Tesla’s second largest shareholder invests $35 million in air taxi startup Lilium

The verge | June 08, 2020

German air taxi startup Lilium said on Monday it has raised an additional $35 million to fuel its goal of launching an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle by 2025. That’s in addition to $240 million raised by the company in early March, when much of the globe began to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lilium, which is based in Munich, is one of the more promising ventures with its sights set on an urban taxi service meant to supplant normal car traffic. And while other eVTOL companies are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lilium is continuing to raise funds.

Spotlight

There's nothing wrong with a good mobile app, except that it isn't great. On the surface, a good mobile app may appear to satisfy customers and generate revenue. But separating the great apps from the good reveals significant, long-term differences in customer loyalty and spend.


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SOFTWARE

Sirona Medical Acquires Nines and Key Personnel

Sirona Medical | February 21, 2022

Sirona Medical, a software company founded on a deep understanding of both the practice and business of radiology, today announced the acquisition of Nines' AI capabilities, including its clinical data pipeline, machine learning engines, AI powered radiology workflow management and analytics tools, as well as two FDA-cleared medical devices. In addition, key personnel from Nines will join Sirona Medical, including Maureen Bradford, as chief revenue officer. The FDA-cleared medical devices, NinesMeasure™, a lung nodule algorithm that leverages AI to accelerate the diagnoses of certain respiratory diseases, and NinesAI™ Emergent Triage, a set of AI-powered algorithms that triages time-critical, life-threatening indications of intracranial hemorrhage and mass effect, will be integrated into Sirona's radiology operating system (RadOS), a unified platform that combines siloed radiology applications into a cohesive user experience. The inspiration for Nines has always been to leverage the latest AI capabilities and use that to transform radiology for the better, Over the past several years, Nines made tremendous progress from a technology standpoint. I am thrilled that Nines' innovations will be integrated into Sirona's impressive RadOS to accelerate their fantastic mission, clients, and team." David Stavens, former CEO of Nines. The acquisition comes on the heels of Sirona's strategic partnership with RevealDx to integrate their CE-marked RevealAI-Lung algorithm into Sirona's RadOS platform and marks another key milestone in Sirona's commercial rollout of delivering novel value to its radiology customers. In order for AI adoption to take place at scale, you need to break down the artificial silos of a medical image viewer, studies worklist, and speech recognition reporter. It's only through a unified platform that AI can take full advantage of the underlying data and deliver context-specific results in the most relevant way to radiologists, I've been a longtime fan of what Nines has built and we're excited to add their brilliant minds to the team, as we continue to expand on our vision to help radiologists through better software." Cameron Andrews, founder and CEO of Sirona Medical. Sirona Medical did not acquire Nines' teleradiology business, Nines Radiology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. About Sirona Medical Inc. Sirona Medical Inc. is addressing the needs of today's radiology practices with a novel cloud-native platform that unifies radiology IT applications – worklist, viewer, reporter, and AI – onto a single, streamlined Workspace. Sirona's radiology operating system (RadOS) puts radiologists in the driver's seat with novel AI-powered solutions that simplify their workflow and amplify their work product. Based in San Francisco, CA, Sirona Medical is founded on a deep understanding of both the practice and business of radiology, with the goal of enabling radiologists to work as fast as they can think.

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AI TECH

BT Selects Google Cloud as Strategic Partner for Group-Wide Data and AI Transformation

Google Cloud | March 10, 2022

Today, Google Cloud and BT announced a strategic, five-year partnership to accelerate BT's company-wide digital transformation. The collaboration will involve BT using a suite of Google Cloud products and services—including cloud infrastructure, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, security, and API management—to deliver superior customer experiences, reduce costs and risk, and build new revenue streams. BT is undertaking a massive digital transformation through its BT Digital unit, and this initiative includes creating a group-wide data and AI fabric as part of its cloud-first and AI-first strategy. Under the partnership, the two companies will help BT unlock hundreds of new business use-cases to strengthen its ambitions around digital offerings and creating hyper-personalised customer engagement. BT's data transformation is centred around driving business outcomes and using AI and deep ML across the organisation to allow businesses and customers to make more data-led decisions, as well as creating deeper personalisation for customer offerings and new go-to-market propositions. This will also enable BT to have real-time network analytics to allow for a more enhanced customer service through predictive fault management and assurance. In addition, Google's SRE team will partner with BT to foster a continuous delivery and "zero ops" autonomous operations culture to accelerate product development and continuous innovation as part of the new culture of working that BT calls "The Digital Way." "Our partnership with Google is one of a series of strategic moves that BT Digital is taking to help accelerate BT's growth and digital transformation. This is a partnership that is deeper than just at the technology level. It will help Digital as a whole supercharge BT and drive its return to growth," said Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, BT. "We're proud to collaborate with one of the world's leading providers of communications services and play an integral part in its digital transformation journey. By deploying our full cloud capabilities, and support from our SRE organisation, our goal in this partnership is to set up BT with the tools it needs for future growth and innovation." Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud Google and BT have already started working together on adopting Google technology, and plan to complete the core migration of data by 2023. About Google Cloud Google Cloud accelerates every organisation's ability to digitally transform its business. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google's cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems. About BT BT Group is the UK's leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

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SOFTWARE

CGS’s TeamworkAR® Selected to Join Meta’s Exclusive Quest for Business ISV Program

