Google Glass Is Baaaack…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 — It’s baaaack! Google Glass has received its first update in years.

Remember Google Glass, the early version of smart glasses that cost $1,500 and never really took off with consumers? It’s back (actually it never really went away, just laid low).  The device now has Bluetooth capability so it can hook up mice, keyboards and other Bluetooth-enabled objects. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Google Glass is alive and well and may have use in your company. More and more businesses are finding use for the device – particularly through Google’s Glass at Work program.

2 — A startup wants to help staffing companies retain contractors.

Sense, a San Francisco-based company, has developed a platform for gig economy employees that automatically “sends messages to temp workers at key points in time, from a welcome greeting to an invitation to consider a new job when the current gig is about to end.” (Source: Xconomy)

Why this is important for your business:

Anil Dharni, the co-founder and CEO of Sense, said, “According to our data, 25 percent of contractors quit their jobs due to poor communication or follow up.”  Sense’s product may be a good platform to help you (or your staffing agency) better communicate with your freelance workers.

3 — IKEA is teaming up with Apple to provide AR shopping for its customers.

The popular inexpensive furniture store has announced that it is working with Apple to build “the first augmented reality (AR) app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions.” The app will work by having customers take pictures of their homes and then place images of IKEA products over those home photos. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

AR is already starting to disrupt retail – and it will soon impact your business, too. Michael Valdsgaard, the digital transformation manager at IKEA, said that users “will be able to position products within millimeter precision and sizing of the products will be to scale.”

 4 — A new startup wants to bring the hotel industry into the 21stcentury.

A Los Angeles-based company called Keypr has developed a Guest Experience Management platform and has its own “Intelligent Lock Technology” that allows guests to “check in via mobile app and bypass a hotel’s front desk as they go straight to their room.” Nizar Allibhoy, the co-founder and CEO of Keypr, said, “We eliminate transactional friction and make the experience more seamless. We free the hotel staff up for more personal service.” Incorporating Amazon Alexa is next. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re running a small hotel or bed and breakfast, keep an eye on how mobile technologies like Keypr’s is changing your industry.  Your guests will soon expect the same.

5 — New York to London…in 2.5 hours! 

Aviation startup Boom recently unveiled a prototype of its affordable supersonic aircraft at the International Paris Air Show. The aircraft will be able to hit speeds of Mach 2.2. and can travel from New York to London in 2.5 hours. (Source: The Denver Post)

Why this is important for your business:

Boom’s aircraft will take its first flight from the Centennial Airport in Colorado next year and will be able to hold two pilots, four flight attendants and up to 55 passengers. Your international travel may soon get much, much quicker.

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