Starbucks's Verismo 580
An Espresso machine is only as peripheral to personal tech as a printer – both help me through my computing day – and the current vogue for pod-based machines reminds me of the printing peripherals business model.
The coffee makers are sold cheaply, the same as printers, and money is made on the coffee pods, just like the ink and toner cartridges. Starbucks is the latest entrant with its $199 (£149) Verismo 580 machine and I have been testing it and tasting the results. Read more
Coffee and techies go together like donuts and policemen, one the voracious consumer of the other. They have named programming languages after the stuff. And so the alliance between Starbucks and Jack Dorsey’s Square mobile payments start-up seems quite natural.
Starbucks has never been shy of experimenting with technology, having been one of the first US coffee shop chains to offer customers free wi-fi access. Starbucks also has its own mobile app, which allows customers to pay for their coffees using a phone. Although these mobile payments are still just a tiny fraction of overall revenues, it is considered one of the most successful mobile payments systems in use so far. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Patricia Dunn, a former board chairman of Hewlett-Packard, has died at age 58 after a long battle with cancer, The Wall Street Journal reports. During her time on the board, the company was embroiled in controversy after it emerged that it had hired private investigators to identify the source of board-level leaks to the media. Read more
Starbucks unveiled a first-of-its-kind app today that lets users pay for in-store purchases using their iPhone, a move that could pave the way for a new generation of e-commerce applications on Apple’s popular phone.
With the Starbucks Card Mobile App, users can sync their prepaid Starbucks Card with the app, check their balance and refill it using a credit card. At some stores, they can also use the app to pay for Venti coffees and Frappuccinos.
When users select the “payment trial” function on the app, a QR code appears on the iPhone screen. A barista then scans the iPhone, deducting the cost from the Starbucks Card balance, and completing the purchase.
The trial is being rolled out at 16 locations in Seattle and Silicon Valley, where there is high usage of both iPhones and Starbucks Cards. But expect the programme to go nationwide soon, and for other retailers to follow. Read more