I work in a university town. Although I often eat at my desk, it’s fun to be able to walk around at lunchtime, windowshop, and people-watch if time permits. And every once in awhile I come back into town on the weekends when I have errands to run. A few weekends ago I was scheduled for a haircut, and since I was running late I decided to park on the street near the salon (instead of in our garage at the office). I keep a change purse with quarters in my car, but when I put money in the meter, it continued to flash red. I really didn’t want to get a parking ticket, so I had a stressed out moment. And then … I saw the sign!
Pay with my phone? What?! So I tried it. The iPhone app download was fast, the tool was easy and intuitive to use … and best of all, the timer on my phone made it really clear when the meter was going to run out:
Pretty cool! The whole thing made me feel hip but a bit old at the same time. I think I responded and ‘fed the meter’ faster than, say, my parents would have. But it was still a bit of a mind-bender for me. I’m at that age where I understand enough about the technology and the task to engage. But it would have never occurred to me that parking meter payments could be automated with smartphones. A cool idea, but one that makes me feel a bit old!