Couple of great Finnish apps/services I've been using this year

There are two apps I wanted to bring to your attention. These might be interesting mostly to Finnish readers, but they might contain something for companies outside Finland to copy and make their user experience better. First, S-mobiili. It's a app for S-group, that is an sort of alliance owned by ordinary people, called co-ops, it's retail, restaurants, hotels etc, read more here and visualized here. Saying it is a loyalty app might be an oversimplification.

You can view your discount offers, bonuses, your bank account, make payments, see investments and one really practical feature: you can pay your gas in-app! You just select the meter you're in, and go fill your car. So simple, so fast, I just love it. It only works on ABC's of course, and you need to have S-pankki credit/debit card.

Paying and speed are the keywords.

The second app I like to write shortly about is Hesburger. It's a Finnish fast food chain, with burgers, tortillas, salads, toasts and regular side-orders. Little heavy on the majo in burgers (slurp!).

Anyhoo, they've launched mobile app 06/2016, and it's pretty decent. You get your coupons there of course, which for me (in the past, I'm trying to eat less burgers these days) was a big bonus, as the paper coupons were never there when you needed them, UI is simple and pretty efficient, it's missing a search, but it's good other wise. You can pay with your bonuses, or with pre-entered debit/credit card, or choose to pay when you enter the restaurant. Inside restaurant you have a separate speed check-out line at cash register, where you can just tell your code or show QR-code to get your food, or you can use drive-in to pick ordered stuff. You can select instant delivery or choose the time you want your food done - this saves time, as you can order drive-in before arriving, and just pick-up the food. It beats McDonald's app hands down.

Since June they've received over 75 000 new loyalty members, and broke their goals in the first few weeks. Also (!!!) the average purchase is 20% larger than the non-app customer's.

They are releasing the app to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in the near future, you can find it for Android and iOS phones, here's Google Play link and Apple App Store.

Full disclosure: I'm not affiliated in any shape or form with the said entities or these apps, well except being a co-op member of S-group.


New iceberg detection system based on sonar

Kongsberg’s "SensIs" is a system that will track drifting icebergs, it will be network of wireless sonars embedded into seabed, floating roughly at 200 meters (650 ft) below the surface. It will track ice from up to 1200 meters away, using 10-15kHz acoustics.

This is the official "I don't get it"-part. Ships have sonars, right? Make them better? It seems awfully bigger investment to cover the whole sea with sonars, than to embed ships with better sonars? Or is the sonar less efficient from near surface? Well couldn't it then be floated below?

Also, it seems, the wavelength of 10-15 kHz will be disturbing to marine life like dolphins and whales. *sigh*

It's a Norwegian company, just like a past project I blogged about, Hywind, floating windmills into the ocean. http://blog.rz.fi/2006/02/floating-windmills-into-ocean.html

Read more: http://www.kongsberg.com/en/kog/news/featurestories/monitoring%20extreme%20ice%20conditions%20in%20the%20high%20north/ and https://www.newscientist.com/article/2093340-sonar-to-listen-for-moving-icebergs-near-arctic-oil-platforms/