These Employees Want To Be Implanted With Microchips…And Other Small Business Tech News 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 — A Swedish startup has a new way to keep track of its workers – implanted microchips.

A Swedish startup called Epicenter is now offering its employees the choice to have “microchips the size of grains of rice” implanted in their hands so that they can perform tasks without an ID badge. According to the company, the injected microchips are “so popular that Epicenter workers stage monthly events where attendees have the option of being ‘chipped’ for free,” and approximately 150 employees have the microchips currently. (Source: CNBC) 

Why this is important for your business:

Yes, this is creepy. But could it be the wave of the future? Implanting microchips in your employees to monitor their activities? We’ll see.

2 — Android is now the world’s most popular operating system.

According to a new report, Google’s operating system Android has surprisingly beaten out former powerhouse Microsoft Windows to achieve the title of most-used platform. By a very slim margin, Android dominates the market with 37.93 percent versus Windows 37.91 percent. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business: 

How times have changed. Microsoft no longer dominates the operating system business. If your company chooses to use Android devices and an Android operating system, you’re definitely not alone. 

3 — Yelp has a new way for you to connect with your customers — free Wi-Fi.

Yelp has announced that it has officially acquired Turnstyle Analytics, a Toronto-based Wi-Fi marketing firm. The combination of Yelp with Turnstyle’s free Wi-Fi service and customer behavior analytics will allow small- and medium-sized businesses to “connect with their offline customers, something that’s become increasingly important in today’s bricks-and-clicks retail environment.” (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

To access the complimentary Wi-Fi, shoppers must provide an email address, which the small business then gets to keep for its customer contact list. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and CEO, said, “Turnstyle helps connect businesses to consumers through free public Wi-Fi, and is an effective retention and loyalty program that helps businesses be more successful.” Turnstyle is used in nearly 3,500 businesses across North America currently.

4 —You can now get augmented reality smart glasses for hazardous job workers.

Osterhout Design Group has announced that it is adding a new model to its line of professional AR (Augmented Reality) glasses. The R-7HL is a modified version of its R-7 smart glasses that are more rugged for use in construction sites or other potentially hazardous locations. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business: 

Smart glasses are becoming an important tool for many businesses. Ralph Osterhout, CEO of ODG, said, “R-7HL brings a durable, hands-free wearable computing platform to professionals in oil exploration and production, energy, mining, utilities, chemical production and pharmaceuticals and enables heads-up, hands-free checklists, guided assistance tools and manuals, remote assistance support, and the delivery of real time notifications and alerts.” If you want a pair, it’ll set you back $3,500.

5 — Amazon will now let your customers add cash directly into their accounts.

The ecommerce giant has announced a new free service called “Amazon Cash” that will allow customers to add money into their Amazon accounts. Amazon has teamed up with over 10,000 retailers to provide easily accessible locations for Amazon members to have their Amazon Cash barcode scanned. Once the customer pays between $15 to $500 and the online barcode has been scanned by the store cashier, an Amazon gift card for that specific amount of money is added automatically to the account. (Source: GeekWire) 

Why this is important for your business:

This is great news if you’re an Amazon merchant. Amazon Cash eliminates the need for your customers to purchase physical gift cards, since it deposits the money immediately into the Amazon account, and should appeal to shoppers who prefer to not make online purchases using a credit card or their bank account.

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