Driverless Cars in Pittsburgh, Tattoos Control iPhones and Other Small Business Tech This Week

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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 –Uber is now offering free rides…but with no driver.

Uber will officially become the first company to use self-driving cars commercially. The ride-sharing service will offer the autonomous vehicles for taxi rides later this month in Pittsburgh. The rides will be free. But you will have an additional passenger: an Uber engineer just to make sure things go OK. Pierogis are not included. Uber also announced this past week that it was purchasing a company that makes technology that powers self-driving trucks.

Why this is important for your business:

Google, Uber, even Ford has announced that it will have self-driving vehicles on the road by 2021. This is quickly becoming a reality, and the technology will change how your employees get to work, how you travel and how your products are shipped – hopefully safer, faster and less expensive.

2 – A new tattoo can control your smartphone.

Using materials that you can buy in a craft store, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Microsoft have unveiled DuoSkin, a temporary tattoo with a mini microchip that can enable people to control a device wirelessly.
Why this is important for your business:

This is taking wearable tech to a whole new level. Now visitors to your office can be given temporary access to rooms or computers by tapping their arm. Or warehouse personnel can log inventory receipts with a quick tap of the tattoo. Per this Forbes piece, cosmetics firm L’Oreal is interested in monitoring the exposure of the sun’s UV rays and smartphone companies would be interested in this new way to secure their devices, among other conveniences.

3 – How about a Match.com for hiring?

Startup company StaffGeek has created a new application that “fuses technology and transparency to create a statistically favorable match” of potential employment candidates. The assessment tool matches characteristics and experience of both prospective employees and the company and uses a proprietary method for selecting and recommending the best matches.

Why this is important for your business:

One of the biggest problems business owners face is finding good talent. The job market is tight. And it takes an enormous commitment of time to whittle down potential candidates. This new tool may not only save time, but also remove guessing from the process.

4 – Google introduces its version of FaceTime, and it’s about time.

In what looks like a pared-down version of Google Hangouts, the company released this week a new video calling app called Duo. And according to this Forbes review, it’s a “no-frills, easy-to-use video calling app. Duo is fantastic.”
Why this is important for your business:

What happens if you want to make a quick video call to someone who doesn’t have an iPhone? Sure, you can install Skype, and that’s good. But if your company is more of a Google fan, now you’ve got an easy-to-use video calling app with few bells and whistles. Oh, and it’s available on both iOS and Android.

5 – Pinterest is offering video ads, and it’s also about time.

In a move to catch up on its social media competitors, Pinterest has finally gotten its act together and is now allowing advertisers to purchase “promoted videos” that will run mainly in users feeds but “may appear in search results and other parts of the app over time.”

Why this is important for your business:

If your company is very active on Pinterest, as many small businesses with visual-oriented products are, then you can now create video ads to promote your products on the platform.

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