They’re Back: Return of QR Codes for Several Big Brands

Do you remember when QR codes were everywhere? Although QR codes have dropped in popularity the past few years, they appear to be making a comeback for brands such as Pepsi, Jeep, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook Messenger and Spotify. Experts point to the reemergence of the QR code as a direct result of the increased sophistication of mobile marketing. In addition, the success of both Snapchat and Pokemon Go proved that users are interested in using their devices to interact and engage with the real world. This time around brands are interested in making sure they can measure engagement with QR codes and gather results and measurement from these experiences that are often used to connect the online and offline world for consumers. This could now be easier to track thanks to many devices including scanners built into the device as opposed to requiring users to download separate scanner apps as they had to in the past.

Read more about the rebirth of QR codes for modern marketing in RetailDive

Latest Version of Netflix App Will Not Work on Rooted Android Devices

If you are a faithful Netflix viewer and you are using a rooted Android device, then you may have to take your binge-watching elsewhere. Netflix’s latest version of the app has added new digital rights management software, or a digital rights management platform (DRM) to protect against piracy of their content. Consumers with rooted Android devices can still use Netflix on their devices if they do not update their app, but they risk losing out on the benefits of any future improvements from Netflix.

Read more about Android devices and Netflix’s new digital rights management software at PCMag

Uber Makes Traveling Even Easier with Real-Time Display of Public Transit Data

If you rely on Uber when traveling and use multiple forms of transportation, then life just got a little easier. Uber will begin displaying real-time public transportation data inside the Uber app to make planning easier for riders. Currently only available for Android, Uber has partnered with Transit to bring this real-time travel data for modes of public transportation when riders are near stops and stations. If riders need more information about the public transportation in the area, they can tap on any departure and be taken directly to the Transit app for more details, including directions and service information. Uber hopes that this added feature will make travel more convenient for riders, and is currently live in around 50 cities in the U.S. including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Read more about Uber’s new real-time display of public transit data at VentureBeat

Smartwatches for the Enterprise: What Role Do They Play

Smartwatches have recently moved into the enterprise space to help workers perform their jobs more efficiently. Janitors at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport are participating in a trial using Samsung Galaxy S3 smartwatches. Janitors use an app called TaskWatch that notifies the team when 150 people have used a restroom via Bluetooth sensors at the main doorways. When the alert is sent out to the team, a janitor accepts the task to clean. Besides having restrooms cleaned in a timely manner, an added benefit of using the smartwatches and TaskApp is that the airport now receives more accurate, real-time data for restroom use, helping the housekeeping team to be more flexible. A similar trial was also conducted in a restaurant, where servers would receive notifications when patrons arrived or needed service. If a waiter did not approach a table in a certain amount of time, a manager would receive a notification. It will be interesting to see if other industries embrace the smartwatch and what the effect could potentially be on customer service and productivity in the future.

Read more about the use of smartwatches in the enterprise at ComputerWorld

GM Continues to Build out Ride-Sharing Platform Maven in New York

General Motors is continuing its move into ride-sharing with the expansion of its app-enabled car sharing project, Maven. Maven is currently set to expand into more locations in New York after being exclusive to residents in luxury buildings. With this new expansion, travelers can rent a car via Maven from public garages in New York for $10 per hour. Since its launch a year and half ago, Maven is now available in 17 markets across the U.S. and serves around 20,000 users. Maven is GM’s attempt to stay ahead of changes in the way consumers use automobiles in anticipation of advancements like driverless cars. In fact, GM believes that in the future Maven will be an app where consumers could hire a driver from its fleet of robotic chauffeurs. As experts suggest that consumer interest in owning a vehicle is dropping, in addition to competition from Uber to create driverless cars, Maven stands apart by being able to access a fleet of GM vehicles for testing and building future driverless vehicles. This puts them ahead of Uber who does not own a ready fleet of automobiles for this purpose.

Read more about GM’s Maven and the future of driverless automobiles at Fast Company