News Briefs

  • 6/13/2023

    Actility, Abeeway, and Combain Unite for AI-Powered Indoor Location Solutions Revolution

    logos

    ActilityAbeeway, and Combain are thrilled to announce their strategic collaboration, marking a new era of AI-powered indoor location solutions. This groundbreaking partnership brings together the expertise of three industry leaders in IoT connectivity, geolocation services, and advanced positioning technology to revolutionize indoor navigation.

    The partnership between Actility, Abeeway, and Combain will focus on creating a comprehensive solution for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based indoor geo-location. By combining their respective technologies, the companies aim to deliver a cutting-edge indoor positioning system that leverages AI algorithms and deep learning techniques.

    Combain leverages AI to train an artificial neural network using ground-truth geolocations Wi-Fi and Bluetooth MAC addresses and signal strength. This innovative approach surpasses traditional trilateration methods delivering a remarkable reduction in median error.

    Indoor geolocation services for LoRaWAN devices will be a key area of focus for this partnership. The collaboration will drive cross-promotion and lead generation for both businesses, opening new opportunities in the rapidly growing market of indoor positioning solutions:

    • Actility, a global leader in IoT connectivity solutions, will contribute its extensive experience in network infrastructure and cloud-based services.
    • Abeeway, a subsidiary of Actility, brings its expertise in geolocation technologies, including Low-power GPS, GPS, Wi-Fi sniffing, and Bluetooth Low Energy Beaconing.
    • Combain, renowned for its advanced positioning technology and vast database of cell IDs and Wi-Fi/BLE positions, will provide its AI-powered indoor location solution.

    This partnership comes at a time when the demand for AI-powered indoor location services is at an all-time high. As businesses strive to provide seamless navigation experiences and personalized services to their customers, Actility and Combain  are poised to meet these evolving needs with their combined expertise, innovative technologies, and market reach. 

  • 6/1/2023

    Tim Hortons Expands EV Charging Stations

    EV charging

    For electric vehicle owners in British Columbia, Tim Hortons is now fueling road trips in more ways than one.  The company has announced the expansion of its electric vehicle charging station pilot launched earlier this year in Oakville, Ontario, by unveiling six new charging stations at restaurants throughout  British Columbia.

    Tim Hortons announced the pilot in February in an effort to study the technology, its usage and opportunities.

    "We have been thrilled with the results of the pilot so far.  Usage of the charging station in Oakville has surpassed our expectations and we received many calls with requests to expand the pilot," said Paulo Ferreira, Senior Director, International Strategic Restaurant Design and Building Standards, Tim Hortons. "With more than 3,300 eligible restaurants across the country, we continue to look for opportunities to expand the pilot and contribute to the EV infrastructure."

    The BC expansion, supported by the Province of BC's Community Charging Infrastructure Fund and Koben Systems Inc. (KSI), placed charging stations strategically in Nanaimo, Langford, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Abbotsford and Coquitlam to create paths within the province, allowing guests to travel from restaurant to restaurant strictly on electric power.

    Tim Hortons offers charging stations as a courtesy to guests at six locations.  As of March 31st, 2013, Tim Hortons had 4,288 system-wide restaurants, including 3,453 in Canada, 808 in the United States and 27 in the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

  • 6/13/2023

    HITEC 2023 NEWS: xnPOS to Launch xnPOS BI, a Powerful, Cloud-based F&B Business Analytics Platform

    screenshot of snPOS BI F&B analytics tool

    Hotel Point of Sale system vendor, Xn Global Systems Inc. is delighted to announce the forthcoming launch of xnPOS BI, a powerful F&B analytics BI platform, at HITEC Toronto.  xnPOS BI provides detailed F&B departmental insights, crunched from the rich transaction data collected by xnPOS.  It is available for use by both hotel groups and independent hotels.  

    Scalable, Expandable, Customisable

    Using the leading Microsoft Power BI platform as its analytics engine, xnPOS BI is a flexible F&B analytics module which can scale from small properties to groups. xnPOS BI  has been specifically developed to provide detailed insights into the rich transactional data generated by xnPOS and is a module of the powerful xnBI analytics platform.  It includes an optional upgrade path to the xnBI Enterprise edition, which consolidates and synthesizes multiple data sources including PMS and accounting systems.

