News Briefs

  • 8/1/2023

    Storyboard Launches AI-Powered Translations to Breakdown Language Barriers

    housekeeper using translation tech in workforce management app

    Storyboard, an audio communication provider for frontline teams, announced that it will provide real-time AI-powered transcriptions and translations for more than 50 languages in Chat by Storyboard. Most frontline companies have a diverse workforce that includes immigrants and non-English speakers and therefore spend millions on hiring paid professionals or paying for costly outsourced translation services to reach their employees who communicate in different languages or dialects. Despite these best efforts, a language barrier in the communications between the frontline manager and their employees continues to impact the bottom line.

    The average company loses $62.4 million each year due to miscommunications[1]. And language barriers directly impact employees’ ability to collaborate, lower productivity, compromise workplace safety, and lower employee retention[2]. Companies need to create an inclusive environment for immigrants and non-English speakers where there is fair and equal language access to all communications to overcome these challenges.

    Supported by the latest developments in generative AI, customers can now translate any voice message or uploaded files’ transcript in real time, with no added cost. Chat by Storyboard’s transcription services support 57 languages and allow users to toggle between translations to 8 different languages or dialects including English, Español (Spain), Español (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil), French (France), French (Canadian), Filipino, and Chinese (Traditional).

    With Chat by Storyboard, frontline managers can communicate in multiple languages or dialects instantly improving accessibility for all employees. Now, you can provide clear direction around the actions required on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis: standard operating procedures, safety protocols, or HR policies.

    “Many companies have multilingual workforces and spend up to 2.5% of their annual revenue each year on translation,” says Storyboard founder JP Gooderham. “The high cost of translation means that companies can only prioritize corporate and executive communications, the tip of the iceberg. The long tail of day-to-day workflow communications between managers and employees are routinely excluded.”

    Since launching in 2019, Storyboard observed a lack of communication solutions for frontline teams to improve daily operations and modernize workflows.

    “Chat by Storyboard aims to be the critical connective tissue between frontline managers and employees where language barriers exist. We provide industry-leading translation services powered by AI language models that improve belonging and productivity of employees in many industries, from construction to hospitality to logistics,” explains Gooderham.

    The Chat by Storyboard app is available on iOS, Android, and web. New users can immediately create a team to share trainings, HR policies, shift start briefings, end-of-day notes, tasks, and process updates with their colleagues.




  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 6/24/2023

    Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

    Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

    Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

    “Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

    In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.

  • 8/1/2023

    LG Electronics and ArtPlayer Partner to Provide LG SuperSign Cloud Art Service

    LG television displaying artplayer's artwork

    ArtPlayer has chosen LG SuperSign Cloud for collaboration due to LG’s significant market presence and a global reach, providing LG SuperSign Cloud solutions to customers around the world deployed in various industries and sectors, including retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, education, and corporate environments where the benefits of art can be advantageously displayed.

    “We are delighted to partner with LG by seamlessly integrating ArtPlayer directly into the LG SuperSign Cloud’s user interface, thereby expanding the reach of our art service to LG customers worldwide,” said Morten Kryger, managing director of ArtPlayer. ”They can display rotating artworks, easily change display options, and optional mix the art with other content in their playlists.”

    ArtPlayer can be used for digital signage purposes within hospitality establishments. Digital screens displaying artworks can serve as eye-catching signage to guide guests, promote facilities, or provide information about events and services.

    Additionally, ArtPlayer can contribute to a therapeutic environment in healthcare facilities. The presence of visually captivating and calming artworks has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and discomfort for patients, creating a more calming and supportive atmosphere.

    ArtPlayer is not only beneficial for patients but also for healthcare staff and visitors. The presence of engaging and visually captivating artworks can uplift moods, reduce stress, and improve the overall well-being of those working in or visiting healthcare facilities.

    According to LG: Regularly creating fresh content may seem challenging, but LG SuperSign Cloud’s Art Service, ArtPlayer, grants users access to an eclectic array of refined art for their displays, elevating the atmosphere in diverse settings such as offices, hotel lobbies, and restaurants. These captivating motion graphics can promote a soothing and entrancing experience for customers in the waiting area.

    Additionally, the ArtPlayer in the LG SuperSign Cloud is an annual subscription service that provides AI-curated images which can evoke moods like ‘calm’, ‘happy’, and ‘exciting’, transforming public displays into artistic showcases instead of mere advertisements.

  • 8/1/2023

    Sonesta Announces Hiring of Michelle Steffens as Vice President of Full-Service Hotel Operations

    Michelle Steffens of Sonesta HOtels

     Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta), the 8th largest hotel company in the U.S., announced the appointment of Michelle Steffens as Vice President of Operations, with responsibility for the managed portfolio of full-service hotels and oversight of the full-service regional operations team.

    “We welcome Michelle to Sonesta as leader of the Full-Service Operations Team,” said Len Wolin, Sonesta’s Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations. “We believe her experience as an operational expert and hospitality leader will be vital to enhancing the guest experience and driving top and bottom-line performance at Sonesta.”

    Ms. Steffens joins Sonesta with more than 17 years of hospitality industry experience.  Most recently, she was Senior Vice President of Operations at Aimbridge Hospitality.  Ms. Steffens’ previous roles included senior-level and regional leadership positions at Interstate, Island Hospitality, and White Lodging. 

  • 8/1/2023

    White Castle Expands Successful Drive-Thru AI Partnership

    White Castle exterior

    SoundHound AI Inc. and White Castle announced an expansion of their partnership to deliver a superior voice AI-enabled drive-thru experience to restaurant customers across multiple locations nationwide.

    In the first phase of its partnership, SoundHound’s technology powered voice AI ordering technology at select White Castle drive-thrus. This new agreement between the two companies will grow that coverage to over 100 of White Castle’s US drive-thru lanes by the end of 2024 – many of which will run 24/7.

    SoundHound’s technology is based on complete end-to-end AI and is not a human-assisted system. It relies entirely upon intelligent automation to deliver a fast, accurate, scalable, and consistent service right across locations and channels (including kiosk, phone, and other devices).

    SoundHound and White Castle’s next big step marks a commitment to take sophisticated drive-thru AI to broad implementation based on years of proven results. These include:

    • 90% order completion rates that exceed previous staff-based benchmarks
    • Average order taken and processed in just over 60 seconds
    • Consistent, reliable, and “always on” performance
    • Scalable and repeatable infrastructure

    “White Castle is committed to investing in the best available technology to create welcoming and enjoyable drive-thru experiences for our customers,” said Mike Guinan, Vice President, Operations Services for White Castle. “Our partnership with SoundHound has allowed us to be first movers in this space and we’re excited to do even more to satisfy cravers everywhere. Working together, we’ll be able to deliver the drive-thru experience of tomorrow today.”

    A study by SoundHound reveals that a majority of customers (over 60%) are already comfortable using an automated voice assistant at a drive-thru. Even the majority of the segment that are “AI skeptics” would willingly use an automated voice assistant to order if it speeds up the process. Well over half of all customers (57%) state that long lines at the drive-thru are their biggest pain point, ahead of incorrect orders (52%).

    This partnership builds on SoundHound’s track record in the services space, spanning capabilities and products including its breakthrough Dynamic Interaction, and phone-based Smart Answering and Smart Ordering offerings. 

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