two versions of its site - one royal baby free and one royal baby full. A Toggle switch in the top right allows readers to move to whichever version they prefer.

Interestingly, they named the button, 'not a royalist?' and you just click through it if you're not for extra sports and entertainment coverage instead. Although The Guardian did this before for the marriage of Prince William, it does open an interesting idea for newspaper publishers to produce and extend different versions of their site.

Perhaps Sports free? or Sports full? Or entertainment free or full? And so on.
Generating perhaps new readers and perhaps new Ad revenue. In some ways have made steps in this way with both their I Magazines and notably, 'Independent Woman'. 

However, The Guardian is offering a totally different edition rather than add-ons. One small step in the individualisation of news?