    Functionality and service highlights include:

    • Hotel industry-standardised operating metrics and KPIs
    • Filters include group, property, department, revenue centre, shift and operator levels
    • Intuitive graphical dashboards
    • Comparisons by time/day/week/month and other date-based periods
    • Capability to slice, filter and drill-down to transactions to gain even deeper insights
    • Create alerts to highlight KPIs which are running at outside normal or budget levels
    • Fully mobile compliant and accessible from any device connected to the internet
    • Uses MS-Power BI supporting seamless integration to Microsoft O365 allowing easy sharing of data across all Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Teams
    • Export data easily into Microsoft Excel for further investigation
    • Service, support, and customisations are available from our friendly team 

    Mark Pearman, Chief Commercial Officer for xnPOS , commented

    We are very excited to announce the forthcoming launch of xnPOS BI at HITEC Toronto. xnPOS BI is a fantastic extension to the suite of xnPOS modules and allows  hotel owners, operators  and management to view the performance of their F&B operation from anywhere in the world on their mobile devices. Accessing  actionable and measurable KPIs, such as top-selling or slow- selling menu items, in turn facilitates quick decisions to  optimise F&B operations and profitability.”

  • 6/13/2023

    Planar Rolls Out Diverse Portfolio of Targeted Display Solutions at InfoComm 2023

    planar outdoor sign

    Today, Planar, a global leader in visualization technology, announced plans to demonstrate the company’s most diverse portfolio of display technology for next-level visual experiences at InfoComm 2023. This includes a range of modern LED and LCD visualization solutions that are aimed at a wide range of applications including video collaboration and meeting rooms, lobbies and atriums, on-camera and in-camera production, and outdoor high resolution digital signage and entertainment.

    Planar will introduce the Planar® UltraRes L Series display at InfoComm 2023, an all-in-one LED display combining Planar® UltraRes™ Series best-in-class features with fine pixel pitch LED technology. The Planar UltraRes L Series introduces a seamless, easy-to-use display solution featuring integrated video and audio electronics, 20-point IR touch technology, on-board processing, an ultra slim bezel and 24x7 reliability. Measuring 136 inches and available in Full HD resolution, the new display offers flexibility with a wall mount for permanent installation or a rolling floor stand for mobility, making the Planar UltraRes L Series all-in-one LED display well-suited for environments spanning corporate, education and beyond.

    The new solution also features multiple inputs to support simultaneous viewing of up to four content sources. With front service installation and simplified maintenance, Planar UltraRes L Series can be quickly assembled with only two people and powered using a single 110V cable. 

    At InfoComm 2023, Planar will also showcase the company’s most versatile selection of LED and LCD display solutions that are designed for ease-of-use and to be tailored to different application needs. This includes LED video wall platforms with higher brightness and high bandwidth video transport, outdoor LED video wall displays featuring the finest pixel pitches, LED display solutions optimized for on-camera broadcast and in-camera virtual production (VP) and extended reality (XR).

    Our customers continue to push high resolution displays into more application areas with specific performance requirements,” said Steve Seminario, vice president of product marketing at Planar. “Our new product lineup at InfoComm 2023 meets these indoor and outdoor requirements while providing versatility to accommodate future customer innovation."

    State-of-the-Art, Fine Pitch LED for Indoor and Outdoor Use

    InfoComm 2023 attendees will see the following trailblazing LED video wall solutions from Planar:

