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In The News 08-08-14

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by | Filed Under: In The News

Hilton Swaps Front Desk For Smartphone App

Hilton Hotels are the latest hotel chain to allow you to use your smartphone to book a room, check it and even as a room key. Members of the Hilton Honors program will be able to use an app on their phone to locate and book a room, get directions to the room and then bypass the front desk entirely by checking in and even unlocking their room with the app.

According to the company, guests can use their mobile device to select the room of their choice by looking at at floor plans and photos of the room the day before they check in. They can also purchase upgrades or order amenities for their room to be ready when they arrive. The app will then unlock the door to the room when they arrive and allow them to bypass the front desk entirely by checking out and paying the bill with their app.

Hilton is, of course, talking up the convenience to the customer, but if people are booking their own reservations and checking in and out unassisted, it could also save them a lot of money on employees. Think of it as a self-checkout lane for hotels.

 Amazon Will Let You Custom Manufacture A Tiny You

Amazon now offers a customizable 3D printing store where you can order items printed from plastic filament on 3D printers. Among the items available are games, toys and jewelry and home decor. These items are solid color plastic and their real selling point is that they were printed.

More interestingly, you  can also customize products like Bobble Heads, wallets, cufflinks and jewelry and they will be printed to order.  The process isn’t cheap, 3-inch bobble head customized to look like you will cost $29.99. The paint job is accomplished with a special powder used instead of ink which gives the figure a sandstone-like finish.  According to the product information, it’s too delicate to be washed. 

The store isn’t much to write home about now, but it does give a glimpse of a future where it’s possible to design your own products, send the file to a manufacturer and have it custom printed and sent to you. Or when manufactures can print off monogrammed phone cases to order, so no one gets stuck with shelves of hot pink cases embossed with the initial X.

Nintendo Loses $97 Million

At one time Nintendo’s Wii was the hottest selling game console. It introduced whole families to the concept of casual gaming and units were flying off the shelves.  But that was then and in 2014, weat Wii U sales are blamed for a $97 million dollar operating loss.

Half a million units were sold in the second quarter of 2014. The console experienced a sales boost due to the success of the Mario Kart 8 game, but is still struggling compared to the popular Xbox One and PS4 consoles.

 ~ Cynthia

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