Small Business Tech This Week: Make Money with Pokémon Go, and Vine Is on the Decline

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Pokémon Go is upending digital marketing.

The hit mobile game is taking over the world. There are millions of players. Nintendo’s stock has gone through the roof. And it’s having a huge effect on small businesses.

Why this is important for your small business:

It’s best explained by Forbes’ Jayson DeMers: If your business is on top of or next to a Poké-stop, you’ll have the ability to drop a “lure” for 30 minutes, which will probably similarly attract a number of players wandering nearby due to the increase in the number of Pokémon that show up when lures are placed. The only catch is, the only way to get a lot of lures quickly is to buy them with real money—but depending on how you buy them, they’re usually less than $1 each. Restaurant and café owners can particularly benefit from lures, as players will want to hang around for a while, and probably want to buy some snacks or beverages while they do. If your business isn’t near a Gym or Poké-stop, don’t worry: Fellow Forbes contributor Jason Evangelho recently reported that Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, has confirmed that sponsored retail locations are coming to Pokémon Go soon.

2 – Microsoft announces subscriptions for both Windows and Surface.

Starting this fall, the Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, which offers more security features, will be available to any size company for $7 a month per user, and the Surface-as-a-Service program will allow its partners to offer Surface hardware as a managed service offering.
Why this is important for your business:

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of Microsoft partners (like me), you’ve now got a great recurring revenue option to offer. And if you’re among the rest, you’ll have a new way to get Windows and the popular Surface — along with support, services and upgrades — without shelling out a lot of money upfront. Microsoft has become so cool again that even Facebook announced this week that its 13,000 employees use Office 365.

3 – Smart glasses are becoming popular again, this time with businesses.

When Google Glass failed, many thought that would be the end of devices in the workplace. But that’s not the case. Glass technology is being reinvented, and many companies have jumped into the fray and are developing cool hardware with an eye for business.

Why this is important for your business:

Goodbye, safety goggles. Hello, intelligent glasses. In the not-too-distant future, your workers on the shop floor will be able to check out designs, request information, look up specifications and send back safety information automatically – all from the glasses they’re wearing. Check out the many companies mentioned in the article above who are developing these and other cool applications.

4 – Mercedes-Benz unveils 3D-printing for on-demand spare truck parts.

The auto maker is now using 3D printers to manufacture more than 10,000 prototype parts every year and will expand this to include the production of 30 different truck components, including covers, spacers, spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mounting and control elements.
Why this is important for your business:

3D printing is slowly but surely making it into the real world. Look for smaller and more efficient 3D printers to find their way into local repair shops, too, reducing inventory and increasing the turn-around time for car repairs. 3D printing will soon disrupt many companies that store inventory – reducing warehouse space and making deliveries faster.

5 – Vine is on the decline.

Twitter’s video service, once the hottest thing around, is now losing key people and users. According to comScore, Vine reached 24 million people in May, down from 30 million in May a year ago.

Why this is important for your business:

You’ve got lots of places to spend your advertising dollars and create content online. If you’re thinking of committing resources to Vine for your business, you may want to reconsider. Boy, things really do change fast!

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