    • The recently-announced Planar® DirectLight® Pro Series LED platform raises the bar on versatility and lifetime value. Leveraging key advantages of Planar’s highest-selling LED platforms, the ground-up designed LED video wall uses a high bandwidth video transport and delivers high brightness, outstanding image performance and a range of popular pixel pitches down to sub-1milimeter. This includes models in 0.9, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8 millimeter pixel pitches and 1,000-nit brightness in constant operation, providing vibrant colors and greater image detail even in higher ambient light environments. Also available in popular Planar® Complete display configurations, including 109-inch, 137-inch,164-inch, 198-inch and 219-inch, Planar DirectLight Pro Series is designed to be deployed efficiently in custom video wall dimensions and resolutions through the use of two cabinet sizes and a 5G video architecture. The Planar® EverCare Lifetime Limited Warranty is included, offering customers complete confidence in their LED video wall purchase while reducing lifetime cost-of-ownership.
    • In May, Planar announced the addition of a 1.2 millimeter pixel pitch to the company’s award-winning Planar® Luminate Ultra Series line of outdoor LED video wall displays. The newest addition to the series delivers the finest outdoor pixel pitch by using MicroLED technology to enable a 1.2 millimeter pixel pitch while also achieving superior performance in an outdoor-rated LED video wall display. MicroLED technology enhances the image with increased black levels and delivers 150-degree visibility while a proprietary coating ensures outdoor ruggedness and enhanced visual performance in high ambient light outdoor environments.
    • The Planar® DirectLight® Ultra™ Series is a line of premium fine pitch MicroLED video wall displays presenting several display technology advancements that, in combination, deliver big performance. Available in 0.6, 0.7, 0.9 and 1.2 millimeter pixel pitches, Planar DirectLight Ultra Series features models with MicroLEDs, off-board power supply, proprietary alignment technology and built-in processing to deliver always-on, high resolution display experiences for unmatched visual performance for close viewing distances and the most refined applications. The Planar EverCare Lifetime Limited Warranty is also included, offering customers complete confidence in their LED video wall purchase while reducing lifetime cost-of-ownership.

    Must-See XR Stage Delivering Striking On-Camera and In-Camera Visual Properties

    At InfoComm 2023 Planar also will present a stunning XR stage with sister company and industry leader OptiTrack. The stage will demonstrate how customers can use VP and XR to revolutionize content creation in corporate applications and beyond, highlighting OptiTrack motion capture technology and fine pitch LED display solutions designed for on-camera and in-camera environments:

    • Award-winning Planar® CarbonLight CLI VX Series LED video wall displays feature unrivaled image quality and versatility to revolutionize the production of realistic on-camera and in-camera content. Featuring an improved scan ratio, the series provides greater flexibility in how video walls adapt to different cameras and effects. The lightweight LED display supports hanging, wall-mounted, free-standing and curved installations, is available in 1.9 and 2.6 millimeter pixel pitches and includes models with Brompton and Colorlight controllers.
    • Cutting-edge Planar® CarbonLight CLF VX Series LED flooring features a 2.6 millimeter pixel pitch that can be used to create a high resolution, continuous canvas, virtually expanding physical environments. The square (500x500 millimeters), thin LED flooring displays feature carbon fiber frames with layered wear-proof masking to support up to 1,102 pounds per display, facilitating heavy loads.
    • OptiTrack™ Motion Capture delivers precision, accuracy, ease of use, reliability and polished integration with on-set tools. With high speed and wide field-of-view motion tracking cameras, active tracking components, passive tracking markers and advanced motion capture software, OptiTrack remains the choice for the world’s premier volumes.

    Ultra-Wide Format LCD Displays for Unified Communications

    • The new Planar® UltraRes W Series is a line of 105-inch ultra-wide format 5K LCD displays optimized for next-generation collaboration for today’s modern hybrid workforce. For more than 10 years, Planar® UltraRes™ Series commercial-grade displays have been successfully installed in secure conference rooms around the world. The Planar UltraRes W Series provides customers with an ultra-wide format 21:9 display ideally sized to suit the most popular unified communications and video collaboration platforms including Microsoft Teams®. Planar UltraRes W Series features 24x7 reliability, remote monitoring, multi-source viewing and is available with interactive touch technology.

    InfoComm 2023 attendees can view Planar’s portfolio of new display technologies powering next-level visual experiences for an even wider range of applications at Booth #2243. For more information, visit www.planar.com.

  • 6/13/2023

    Darden Restaurants Completes Acquisition of Ruth's Hospitality Group

    handshake deal

    Darden Restaurants, Inc. has completed its acquisition of Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. The Ruth's Chris Steak House brand now joins and complements Darden's portfolio of differentiated brands that include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V's and Bahama Breeze.

    Ruth's Chris features signature USDA Prime steaks served sizzling on 500-degree plates, New Orleans-inspired sides and an award-winning wine list. Ruth's Chris has 155 locations around the globe, including 81 company-owned or company-operated restaurants and 74 franchised restaurants.

    Darden's tender offer for all of the issued and outstanding shares of Ruth's common stock at a price of $21.50 per share, without interest, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes, expired as scheduled at one minute after 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on June 13, 2023, and was not extended.

    The acquisition was completed on June 14, 2023.

