Giant Eagle shortens your wait in line

Stopping into the grocery store to pick up a few things after work just got easier thanks to yet another new technology — Giant Eagle’s Scan Pay & Go mobile shopping service.

With this mobile app on your iPhone or Android device, you’ll be able to scan groceries as you bag them walking through the store. When you arrive at the checkout line, you’ll simply scan one barcode on the screen. Then you’ll choose your payment method as you normally do. You skip the time-consuming entry of each thing you’ve bought.

The app connects to your Giant Eagle Advantage Card, automatically applying available discounts.

According to Giant Eagle spokesperson Dan Donovan, during the company’s initial trials in Fox Chapel and Pine Township, the company quickly saw hundreds of transactions taking place. So they decided to roll it out faster and more widely. They expect Market District stores in Robinson Township and the  South Hills along with the Giant Eagle in Moon Township to make the technology available within days.

For those who want to use the service but don’t have a phone or the app, scanning devices will be available in stores. While the company is creating dedicated checkout lines specific to Scan Pay & Go that should significantly reduce waiting time, customers will be able to use the service in any checkout line in participating stores.

Pittsburgh homebuyers get first use of new free service to help reduce buying risk

Norwalk Connecticut start-up DADO has launched a new home buying technology and service — and has chosen Pittsburgh and Richmond, Va. for their test markets.

The service, also called DADO, lets house hunters find information that they typically don’t discover through real estate websites and agent listings.

Tom Mangas, DADO CEO and co-founder, says he and his associates started the service because they realized that real estate transactions lean heavily in favor of the seller. He hopes DADO will balance that equation.

“Home listings info is asymmetrical,” Mangas says. “You see great pictures. The text always describes the home as perfect. Then you get there and say to yourself, ‘That wasn’t in the pictures,’ because the home may need maintenance that was not shared or have other flaws.”

The free DADO app allows homebuyers to take their own photos and notes then share as they see fit with their spouse, family and friends or with the public — crowd-sourcing data that is helpful to buyers assessing what a home is really like.

Mangas says the core purpose is to allow the buyer to make a more confident home buying decision. In the process, they can share information that helps buyers who consider homes they didn’t buy.

Prior to starting DADO, Mangas was CEO of Starwood Hotels. He chose Pittsburgh as a test market for DADO because he loves the demographic. The housing market is good but not overheated and we have a strong millennial population. He believes proving his concept here will help him determine and demonstrate replicability for other markets.

They started the Pittsburgh trial with a Twilight House Tour conducted with local Coldwell Banker agent, Tim Gyves. The company will also give $1 to Habitat for Humanity for each Pittsburgh download of his app that happens before summer ends.

Pittsburgh artificial intelligence and robotics news

German technology company Bosch is creating a Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Carnegie Mellon University with an investment of $8 million. This comes on the heels of CMU’s recent announcement of a degree program in AI and the university being awarded the #1 AI ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Bosch celebrated Wednesday night with a launch party at Phipps Conservatory, co-hosted with Thrival.

Meanwhile, robotics company Bossa Nova has attained $29 million in investment capital to expand its reach with its retail store scanning robots. Already in 50 Walmarts, and with offices in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley and Bentonville, Arkansas (Walmart’s HQ town), Bossa Nova will also be adding 80 more employees.

And TrademarkVision, based in Pittsburgh and Brisbane, Australia, is making its AI-based DesignVision software available in the U.S. DesignVision allows lawyers and others interested in design patents to search for patents using 3D image recognition tech. This streamlines the process of approving or protecting patents, as well as helping to avoid infringement. While the product has been available in Europe and Australia, according to a company spokesperson, only their trademark search product had previously been available in the U.S.

Upcoming business, career & networking events

Aurora Open House (self-driving vehicles)
Friday, June 29, 6 p.m. at Tech Forge

South Hills Business Network
Tuesday, July 3, 9 – 11 a.m. at Panera in The Galleria of Mt. Lebanon

Tech Happy Hour
Wednesday, July 4, 7 – 9 p.m. at Mario’s East Side Saloon