Friday Five

Salutations, and Happy Friday! Spring finally seems to be in full swing: the flowers are blooming, the air is warming, and major sport leagues are in playoff mode! Millions of fans worldwide will be cheering for their team as they battle their rivals in hopes to win a championship title. And, much like spring cleaning where it’s out with the old and in with the new, tech companies everywhere deliver new updates to benefit users as they awaken from hibernation.

Time is of the essence, especially for the millions of passengers that travel via plane. Airline companies understand that quick, efficient security lines will create a positive customer experience. Orlando International Airport has announced its plans to reduce wait times by using facial recognition, as well as bluetooth-activated beacons that will act as a personal tracker when individuals walk by checkpoints. The goal is to help airlines optimize the number of employees at specific checkpoints, and to allow improved scheduling of maintenance workers to reduce traffic jams and wait times.

Is that delivery? No its Zume Pizza! This new California-based delivery company is revolutionizing the mobile food industry. Zume Pizza has established a fleet of robotic pizza vans that can cook customer orders without the help of humans. The vans use AI, automation, and a variety of mobile kitchen technologies that can predict food trends and customer orders before the an order is even placed. The result? They cut wait times in half as the food is prepared on the way to its destination.

“Alexa, please remind me to write the Friday Five blog this afternoon”. Virtual assistants have become a fixture in many households and businesses, and as the number of users grow improvements have been made to accommodate their growing popularity. The Amazon product “Alexa” has many excellent features, but now the product will be upgraded with a short-term memory! The new upgrade will allow for context carry over from previous sentences and the give the user the ability to ask follow-up questions without restarting the command process.

Soccer is seen as the world’s most popular sport, with 265 million active players from around the globe. With large-scale tournaments taking place every two years, millions of viewers, and intense fans that watch and scrutinize game in extreme detail, referees have to be near-perfect when officiating matches. This is why FIFA has announced that they are implementing Video Assistant Referees to support fair and correct officiating.

Friday favourite

Have you bought your summer sunnies yet? If you’re in need of a pair of sunglasses, Snapchat has released their “Spectacles V2”, the wearable camera/computer that allows you to film the world around you. There aren’t many new features from the last model; however, it has improved on all the issues that customers had with the first product – such as reducing its field of vision to improve content quality, increasing battery life, implementing a new sleek design, and waterproofing. Snapchat has released the new spectacles in Canada, France, UK, and the USA. They are planning to release it to 13 more countries in Europe on May 3rd.