Here are ten things in technology that happened last month and how they affect your firm and your clients’ businesses. Did you miss them?
1. McDonald’s has a new way to find potential workers: on Snapchat. The fast-food giant has announced that it will be filling 250,000 job openings in America by teaming up with the popular social media platform Snapchat. Those interested in applying to McDonald’s can send a “Snaplication” that includes a 10-second video of the user “wearing” a standard Golden Arches uniform via a Snapchat filter. (Source: Engadget)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: The majority of Snapchat’s 300 million monthly users on Snapchat are Millennials. Perhaps you should be recruiting there, too?
2. Soon you will be conducting job interviews through text messages. A new startup called Canvas has developed a “text-based interviewing platform” that specifically appeals to Millennials who typically dislike standard phone interviews with recruiters. (Source: Quartz)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: Again – this is another interesting way to reach potential Millennial employees. Canvas allows interviewers to “reach out to applicants, who receive those pings as text messages and reply accordingly.” The platform also gives recruiters the option to “store custom screening questions and resources (like branding materials or benefits information)” and keeps a transcript of the text conversation that can be easily shared.
3. A startup wants to help staffing companies retain contractors. Sense, a San Francisco-based company, has developed a platform for gig economy employees that automatically “sends messages to temp workers at key points in time, from a welcome greeting to an invitation to consider a new job when the current gig is about to end.” (Source: Xconomy)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: Anil Dharni, the co-founder and CEO of Sense, said, “According to our data, 25 percent of contractors quit their jobs due to poor communication or follow up.” Sense’s product may be a good platform to help you better communicate with your freelance workers.
4. Startups can now use cryptocurrencies to raise money. Bancor, a smart-token startup, recently raised nearly $150 million in only three hours by receiving funds from anonymous investors on Ethereum. The startup had an ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, a new way of funding that involves the company issuing “tokens – a sort of mini-cryptocurrency.” (Source: Mashable)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: Now companies are raising serious money with cryptocurrencies without government oversight and regulations. Could this be a source of financing for your clients?
5. Twitter’s Direct Message chatbots now have more button options. The social media network recently unveiled three new buttons for companies to use when interacting with customers. (Source: VentureBeat)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: These buttons can be used to “help people make purchases, link to Web sites, and trigger additional calls-to-action or conversational cues.” A Twitter spokesperson said, “Anyone can create an experience within Direct Messages, whether it’s a business or an organization, as long as you use our APIs or use a tool which is built on our APIs.” The new features for Direct Messages are available to developers now.
6. It’s baaaack! Google Glass has received its first update in years. Remember Google Glass, the early version of smart glasses that cost $1,500 and never really took off with consumers? It’s back (actually it never really went away, just laid low). The device now has Bluetooth capability so it can hook up mice, keyboards and other Bluetooth-enabled objects. (Source: TechCrunch)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: Google Glass is alive and well and may have use in your firm or at your clients’ companies. More and more businesses are finding use for the device – particularly through Google’s Glass at Work program.
7. New York to London…in 2.5 hours! Aviation startup Boom recently unveiled a prototype of its affordable supersonic aircraft at the International Paris Air Show. The aircraft will be able to hit speeds of Mach 2.2. and can travel from New York to London in 2.5 hours. (Source: The Denver Post)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: Boom’s aircraft will take its first flight from the Centennial Airport in Colorado next year and will be able to hold two pilots, four flight attendants and up to 55 passengers. Your international travel may soon get much, much quicker.
8. IKEA is teaming up with Apple to provide AR shopping for its customers. The popular inexpensive furniture store has announced that it is working with Apple to build “the first augmented reality (AR) app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions.” The app will work by having customers take pictures of their homes and then place virtual images of IKEA products over those home photos. (Source: Engadget)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: AR is already starting to disrupt retail – and it will soon impact your clients, too. Michael Valdsgaard, the digital transformation manager at IKEA, said that users “will be able to position products within millimeter precision and sizing of the products will be to scale.”
9. A new app makes donating a business’s extra food easier than ever. The nationwide network of food banks called Feeding America has officially launched a platform that provides a way for companies and restaurants to donate their excess food. (Source: Fast Company)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: The app is called MealConnect, and it already has 2,500 users and has “facilitated 737,000 pickups and moved over 333 million pounds of food.” If you have clients in the food and restaurant industry who are looking to do something socially conscious, this seems like a great idea.
10. A new startup wants to bring the hotel industry into the 21st century. A Los Angeles-based company called Keypr has developed a Guest Experience Management platform and has its own “Intelligent Lock Technology” that allows guests to “check in via mobile app and bypass a hotel’s front desk as they go straight to their room.” Nizar Allibhoy, the co-founder and CEO of Keypr, said, “We eliminate transactional friction and make the experience more seamless. We free the hotel staff up for more personal service.” Incorporating Amazon Alexa is next. (Source: VentureBeat)
Why this is important for your firm or your clients: If your clients are running a small hotel or bed and breakfast, keep an eye on how mobile technologies like Keypr’s is changing the industry. Their guests will soon expect the same.