Most VR experiences so far have been games and 360-degree videos, but Google is exploring the idea that VR can be a way to learn real life skills. The skill it chose to use as a test of this hypothesis is making coffee. So of course, it created a coffee making simulator in VR. The result was surprisingly supportive of VR learning. Read More
Coffee is an integral part of so many people's lives, so it makes sense to make the brewing process more convenient. The folks at Behmor thought of this and created the Behmor Connected Coffee Brewer. The MSRP of $299 might have made it a bit out of reach for many consumers, but Groupon currently has this WiFi-toting machine for just $159.99 - a savings of around 46%. Read More
The potential for retail partnerships with Niantic's Pokémon GO mobile game is built right into its central hook - players travel to real-world locations to catch monsters and collect items, so why not steer them to participating stores or restaurants for a little synergistic profiteering? Ubiquitous coffee house Starbucks seems to be the first business taking Niantic up on a partnership. Internal documents detailing an upcoming promotion for employees, designated for US stores but leaked by Eurogamer, offers some sweet details for players and coffee fans alike. Read More
If you're ordering the same cup of coffee every morning at the same time every day, why are you waiting in line? Oh, right, until now Starbucks' Mobile Order and Pay was only available in select cities. Well, dear caffeine-driven productive member of society, the feature has now made its way from the Pacific Northwest to over 7,400 stores spread across the country.
Starbucks first began testing the ability to order remotely and pay in advance in Portland in December 2014. By this past summer, the company had expanded the feature to 3,400 additional stores across 17 states. Now it has completed its national rollout. Read More
Before today, the official Starbucks app was perfectly serviceable - in fact, I'd say it was better than most retail apps. You can store pre-paid Starbucks cards in the app and pay with them, see your rewards for being a loyal customer, and find coffee shops with the built-in map (in case you can't see one by turning your head from side to side). But today's sizeable update from version 2.4 to 2.7 adds some neat stuff, most notably the ability to tip your coffee minion. I mean, your barista.
New above, old below.
The tipping is handled in a surprisingly comprehensive manner. Read More
Starbucks is looking to provide customers with the option to order their beverage in-app, saving them the effort of waiting in line to get in and get out with something to drink. Re/code reports that the company will start testing the feature in an undisclosed market later this year.
The concept of placing an order using a mobile app in order to skip the wait later on is not groundbreaking. After all, Chipotle expanded this feature to all of its locations late last year. But a ton of people use Starbucks' mobile app to pay for their orders. In fact, the company stated 14 percent of its purchases made in the US are paid in this manner. Read More