Your Next Airline Boarding Pass Could Be Your Fingerprint

How do you access your boarding passes for flights? Thanks to Delta, you may soon have another option besides printing a paper boarding pass or using your smartphone. Delta is currently allowing eligible Delta SkyMiles Members at Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA to use fingerprints as “proof of identity” in place of a traditional boarding pass. For passengers to be eligible for this pilot program, they must be Delta SkyMiles members who are enrolled in CLEAR. CLEAR is a biometric identity verification platform that enables passengers to pass through airport security checkpoints in five minutes or less. Delta will soon implement the next phase of this pilot by enabling eligible passengers to use fingerprints to check luggage. If this pilot test goes well, Delta will begin offering this program at additional airports.

Read more about Delta’s use of fingerprints as boarding passes at PCMag

The Millennial Shopper and the Rise of In-App, In-Store Payments

Despite your personal feelings about Millennials, from an economic standpoint, they are a force to be reckoned with. According to a recent eMarketer report based on research from Acosta, 80 percent of Millennials are interested in completing the in-store checkout process independent of store associates. Instead, Millennials are interested in scan-and-go payments, where they complete the checkout process independently and pay via an app. Although a large percentage of Millennials are interested in this method of store checkout, only 3 percent of retailers have the correct up-to-date systems in place to make this possible. The report also revealed that 82 percent of Millennials believe that a brand should have physical stores. But if brands want to continue to court Millennial shoppers they need to invest in updated POS checkout lane technologies to provide the quick, seamless checkout experience this cohort requires.

Read more about Millennial shoppers and in-app, in-store payments at GeoMarketing

Game of Smart Speakers: Facebook Set to Launch Its Own Version in 2018

In the ever-expanding world of smart speakers, Facebook is scheduled to launch its own version in early 2018. Facebook’s smart speaker is rumored to be like Amazon’s Echo, and will feature a 15-inch touchscreen. Facebook’s consumer hardware lab, Building 8 is developing Facebook’s alleged smart speaker, with Pegatron tapped as the manufacturer. Building 8 has recently hired prominent hardware experts from Apple, Google, Motorola, GoPro and similar tech companies, so it will be interesting to see how Facebook’s smart speaker will ultimately compete with Amazon’s Echo.

Read more about Facebook’s smart speaker at Business Insider

Hungry? Lyft to Provide Late Night Pit Stops at Taco Bell with “Taco Mode”

Lyft and Taco Bell have partnered to make the dreams of late night Lyft passengers come true. Together, the brands have united to provide “Taco Mode,” where Lyft passengers will make a late-night pit stop (as a side trip) at Taco Bell on the way to their destination. Taco Mode also includes a special in-car experience, featuring custom swag, an in-car menu and even free food giveaways. Taco Mode is currently available as a limited pilot from July 27th to July 29th and again from August 3rd to August 5th in Orange County. But the ultimate plan is to expand Taco Mode into additional markets this year, with a nationwide rollout in 2018. A partnership like this one could signal a new revenue opportunity for Lyft to partner with other brands for similar tie-ups in the future.

Read more about Lyft, Taco Bell and Taco Mode at TechCrunch

Roomba, iRobot and the Future of Smart Homes

Do you own a Roomba? Besides handling your vacuuming needs and amusing and/or scaring your pets, the Roomba may eventually have another important function – providing data about your home. As a Roomba moves around your home, it has the potential to collect spatial data about the layout of your home, thanks to mapping technology used in the top-end models. The manufacturer of Roomba, iRobot could potentially sell the data collected by Roomba to smart home companies who could deliver advanced smart home experiences based on the data about a person’s home. Rumors are circulating that iRobot could possibly be acquired by Amazon, Apple or Google in the next couple of years to leverage this data for smart home technologies and other purposes, such as recommending what home goods a person should buy based on their home. But, this goal could be thwarted by both privacy concerns and by cheaper competitors such as Bissell SmartClean and Hoover Quest 600.

Read more about iRobot, Roomba and the future of spatial data at VentureBeat