Pittsburgh Technical Council

Monday Member News Roundup

Monday Member News Roundup

Article Published: February 8, 2016

Smith Micro and Zonetail to Deliver Personalized Guest Engagement with Contextual Mobile Marketing in Hospitality Apps

Analysts project mobile advertising will surpass $100 billion in 2016, and account for more than 50% of all digital ad expenditure. As a result, mobile spam is on the rise, and effectively engaging customers through mobile is increasingly difficult for B2C companies.

To combat this challenge, and improve mobile marketing in hospitality, Zonetail will deploy NetWise Captivate from Smith Micro. The new solution will enhance Zonetail’s apps used by hotels and condos to connect guests and residents to onsite amenities and local businesses. The NetWise Captivate platform will add real-time context, predictive customer profiling, and a deep understanding of consumer intent to Zonetail’s ‘anchored local’ mobile platform.

Using the insights gleaned through NetWise Captivate, hotels will be able to provide customized mobile notifications, offer timely virtual assistance, and deliver relevant promotions to guests, creating a truly personalized customer experience. By combining location detection with back office data and other real-time contextual triggers, engagement can occur throughout the customer journey, from the time booking occurs, throughout the visit, and even after the guest leaves with a mobile survey prompting for feedback.

“We chose to work with Smith Micro because of their long-standing legacy as a leader in wireless technology and expert knowledge of embedded mobile software,” said Mark Holmes, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Zonetail. “The NetWise Captivate solution gives us the ability to capture behavior-based consumer data from smartphones to enhance our anchored local platform with intelligent, personalized marketing engagement.”


Comcast Business announced that for the third consecutive year the company will seek out the nation’s most innovative startup companies and entrepreneurs to participate in its Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs competition. Current and aspiring business owners can enter the competition for a chance to win up to $30,000 and participate in a day of mentoring with teams of business experts who will provide advice on how to implement their plan.

Based on a 250-word essay submission, applicants will answer the question: How could your business use technology to help enhance your business? Startups and entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the Comcast Business Community to submit their application and essay and review the full program details. Entries are due by March 12, 2016.

“Our sales have increased 32 percent since last year, and I attribute that to some of the changes we put in place using money we won in the Comcast Business i4E contest,” said Gail Kincade, owner of Act II Consignment, a boutique consignment shop and 2015 Grand Prize Winner. “We added a technology-driven loyalty program, updated our computers, improved our website and hired more employees so we could ramp up sales. I was able to open a third store three months after I got back from my i4E trip to Philadelphia.”

Entries will be judged and two winners will be selected in each of the 15 Comcast Business Regions: one winner for startup companies (in business two years or less) and one winner for entrepreneurs (in business for more than two years). The 30 regional winners will each earn $10,000 in cash.

Anton 2 Supercomputer at PSC Will Increase Speed and Size of Molecular Simulations

A $1.8-million National Institutes of Health grant to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) will make a next-generation Anton 2 supercomputer developed by D. E. Shaw Research (DESRES) available to the biomedical research community. A specialized system for modeling the function and dynamics of biomolecules, the Anton 2 machine at PSC will be the only one of its kind publicly available to U.S. scientists. The grant also extends the operation of the Anton 1 supercomputer currently at PSC until the new Anton 2 is deployed, expected in the Fall of 2016.

“Many life processes important to understanding the molecular basis of cellular events occur over timescales exceeding a millisecond in length,” says Phil Blood, principal investigator of the new grant and senior computational scientist at PSC. “Anton 2’s performance for molecular simulation will exceed that of current general-purpose supercomputing systems by orders of magnitude, enabling the study of biological processes not otherwise possible and offering new possibilities in drug discovery and development.”

Molecular dynamics simulations can provide insights into the behavior of proteins, cell membranes, nucleic acids, and other molecules at the atomic scale. But even the most advanced general-purpose supercomputers struggle to simulate beyond the microsecond level—a thousand times shorter than the millisecond level—without taking months of computational time. Anton has changed this, giving researchers practical access to simulations at far longer timescales.



Other Articles That May Interest You:

Sign In or Join Up