I heard about an app today called Walk N Text (or Type n Walk in some app stores). This ingenious little gizmo uses your camera to project the surface you’re walking on behind the keyboard you’re texting on. Yes, really. My first reaction was that this is a case where just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. My second blush was to envy the developers; they’re bound to make a bundle off this.
There are some really great apps out there from fun and silly to groundbreaking. Blower (iOS) uses your phone speaker to puff air and blow out candles. Yes, really. Annoy-a-Teen (iOS, Android (News - Alert)) produces high frequency sounds that only young people will be able to hear. “Dad, how can you not HEAR THAT?” On the other hand, LifeLens uses a smartphone camera with a small add-on magnifying glass to detect malaria parasites in blood samples – a lifesaver across the world when used by traveling physicians.
The latest entry to the cool and/or fun app world is a little thing called MyCheck that lets you pay your dining check, split the bill, and add a tip using your PayPal (News - Alert) account. It’s not the first to enter this space, with competitors like Cover and Dash already on the market. But so far these mobile pay options have had niche success, struggling to cross a breadth of point of service platforms and mobile operating systems.
Concert ticketing app WillCall added a Bar Tab function to let you buy drinks using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, but it still charges to your credit card on file. Dash has separated from the herd by offering the option to automatically check a user in to the service when they walk into a restaurant or bar. But not many of us leave apps running (and open to unsecured networks) when we don’t need them so I’m not sure how much value that offers. In fact I’ve never heard of any of these mobile payment options and, as an average mobile user, I’m betting there are a lot of others just like me. I know I’d love it if I didn’t have to carry my purse and wallet around all the time but I’ll always have my phone; and for someone who can’t get a credit card, an app that lets you pay with PayPal is a no brainer download.
MyCheck has been put into use by restaurants as a rebranded system, so you may not immediately recognize the name. Founded by a startup in Tel Aviv it’s gotten the most buzz it in Israel and Europe, but watch for it in spreading across the US soon. It’s partnered with twenty-six point of sale platforms and over 3000 merchants worldwide. MyCheck CEO Tal Zvi Nathaniel says their app saves three to ten minutes in checkout time per table and increases tips nearly twenty percent.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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