News Briefs


Ooma Office Named Best Business VoIP Phone Service

generic award trophy with gold stars

Ooma Inc., a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, today announced the company’s Ooma Office service has won PCMag’s prestigious Business Choice Award for Best VoIP System for the tenth year in a row.

The award ( comes from the magazine’s annual Business Choice surveys of its readers, with Ooma again emerging as the top provider of VoIP phone service among 18 finalists including RingCentral, Microsoft Teams, Vonage, and Google Voice.

“For the 10th year in a row, Ooma takes the lead in our annual VoIP survey,” PCMag said in its story on the award. “The service remains far ahead of most of the competition in almost every metric.”

  • Ooma’s overall satisfaction score of 8.6 out of 10 is a half-point ahead of the second-place finisher and is 1.3 points above the average for all 18 VoIP service providers included in the survey results.
  •  Ooma’s Likelihood to Recommend score of 8.8 is 0.4 points ahead of the second-place finisher and 1.5 points above the average.

Ooma Office  offers a set of features curated to meet the needs of small and medium businesses. Customers have their choice of interface – conventional analog phones, IP phones, virtual service through the Ooma Office desktop and mobile apps, or any combination of the four. Advanced features such as a virtual receptionist, ring groups, video conferencing, text messaging, call queueing and multi-site access combine to make small businesses sound big.


Helbiz Kitchen Opens Second U.S. Location

Helbiz Kitchen opens in LA

Helbiz Kitchen launches its second kitchen in Los Angeles, located in the Westwood area. This new location will enable Helbiz Kitchen to cater to a wider customer base across the city, in addition to the recently opened Santa Monica kitchen.

Helbiz Kitchen is renowned for its commitment to high-quality products, with a strong focus on taste and flavor. The menu of each brand available in Los Angeles is the same as the menus offered in Milan, ensuring that customers can experience the same authentic taste and quality that Helbiz customers in Italy have come to expect.

The first three brands, Burger & Sons, Pokaii, and What the Farm, will be available for customers to order via the Kitchen United MIX App, on-site kiosks, and third-party apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

Helbiz Kitchen plans to open in Austin, Texas, and New York City later this month.


Duetto Advance Unveiled at ITB Berlin

duetto logo

Duetto, a provider of Revenue Management Software (RMS), unveiled its premium revenue optimization product, Duetto Advance, at ITB Berlin.

With event demand intelligence now ingested from PredictHQ, the introduction of Advance once again makes Duetto the industry’s Game Changer in revenue management tech. 

Duetto Advance combines several industry firsts:

  • Instant events-related intelligence data from PredictHQ
  • Dynamic Optimization: all rates are optimized in real-time
  • CommandCenter: one easy-to-use customizable dashboard

“Duetto Advance enables hotel revenue teams to optimize rates in real-time, using clean, usable data delivered in a visually actionable dashboard customizable to your revenue strategy needs. This is truly an industry first for our field,” said Darren Koch, Chief Product Officer, Duetto.

“In today’s ever-changing market, real-time analytics that ingests market data as it happens is vital for hotels to complete and lead their markets,” Koch added.

PredictHQ: The Duetto / PredictHQ integration provides event-related market intelligence, enabling revenue teams to be proactive about what is happening in their markets, taking calculated decisions on pricing and restrictions, and optimizing operations.

"By incorporating intelligent event data into Duetto’s revenue management platform, we are unlocking a new way for businesses to make data-driven pricing decisions that optimize revenue and enhance customer experiences ahead of surges in demand. By using enriched event data to surface relevant, impactful events, it enables them to optimize and make calculated decisions around pricing in advance to match real-world conditions. Our system not only collects, enriches, and verifies millions of events every year, but it also provides sophisticated features which companies like Duetto can leverage to paint a complete picture of demand," said Campbell Brown, Co-founder & CEO, PredictHQ. 

Dynamic Optimization: Provides real-time monitoring of market conditions to ensure pricing is responsive and dynamic. With powerful signal detection based on live booking activity, Duetto Advance can target situations where there is a sudden change in demand, resulting in an opportunity to quickly raise prices to capture the profit opportunity.

CommandCenter: Enables hotels to Advance property and portfolio performance via an intuitive and actionable dashboard focused on current and forward-looking data points across the guest journey. This multi-property management portal will guide Directors of Sales, Operations, and Revenue Management to focus on what truly matters - driving more profitable outcomes.

Duetto Advance is a premium addition to Duetto GameChanger – the world’s #1 RMS. GameChanger helps hotels maximize booking revenues and profits. It empowers hotels to sharpen revenue management strategies through innovative technology and its Open Pricing methodology. Duetto Advance will become available to Duetto users in Summer 2023.