    In connection with the completion of the merger, Ruth's common stock ceased trading on Nasdaq.

  • 6/13/2023

    Lenovo Announces AI Innovations for Hospitality and Food Services Industries

    Lenovo logo

    Lenovo announced it has reached record annual AI infrastructure revenue of over US$2 billion and unveiled the next phase of its growth strategy, with an additional US$1 billion investment over three years to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) deployment for businesses around the world. Fueled by increased global digitalization and demand for IT infrastructure upgrades, Lenovo is simplifying the often-complex implementation of new AI capabilities by delivering AI to the source of data and harnessing its vast network of best-in-class partners to build next-generation turnkey solutions that enable computing intelligence directly at the edge. The investment will further expand the company’s industry-leading AI-ready portfolio of smart devices, infrastructure solutions and services to help accelerate innovation, enabling the use of generative AI and delivering cognitive decisions at scale throughout remote locations across financial, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and smart city applications. 

    As part of the additional investment, Lenovo is committing US$100 million to grow the Lenovo AI Innovators program, which has delivered a record 150+ cutting edge AI solutions created with 45 leading ISV partners in the program’s first year. Leveraging the AI Innovators end-to-end ecosystem, the new solutions are bringing AI from the lab to scale and enabling the dramatic technology shifts underway within high-growth sectors. With the new solutions, customers can more rapidly deploy and leverage cutting-edge AI capabilities, like generative AI, computer vision, voice AI and virtual assistants.

    “Building on our more than 150 AI solutions, this pivotal investment further expands the development of AI-ready infrastructure solutions that will help customers overcome deployment complexities and more easily implement AI to deliver transformative services and products to the market,” said Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group. “As we continue our path to become the world’s largest end-to-end infrastructure solutions providers, Lenovo is committed to being the most trusted partner and empowering our customers’ intelligent transformation by bringing AI to the source of their data, at the edge.” 

    Enabling AI Discovery and Accelerating Adoption

    AI is driving a new wave of opportunities for businesses, but many companies face implementation challenges due to resource limitations and infrastructure complexities, stalling its rollout. The Lenovo AI Innovators program includes an ecosystem of best-in-class software partners collaborating with Lenovo to provide customers with tailored, proven and ready-to-deploy AI solutions for their end-to-end operations, including computer vision, audio recognition, prediction, security, and virtual assistants for every industry. 

    Across its solutions, Lenovo is helping customers harness the value of their data, deploying purpose-built, AI solutions to transform their business with more predictable outcomes. As the retail, food service and hospitality industries adapt to the post-pandemic era, businesses are reimagining front-end and back-end operations to enable improved customer service, mitigate waste and address shifts in the labor market. Lenovo is partnering with DeepBrain AI to offer an end-to-end solution for generative AI virtual assistants that can be paired with powerful large language models (LLMs) to deliver 24/7 automated concierge service in hospitality and retail settings. With Lenovo and Vistry, quick service restaurants around the globe use computer vision to automate cook times and help predict supply quantities to prevent food waste, ensuring quality standards while helping improve customer retention and profitability. 

    As manufacturing operations around the globe seek digitalization to drive future growth and differentiation amidst economic disruptions, innovative AI solutions from Lenovo and Guise help industrial customers reduce unplanned downtime with up to 14 days of advanced prediction, as well as understand customer behavior and optimize processes with computer vision, predictive maintenance, and anomaly detection on the production line. 

    Lenovo is also delivering its AI  solutions via TruScale Infrastructure as a Service for ultimate flexibility as the company continues its service-led transformation. AI Innovators partner, Al Hathboor Bikal.ai and Lenovo are pioneering the service-based rollout of an AI-enabled data center at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Leveraging Lenovo TruScale HPC and AI as a service, the collaboration is providing public and private organizations with the ability to access AI capabilities to support citizen safety and security through digital transformation projects across education, R&D, retail, oil & gas sectors. The AI-enabled data center’s computing resources will also help organizations bring the benefits of advanced AI features, like GPT-3 to their own operations. Designed to align with the UAE Net Zero 2050 policy, the data center is the first in the region to use industry-leading Lenovo Neptune™ direct water-cooling to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency while lowering power consumption. 

