Uber Update, Checkers, SensorWake, The Color Run

451 Labs

Top Story: Uber’s Deaf-Friendly Update


Uber has now updated its app to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers.

The company is currently testing the new features primarily in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., but plans to expand over time. Once activated, the updated features will allow drivers to see flashing screens for trip requests (instead of beeps) and the ability to turn off the call options for deaf drivers (riders can only text them). Also, passengers will receive a notification that their driver is deaf or hard-of-hearing before even entering the car so they can input their destination, to alleviate possible miscommunication.

Uber is hopeful that the new features will make driving easier and more convenient for deaf drivers. “We hope [these features] help extend the earning opportunity that Uber presents to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community,” Ben Metcalfe, head of product innovation at Uber, said Thursday morning.

The unveiling of this new update follows controversy and lawsuits the company has faced over the discrimination of disabled passengers and drivers. Uber has denied the allegations, and maintained that it does not discriminate against disabled passengers.

Despite past criticisms, the company is now working diligently with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and even heeding suggestions from the Uber community to create an accessible atmosphere for drivers and riders alike.

Under the Radar: Checkers Coming To Boston


According to the Boston Business Journal, the southern burger joint Checkers is seeking to open 50 new locations throughout the Bay State.

Jennifer Durham, vice president of franchise development for Checkers, said the Boston area seems like uncharted territory based on its low restaurant to resident ratio. According to Durham,

 “It’s an under-penetrated market for a lot of franchises. We think there’s a huge opportunity.”

Checkers is aiming to find up to five franchise partners and open between 5 and 10 restaurants in the Boston area by 2016.

Checkers is not the only fast-food restaurant to migrate up to the North East either. Chains such as Sonic and Uno’s have also been scouting for ground in the Boston area.

As New Englanders, we are used to Ronald McDonald’s timeless fries, Wendy’s dangerously delicious Frostys and Burger King’s crispy-can’t-eat-just-one chicken strips. So why should we care about Checkers coming here? Well, despite the fact that they will be as common as Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, the menu offers delicious foods such as their Baconzilla Burger. Did I mention they also make strawberry cheesecake layered sundaes? Yes, we’re salivating too. Check out the full article here.

Tool of the Week: SensorWake

SenorWake I

Lets face it, we have all considered throwing our alarm clock across the room at some point. You can’t help but want to break it into pieces (even if it’s your beloved smart phone) when it’s screaming in your ear at 6:30 in the morning. Thankfully, French engineering student, Guillaume Rolland, has come up with a way to alleviate the agony of waking up (or at least the sound of it) with an olfactory alarm clock. The “clock,” called SensorWake, launched Thursday as a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Instead of using light or sound, it gently emits scent that vows to wake you up in less than 2 minutes. Users simply set the time they want to wake up and insert a scent capsule into the clock. When it’s time to wake up, the “clock” will release the fragrance until your nose wakes you up.

The scents are produced by Givaudan, a Swiss fragrance manufacturer, and range from espresso and peach to more atmospheric aromas like seaside monoi and lush jungle. The capsules can be reused for up to 60 days and replacements will be as cheap as $6!

I know what you’re thinking: “What about allergy season when I can’t smell something an inch from my nose?” Well, Rolland made sure that if you’re not up within three minutes the clock begins to sound. Let’s just hope allergy season doesn’t come early again this year. Check out more here!

Around the Hub: The Color Run

color run

If you feel like getting some exercise and color this weekend (no, we do not mean a tan), then stop by Patriot Place in Foxborough this Sunday for The Color Run. The race is coming to Massachusetts as a stop on its 2015 Shine Tour. Coined the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” the untimed race involves thousands of “color runners” getting soaked in neon paint. In fact, the only rules of the race are to wear a white shirt at the start, and achieve a paint-doused appearance by the end.

Founded in March 2011, the event aims to promote healthiness, happiness, individuality and giving back. In fact, the organization has raised donations for more than 80 charities since 2012. They have even donated more than $4 million to various charities!

If you’re interested in getting smothered in paint while burning a few calories on your Sunday Funday, the race begins at 10 am on May 31, 2015 at Gillette Stadium. For more information visit their website!

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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