Starbucks tests video chat screens at the drive-thru

starbucks drive-thru video chat

Noted first by Starbucks enthusiast site owner Melody Overton, Starbucks has rolled out a trial run of video chat screens at franchise locations within the state of Washington. While visiting a Starbucks location in Burien, Overton noticed a large, vertical video display to the left of the main menu in the drive-thru lane. The screen has the ability to display a full-screen advertisement for specific Starbucks products. In addition, the display is used to show a video feed of the person taking the drive-thru order on the upper portion of the screen while continuing to display an advertisement on the lower portion of the screen.

starbucks-drive-thru-orderHypothetically, Starbucks could use the lower portion of the screen to visually display drinks or food included in the customer’s order as it’s being entered by the drive-thru attendant. It’s also possible that Starbucks has installed a camera to view the customer placing the order as well.

At the very least, the customer has a much better indication of the activity level within the store. Customers will be able to see if the attendant is happy, frustrated, confused or simply juggling several tasks at once. However, the drive-thru attendant will have to stay planted in front of the camera when the store is busy. Possibly an added benefit to employees, this personalized, friendly approach could increase the volume of tips for Starbucks employees when compared to traditional drive-thru service. 

Starbucks hasn’t released a statement regarding a wider launch of the video displays, but the company is also testing the video chat displays in some Nevada locations according to Overton. If the video chat technology is successful in improving customer service as well as order accuracy at Starbucks, it’s highly possible that large fast food chains could adopt the same approach during the order process. However, the accelerated pace of fast food delivery at the drive-thru window may suffer if an employee has to stand at a fixed position rather than multitasking while using a wireless headset. 


As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.
Home Theater

Want to save your favorite movie? Here's how to fix a scratched DVD or CD

A scratched edition of your favorite DVD is no good, but our guide will show you how to fix a scratched DVD, whether you prefer to repair it using a smattering of peanut butter or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Smart Home

Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Amazon' Alexa group announced a promotion encouraging new developers to publish a new Alexa skill in any country First-time developers who publish a new an Alexa skill prior to midnight October 31, 2018, will get a free Echo Dot.
Product Review

Bigger. Smarter. Louder. The Echo Plus makes Alexa sound better than ever

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker.
Smart Home

August Smart Lock satin nickel model comes bundled with Wi-Fi Connect bridge

The August Smart Lock--one of our favorite smart locks--is now available in a satin nickel finish. August is selling the new model in a $220 bundle with the Wi-Fi bridge needed for remote access and voice command features.
Smart Home

LG’s Colosseo smart sofa is the comfiest piece of tech in your home

LG has partnered with Italian furniture brand Natuzzi to produce the Colosseo, a connected sofa with five custom scenarios to provide maximum comfort for watching TV, reading, or just relaxing.
Smart Home

Simplisafe steps outside the smart home with its Video Doorbell Pro

SimpiSafe is pushing into the smart home market by introducing a new high-tech video doorbell that includes 1080p HD monitoring and a dual-sensor motion trigger that combines a body heat detector and a motion detector.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Plus: Which should you get?

If you're trying to choose between the Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus, then this guide is for you. It compares the two Alexa-enabled speakers in cost, size, looks, functionality, and more.

Add color and subtract $50 with this Philips Hue lighting starter kit deal

If you've been on the fence about purchasing smart lightbulbs, Amazon is selling the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit for just $100. For a limited time Amazon is also offering a bundle deal of Philips Hue's White and Color…
Smart Home

Second-gen vs. third-gen Echo Dot: What’s the difference?

Amazon's third-generation Echo Dot was just released. Is it worth upgrading your second-generation Echo Dot? Here, we take a closer look at the two devices to see how much Amazon has improved its flagship Alexa voice assistant smart…