    “Al Hathboor sees this collaboration as a way to give the UAE a technological advantage to the innovation ecosystem, create jobs and opportunities for our youth and develop tech for solving regional and global challenges. Lenovo, NVIDIA and Intel with SRTIP gives us a joint capability in tech transfer and we look forward to working with our universities, businesses, and government,” said Mohammed Al Hathboor, Management Committee Member of Al Hathboor Bikal.ai. 

    The new Lenovo AI Discover Center of Excellence provides access to Lenovo data scientists, AI architects and engineers to help explore, deploy and scale AI solutions. The service also guides customers to the most appropriate software partners, AI-optimized infrastructure and responsible AI guidance through the Lenovo Responsible AI Committee. As companies learn to deploy AI, the committee helps customers with their approach to designing, deploying, and using AI ethically, helping organizations understand and address privacy, fair usage, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility considerations. 

    Bringing AI to Your Data

    As the amount of worldwide data grows exponentially, next-generation infrastructure technologies that deliver data center-like computing to the edge are critical to empowering AI for improved emergency response, public safety, accessibility, tourism and retail experiences. With more enterprise data being processed outside of the data center, Lenovo is committed to supporting AI workloads everywhere, ensuring purpose-built performance for remote settings. 

    Today, Lenovo extends its comprehensive portfolio of AI-ready infrastructure to over 70 products, with new AI-optimized edge-to-cloud server platforms that help address any AI workload. With emerging innovations like LLM and the continuous expansion of computer vision deployments, more processing power is needed where the data is being generated to run real-time inferencing at the edge. 

    The new Lenovo ThinkEdge SE360 V2 is the latest purpose-built edge server that delivers more power to enable AI solutions ranging from computer vision, voice AI and generative AI. Whether for a store, factory or office, the new server provides extended accelerated computing supportive of Intel Data Center GPU Flex Series, the NVIDIA L4 Tensor Core GPU, the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software platform and Qualcomm® Cloud AI 100 platforms to enable intense workloads at the source of data creation. The ThinkEdge SE360 V2 delivers the highest GPU density in the smallest form factor available and is at least twice as quiet compared to competitive products, allowing edge AI to be deployed in the most remote and rugged sites. 

    The new range of AI-ready edge solutions also includes the Lenovo ThinkEdge SE350 V2 for hybrid cloud and modern HCI deployments, offering twice the storage capacity and leveraging the Intel Xeon® D processor to help customers run AI while easily consolidating workloads, data backup, collaboration and content delivery in the smallest form factor on the market. 

    In the data center, the new Lenovo ThinkSystem SR675 V3 is the most versatile, accelerated computing platform on the market and purpose-built for AI with three server configurations in one, including support for NVIDIA HGX 4-GPU systems, or 4-DW PCle GPU or 8-DW PCle GPU servers in a compact 3U footprint. As fully simulated digital replicas of entire buildings, factories, distribution centers, retail stores or cities, digital twins are combined with AI to generate improved business processes and design outcomes. Lenovo is collaborating with NVIDIA on its latest NVIDIA OVX system for building and operating virtual worlds, delivering powerful performance for Omniverse Enterprise workloads in the data center. The ThinkSystem SR675 V3, based on the OVX architecture, features up to eight NVIDIA L40 GPUs to maximize performance and deliver the most advanced ray tracing with RTX-accelerated graphics and AI capabilities in a robust and scalable platform, allowing customers to explore and unlock the full potential of digital twins for businesses of all sizes. 

    Beyond infrastructure, Lenovo is implementing AI from the pocket to the cloud, with cutting-edge smart devices and solutions, that ensure data science is accessible across all industries in the new hybrid and remote work era. For improved collaboration, new Lenovo ThinkPad commercial laptops include a new Lenovo View application, offering AI-enabled computer vision technology for enhanced video image quality and tools. Lenovo ThinkReality XR solutions help users access immersive simulations, while purpose-built Lenovo ThinkStation and ThinkPad P Series Data Science workstations deliver the high-performance necessary for mission-critical AI model development, data prep and training tasks.

    With its AI-ready servers, cutting-edge smart devices and ecosystem of leading ISVs, Lenovo will bring pre-validated, performance optimized AI solutions to the source of customer data, even in the most unique edge settings. Together, these advancements serve to simplify the rollout of AI, making it accessible to organizations of all sizes and enabling transformative intelligence across all industries.

    Visit https://lenovo.com/nextlevelAI to learn more.

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