The Duetto revenue strategy platform also includes BlockBuster for contracted group business optimization. Working with GameChanger, BlockBuster helps hotel revenue teams discover the optimal blend of group and transient business at the right rate, at the right time.

For reporting and forecasting, our ScoreBoard application enables revenue teams to create forecasts in minutes, create custom reports and receive business insights instantly in interactive dashboards.


Sextant Stays Rebrands as Roami and Announces $14M Series A Funding Round

a person holding an umbrella

Sextant Stays, a next-generation hospitality company, announced its $14 million Series A funding round and simultaneously unveiled a rebrand, with the company name changing to Roami. The funding round is led by Vigo Capital, bringing the brand’s total funding to $29 million.

The company recognizes that travelers today are roaming the world differently than they did a few years ago — this rebrand is not just a name change, but represents the new reality of travel. Roami is shaping the future of urban travel by providing a space that is purposefully designed for groups, and six times larger than a typical hotel room. Each building is operated entirely by Roami, giving the brand creative control over the guest experience in its mission to inspire human connection. 

“It’s been an incredible six years, and we are grateful for the success we’ve had, but there is much more to accomplish!" said Roami Founder & CEO, Andreas King-Geovanis. “We’re living in the most iterative moment ever to exist in hospitality, and are among a handful of brands writing the future of travel. None of this would be possible without our extremely dedicated and talented coworkers who continuously set new standards for the industry.”

In the last three years, Roami grew 800% despite the most devastating crisis in hospitality since World War II. Following an explosive year — including its recent recognition on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list, 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 and South Florida Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Companies 2022 List — the innovative yet human-centered hospitality company had over $40M in revenue in 2022 and continues to grow. 

"We're excited to introduce Roami as a brand built around what we’ve termed ‘Predictive Hospitality,'" said Roami COO, Brandreth Canaley. “Throughout the customer journey, our technology is collecting the dots and connecting the dots to anticipate guests’ needs before they even know they have them.” 

Stemming from this success, Roami has acquired new buildings in existing markets, and recently expanded to West Palm Beach, totaling its inventory to over 500 units across South Florida and New Orleans. Roami will use the funding to continue expansion across local markets and beyond. 

“It is great to celebrate our fundraise, but more importantly, we are celebrating what’s made this company successful,” said Roami CFO Iskander Karimov. “This is a business that should be funded by the guest, for the guest, and we are staying true to our belief: people, service, profits–in that order.”

Founded in 2016, Roami, formerly Sextant Stays, was born from CEO Andreas King-Geovanis’ belief that travelers should not be forced to choose between two flawed options: cramped and expensive hotel rooms or inconsistent and unpredictable vacation rentals. By managing the entire building – not just a few floors or units – Roami provides a memorable stay without compromise. 

“We’re proud to support Roami as they re-imagine the way the world lives, works, and travels” said Kirill Vinogradov at Vigo Capital. “The company’s consistent growth since 2020 despite volatile external conditions proves that they truly understand how to satisfy the needs of the modern Roamer and we’re looking forward to seeing their continued growth and expansion,” he added.


HID and iPassport to Bring New Identity Verification Solution to the Transportation Sector

woman having her face scanned for security

HID, a provider of trusted identity and physical security solutions, and iPassport, a provider of solutions that enable organizations to implement digital identity technologies, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a new identity verification solution for the transportation industry. This solution will make its debut at the Passenger Terminal EXPO 2023, March 14-16 at HID Booth #1244.

Navigating through the airport requires a sequence of touchpoints and processes—from check-in to baggage drop, security checkpoint, all the way to retail/duty-free shopping, lounge access and boarding. And with millions of travelers experiencing delays, cancellations, baggage mix-ups and the continued strain on airport staff, the passenger journey has become more complex than ever.

Airlines need reliable and swift identity verification to provide passengers with a secure, seamless journey that’s long overdue.

“Today, moving through an airport securely requires an ongoing and seamless identity verification system that not only enhances the passenger experience, but also optimizes efficiencies for everyone. HID is excited to collaborate with iPassport to bring this new solution to market,” says Vito Fabbrizio, Managing Director of Biometrics, Extended Access Technologies at HID.

With HID’s modular approach, airlines and airport operators are now able to add identity verification capabilities quickly and easily to existing systems without having to “rip-and-replace" or perform expensive migrations to a new platform altogether.

This modular solution includes the following components:

  • Facial Recognition Camera Hardware
  • Fingerprint, ID Document & Ticket Readers
  • Software Development Kits (SDKs)
  • ID Proofing & Biometric Server
  • Device Management
  • Biometric Professional Services

With HID-patented multispectral imaging (MSI) technology and ethically trained artificial intelligence (AI) built within the HID® U.ARE.U® Camera Identification System, significant performance and matching accuracy are achieved.

