Smart Takes

With Bypass Lane, stadium concessions come to your seat

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Nothing beats going to a game, except perhaps having a hot dog while you're at the game. But trips to the concessions stand often entail long waits. Bypass Lane offers a way to get your snacks without missing a moment of the game.

Patience is not my strong suit. Probably not wise to admit that in print, but there it is. I sigh heavily when stuck in heavy traffic, squirm in long meetings and generally avoid the DMV and other red-tape-mongers as long as legally possible. That's probably why Bypass Lane struck a chord, despite the fact that I'm not an ardent sports fan.

Bypass Lane is an app for every sports fan who's left their seat to make a food run and missed a crucial home run, slam dunk or touchdown while they're waiting for their garlic fries. Instead of waiting in an interminable line at the concessions stand, users order their hot dog and popcorn from their seat. Bypass Lane uses an algorithm to calculate when orders will be ready. Users needn't wait in line with the masses to pick up their grub, they can head straight to the designated Bypass Lane, which should be shorter and faster. Fans in premium sections have it even better with orders delivered right to their seat.

A few dozen stadiums and sports venues around the country already offer Bypass Lane. And most offer it free of charge. Only one or two locations charge customers a nominal convenience fee.

In a recent interview, Bypass Lane CEO Brandon Lloyd said this type of technology is one way businesses can boost sales. Been to an Apple store lately? Then you've probably paid for your Kate Spade iPhone case or your brand new MacBook Pro with an iPhone that serves as a point-of-sale. Lloyd predicts that's the direction that mobile commerce is taking. Cashiers, checkout lines, express lanes - they're all likely to give way to POS systems that come to you -- or even better that you can access from your personal smartphone.

My only hope is that Bypass Lane starts popping up at concert venues and movie theaters. Which lines do you wish you could bypass?

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Sumi Das

Chief Correspondent

Chief Correspondent Sumi Das has been a correspondent for SmartPlanet since 2008. Previously, she worked as a correspondent for CNN and MSNBC. Between 1998 and 2003, she was producer and host of "Fresh Gear" on TechTV. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She resides in San Francisco. Disclosure