Basis Points – July 2, 2020

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Above the Fold

Tech Could Help With Long-Term Social Distancing

You’ve probably noticed the “wait here” or “arrow” markings on the floors of businesses from your drugstore to supermarket, corralling and spacing customers into forming often long lines that not only impede other shoppers, but also create logistical messes for enterprises across the country. In some places, the queues extend outside, where consumers are forced to deal with the elements as often-reduced workforces process transactions. Childcare facilities and schools are facing similar challenges. 

With some areas experiencing a resurgence in cases, it’s likely that social distancing practices are, unfortunately, here to stay … at least for a while. Fortunately for consumers, companies are developing and rolling out virtual queue software where customers can wait offsite, in another shop or even their car until their time has come. While restaurants have been using different forms of virtual queue or digital notification, a more advanced, smarter version of the technology may help make consumers’ lives a little easier even after the pandemic is over. There are several companies already offering services and software, which likely may create a dramatic uptick in business. 


Three Things 

  1. Uber-Mates? – Uber Technologies, currently the second-largest food delivery market share in the U.S., is reportedly in talks to buy (the much smaller) Postmates Inc. for roughly $2.6 billion. In an already quickly consolidating space, players are jockeying for position. Earlier this month, Grubhub Inc. was acquired by Just Eat NV for more than $7 billion. 
  2. Android Police Report Google Drop – Parent company Alphabet confirmed to Google-focused media outlet Android Police that it is launching a service to compete with Apple’s AirDrop. Called “Nearby Share,” the feature will allow Android users (and other platforms) across different manufacturers to quickly exchange files, photos, videos and more. 
  3. Return of the Max? – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing began a series of test flights this week to help determine if the 737 Max is fit to fly. These certification flights are a key milestone in the process of getting the aircraft back into the air since the entire fleet was grounded in March 2019. 


Did You Know?

4th of July Facts

Independence Day was first made an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. It wasn’t until 1938 that July 4th became a paid federal holiday, with the practice now adopted by most private entities as well. And if it wasn’t for John Hancock, the official date may have been July 6th, 8th or even later as he was the only man to sign the document on the 4th. Ironically, July 2, 1776, is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence, with John Adams proclaiming “July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history.”


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