1. Hands-free payment for fast food made possible by iDriveThru

Hands-free payment for fast food made possible by iDriveThru

In childhood, we always dreamt of big things: flying cars, a portal to time travel, transformers (like in the movie), an invisible cloak and what have we. Those were fantasies that still remain fantasies. But a few of the big things have been achieved, like the 3D printers, Google Glass and the like. Go back to the past and tell your 5-year-old self that you can play games in a virtual environment using gestures, it’ll be the child’s dream come true. But it doesn’t feel so to us. This is because we have grown along with the developments in technology, and technology develops in small steps, which is why we do not notice much difference. Even if they are smaller in scope, they aren’t any less incredible. For instance, E-Z passes for fast food drive-thrus.

Why take the effort to dig into your pocket, hunt for a wallet, and pay in cash or card (now, when you pay in cash, it consumes a little more time.) Lately, five Wendy’s locations in Staten Island have been perfecting a device called iDriveThru. This new innovation enables hands-free payments at selected New York takeaways. It uses the RFID car windshield tags. Much like the electronic toll passes stuck on the automobiles used to collect the fee, these passes utilize electronic payment in drive-thru lanes to make the payment process that much quicker.

Upon arriving at Wendy’s, the tag’s data is then read by sensors, offering visitors a personalized greeting on the video above the intercom. Once they’ve made their order, the card details are read from the tag and the payment is taken automatically. In addition, customers earn ten reward points for every dollar they spend, with 500 points being redeemable for a USD 5 coupon at Wendy’s.” A report from Springwise newsletter says.

New York-based consumers can’t pay for food through their Metropolitan Transport Authority top-ups. Although, iDriveThru is not affiliated with any toll agency as of now, it will be everyone’s preferred mode of paying cash as it is more convenient and seamless with RFID tags.

iDriveThru declares that this system effectively eliminates service time by an average of 15 second. There have been close to 600 customers who have registered for this facility. The fast food centers that offer this technology can process orders even faster. The company also hopes to use the same concept at other retail outlets such as pharmacies, car-washes and dry-cleaners. Currently, E-Z pass is available in 15 states, and there are about 25 million registered users.

This sure could be the wave of the future.


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Updated on August 21, 2014

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