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Foursquare Expands Check-In Deals To Visa And MasterCard Plastic

Foursquare_burger_king-270x480Two years ago Foursquare launched a really great campaign with American Express. It allowed Foursquare users to get special discounts and deals by checking in to local businesses after linking their Foursquare accounts to their credit card. This was very innovative project at that time. Users had to check-in and they were automatically getting discounts when paying by American Express.  The easier and less clumsy the process, the more people will want to do it, and actually it was pretty popular among 4sq users.

This week Foursquare is expanding its offer to Visa and MasterCard credit and debit plastic holders. This means that Visa and MasterCard can approach Foursquare to reward customers for checking in to businesses. Merchants, on the other hand, get enhanced analytics from Foursquare about the kinds of people spending money at their location. Once you’ve initially added a credit card to your Foursquare account, discounts activate automatically any time you check in to an eligible location.

What I like about it is simplicity. I don’t need to print Groupon coupons or show my smartphone screen to a waiter. It’s just there and now it’s gonna be available to practically everyone, because everyone own America Express, Visa or Mastercard. It seems that this is going be the direction where the industry of location-based discounts will go.

source: All Things Digital

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Apple awarded patent to communicate Location data between devices

Google for “Apple Patents” and you’ll end up finding 104,000,000 results. A LOT of pages right? Well, add more to that list; Apple has been granted the patent to communicate location information between a mobile device and an accessory.

The official record by the US Patent office – patent no 8,386,677 has been awarded to Apple Inc for “Communicating location information between a portable device and an accessory”.

Basically now Apple “owns” the right to send and receive location information between a mobile device and an accessory.

The patent has come at a time when Apple has been rumored to be designing a multi-touch enabled GPS watch. Whether it is true or not only time and Tim Cook can tell! Until then the “iWatch” remains something that “I” watch with eagerness.

The patent looks simple and straight-forward but think about it.

This patent could potentially lead Apple to an another series of “Patent Wars”. Wondering how? Remember the GNSS/GPS companies?  Their data collection tablets send and receive location information between GNSS/GPS receivers and rugged mobile tablets. This patent looks like its right on the money when it comes to their usage!  I admit, I am no legal expert but this is how the patent looks to me.

According to the US patent organization, the abstract details the invention as “Location data is exchanged between a portable media device and an accessory. If the portable media player is equipped with location determining capability, the portable media device can communicate its location data to the accessory, and the accessory can use this location data to perform various tasks. If the accessory is equipped with location assistance capability, the accessory can communicate location data to the portable media device, and the portable media device can use this location data to perform various tasks.”

Patents and Apple – a match made in the complex world of technology.


Two patent embodiments with GPS receiver in PMD (left) and accessory device (right). (Source: Apple Insider)

Two patent embodiments with GPS receiver in PMD (left) and accessory device (right). (Source: Apple Insider)


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