Use of facial recognition technology throughout the airport will depend on the passenger’s prior consent during booking or check-in. Additionally, the biometric information is only stored and used during the time the passenger is in transit within the airport to help address compliance with applicable with data privacy laws.

Beyond airlines and airports, other segments of the travel industry, such as cruise ships and hospitality, can also benefit from:

  • Ethically trained and built AI to eliminate matching bias
  • Industry-leading presentation attack detection (PAD) to thwart spoof attempts
  • Superior performance amid challenging lighting
  • Automatic face detection, capture and image quality checks—even when wearing masks
  • On-device biometric processing with endpoint security for maximum protection

To learn more about identity verification for air travel passengers, visit the website.


Park Hyatt Chicago to Offer Bryte Balance Beds to Guests

Bryte Balance Bed in guestroom at Park Hyatt Chicago

Park Hyatt Chicago is introducing two updated suites featuring Bryte Balance™ beds, as well as a brand new Restorative Package, providing guests the ultimate luxury urban retreat on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Park Hyatt Chicago will be the first hotel in the city to offer these state-of-the-art beds powered by Bryte’s unique Restorative Intelligence. 

“At Park Hyatt Chicago, we strive to provide a luxurious home away from home for discerning global travelers,” said Rike Erdbrink, General Manager, Park Hyatt Chicago. “By equipping our suites with offerings such as the Bryte Balance beds, we are excited to continue to meet the level of hospitality our guests know us for, while offering an elegant oasis in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast.”

The new Bryte Balance beds arrive at Park Hyatt Chicago just in time for Sleep Awareness Week, which begins March 12 and lasts through March 18. The unveiling also comes at a time when “sleep tourism” is expected to be one of the most popular travel trends in 2023. In addition to promoting a restorative sleep, the updated suites and their amenities were carefully curated to align with Park Hyatt’s holistic approach to taking care of their guests. These suites include:

  • The Wellbeing Suite, which includes a Bryte Balance mattress; an in-room TONAL digital fitness system, as well as access to Peloton Bikes by request; a freestanding, deep soaking tub; Bulk Apothecary eucalyptus sleep oil and body butter; and fresh-pressed superfood juices and nutritional bites crafted by NoMI Executive Chef Terence Zubieta.

  • The Mindfulness Suite, which includes a Bryte Balance mattress; access to an outdoor tranquility terrace; an in-room yoga mat, ball, blocks, and hand weights; a luxurious sleep mask; and Bulk Apothecary eucalyptus sleep oil and body butter.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Park Hyatt Chicago to ensure their guests receive a restorative night’s sleep with our science-backed sleep technology,” comments Luke Kelly, CEO, Bryte. “Park Hyatt Chicago prides itself on providing a personalized experience to their guests, and now they can also benefit from a night of sleep customized for their personal comfort.”

Partnering with Bryte solidifies Park Hyatt’s ongoing commitment to providing liveable luxury and truly personalized service to their guests across the globe. In addition to Park Hyatt Chicago, guests can also experience the Bryte Balance beds at Park Hyatt New York, Grand Hyatt Seattle, and Hyatt Regency Seattle, as well as Hyatt at Olive 8 coming soon. The first-of-their-kind mattresses allow guests to optimize their sleep every night through a number of proprietary technologies, including: 

  • Dual Comfort Tailoring, which allows customization on both sides of the mattress to provide comfort based on each partners’ individual attributes and sleeping preferences

  • Somnify, Bryte's multi-sensory relaxation experience that pairs calming sleep-inducing sounds with soothing motions to help guests fall asleep faster

  • Rebalancing, Bryte's matrix of intelligent cushions that sense and relieve any pressure points to minimize waking up in the middle of the night and continually orchestrate support and real time adjustments throughout the night

  • Silent Wake Assist, silent, rhythmic motions that gradually wake guests to prepare their mind and body for the start of the day, all without disturbing their partner. 

Guests staying in any room or suite will experience Park Hyatt Chicago’s specialty wellbeing offerings, which include motorized blackout drapes and triple pane windows that create the perfect environment for a restful sleep. In addition to this and aligned with Hyatt’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best, the new Restorative Package centers around three pillars of Feel, Fuel, and Function and includes: 

  • Breakfast credit for NoMI restaurant or in-room dining, featuring healthy start options such as an acai berry bowl, avocado toast, or muesli

  • Two complimentary spirit-free cocktails in NoMI Lounge

  • A wellbeing/mindfulness Chicago activity of your choice for two, such as tickets to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago River Yoga Walk, or the Joffrey Ballet 

  • A 50-minute calm mind massage at NoMI Spa for two