There's a new app that aims to solve the problem of finding a seat at a coffee shop. TechCrunch writes that the co-founders of local deals start-up Perqy introduced an app called Croissant at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon this weekend. While the app is currently only in its demo phase, Croissant uses iBeacon technology "installed in local businesses" such as coffee shops to "allow customers to reserve a spot [for a designated period of time] and then be automatically charged for the number of minutes they worked at the venue."
The app uses bluetooth technology to register when a customer has checked into the coffee shop.
Croissant users can both reserve a seat at a coffee shop and order food and drinks from an in-app menu, similar to the system deployed by tablets at airport restaurants. The app uses bluetooth technology to register when a customer has checked into the coffee shop and the app will automatically charge a user's credit card for the time spent and food purchased as soon as they leave the store. In a way it's very similar to apps like Cover, which allows diners to pay for restaurant meals without looking at the check. Instead, once they check-in to a restaurant, a diner's credit card is automatically charged with what was ordered.
Coffee shops have long had issues with so called "laptop hobos," or people who hunker down for hours to use the WiFi and make very few purchases. Over the years, to combat these squatters, coffee shops have turned to tactics like covering outlets so that people cannot charge their devices, changing the WiFi password every two hours, and only giving login information to customers who have purchased items. Perhaps when Croissant launches it will end the war between coffee shops and laptop users forever.