CGS | February 25, 2022

CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, today announced it has been selected to join Meta’s exclusive Quest for Business (ISV) Program. The program, formerly called Oculus for Business, is designed to accelerate the development and global business adoption of VR/AR technologies supported by its Oculus Quest enterprise products. TeamworkAR integrates seamlessly with the Oculus Quest enterprise platform, providing a hands-free, easy-to-use, fully portable solution ideal for on-the-job training, data visualization and remote collaboration. With tens of thousands of active TeamworkAR and Oculus users today, CGS is driving digital transformation in learning and its customers are realizing the benefits and business growth. At CGS and with TeamworkAR, we’re helping usher in a new era of virtual and augmented reality, driving a seismic shift from what’s historically been seen as consumer entertainment to a true enterprise-ready solution that you can use – today – to decrease costs, improve profitability and create an amazing customer experience, From phlebotomists and fast-food workers to field services professionals and retail salespeople, we’re already empowering frontline workers with the right information and training at the right time, when and where it’s needed. Our partnership with Meta and the Oculus program is an exciting step toward realizing our shared vision of bringing experiential learning and augmented reality to enterprises.” Doug Stephen, President, Enterprise Learning division, CGS. Meta’s Quest for Business Program The Quest for Business Program (formerly Oculus ISV Program) works with enterprise developers and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to engage with Oculus. The goal of the ISV program is to build awareness of Oculus as a true business productivity tool and accelerate commercialization and customer adoption of VR solutions built for Oculus enterprise products. What’s especially unique and powerful about this partnership and leveraging Oculus Quest devices is it provides an ideal environment – the Metaverse – in which businesses and users in highly-regulated industries can learn, practice and hone their skills in a virtual environment, prior to operating in the physical world, The Metaverse and this new digitally transformed approach to learning opens the door to new possibilities for innovative ways to leverage and deliver learning solutions. It’s already dramatically improving time-to-success for employee training, and is resulting in a more engaged, confident and skilled workforce.” Regina Nowlan, Senior Strategist for Learning and Development, CGS. About CGS For nearly 40 years, CGS has enabled global enterprises, regional companies, and government agencies to drive breakthrough performance through business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services. CGS is wholly focused on creating comprehensive solutions that meet clients' complex, multi-dimensional needs, and support clients' most fundamental business activities. Headquartered in New York City, CGS has offices across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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SOFTWARE

Key Digital enhances free KD App, offering zero-programming AVoIP system control

Key Digital | December 30, 2021

The addition of source control capabilities makes the free KD App a fully-rounded system controller for most AV projects, reducing cost and simplifying configuration and operation Simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand end-user control is an ultimate goal of AV installations – a system’s capabilities simply are irrelevant if the client can’t figure out how to operate it. With many systems, complicated and expensive programing is necessary to deliver such an end-user experience, where specialist knowledge is required for even minor system updates. Now, with the addition of source control to the free iOS KD App from Key Digital®, the already sophisticated yet user-friendly app offers powerful, concise control of Key Digital App Ready devices at no cost, with no programming. Not only does KD App control Key Digital’s comprehensive line of AV over IP encoder/decoder, switcher, matrix, multi-view and video wall devices, but, with the IR and IP PJLink control capabilities of connected system devices, control can also be extended to many display brands and source devices. KD App has become so powerful, that 90% of the jobs out there can now be done with zero programming.” Key Digital vice president of sales DeWayne Rains. Key Digital, an award-winning developer and manufacturer of leading-edge digital video processing, video signal distribution and AV over IP solutions, pioneered drag and drop programming with the development of the modular programming method for Compass Control Pro, a control system that unites complete AV system control and signal management – peripherals, sources, displays, audio systems, lighting systems – in one iOS app for control of products from more than 100 Compass Alliance Partner brands. Having a control system teaches you so much about the end user’s experience, The knowledge gained from developing Compass Control has been applied to the benefit of our users in the creation of KD App.” Vice president of product education and experience Jonathon Ferry. KD App was introduced as a single-function application to give end users portable and self-contained control of select Key Digital devices. As capabilities have been added to the app, it has grown into a broadly featured control solution that includes end-user-defined presets, input/output switching, video preview, intuitive finger-drag video wall control, friendly device names, display control, CEC and local input selection – with source control now added to round out the feature set. Once KD App is downloaded from the Apple App Store and the iPhone or iPad linked into the shared network, the app auto-populates with all connected Key Digital devices. From a given device’s pre-built KD App GUI, inputs and outputs can be selected, video walls mapped, presets created or recalled and additional device specific features managed. User-defined presets allow system-wide configuration for customers’ recurring needs, from a watch party in a sports bar setting to a staff meeting in a board room. With Key Digital AV over IP products that incorporate IR receive/transmit, menu-driven selection of controllable displays and sources can be made from a growing and evolving list of popular monitors, cable boxes and sources such as Apple TV and ROKU devices (an IR emitter is even included in the box with KD encoder/decoders). In addition to the KD App, the Key Digital Management Software™ Pro (KDMS™ Pro) configuration and control PC software is also available for free download and demo at keydigital.com. Integrators use KDMS Pro to name inputs and perform additional configuration tasks that are reflected to the KD App. As a no-programming-required control platform, KDMS also provides pre-built user GUI panels and offers extended control capabilities such as the recently added support of the PJLink projector control protocol. The functionality of the free KD App across a host of Key Digital devices can be explored using the app’s built-in demo mode (which also serves as an effective sales tool for integrators).

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Spotlight

There's nothing wrong with a good mobile app, except that it isn't great. On the surface, a good mobile app may appear to satisfy customers and generate revenue. But separating the great apps from the good reveals significant, long-term differences in customer loyalty and spend.

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