Zyter Introduces Virtual Rounding Solution for Physicians; Increases Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic

Zyter Virtual Rounding™ Integrates with Hospital EHR Systems to Enable Context-Aware Video Chat During Virtual Rounds

Rockville, Maryland, Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zyter, Inc., a leading digital health and IoT-enablement platform, announced today the availability of Zyter Virtual Rounding™, a HIPAA compliant, cloud-based telehealth solution enabling physicians to conduct virtual hospital rounds. Featuring multi-party video chat, the Zyter solution makes it possible for nurses, residents, medical students, and even the patient’s family members to remotely and safely participate in virtual visits in COVID-19 wards and all other hospital units.

More than a secure video chat platform, Zyter Virtual Rounding integrates with the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system to give physicians and care teams real-time access to the patient’s EHR within the Zyter solution’s context-aware video chat as they conduct the virtual visit. As a result, physicians and nurses have the patient’s medical history, test results, medications, and more, instantly at their fingertips to help them provide prompt, more informed care during rounds. Hospital residents and medical students accompanying physicians on virtual rounds also benefit from the learning experience of having a comprehensive view of each patient’s case.

Physicians have the flexibility to conduct virtual rounding in two ways – physically in the patient’s room while using Zyter Virtual Rounding on a tablet while the care team attends virtually, or remotely from the physician’s office or any other location. In the latter scenario, a clinician at the hospital will place a tablet with Zyter Virtual Rounding on a stand at the patient’s bedside for the patient to use during the virtual visit. The physician initiates a virtual visit on Zyter Virtual Rounding by clicking on a patient’s hospital room number. The patient, the care team, and the patient’s family members all receive notification of the virtual visit via email or SMS messaging so they can connect and participate.

Using Zyter Virtual Rounding, hospitals can improve clinical workflow and patient care while enhancing the safety of physicians and patients during rounds, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Another benefit of Zyter Virtual Rounding is the potential cost savings on personal protective equipment (PPE) by reducing the number of care team members who are physically present in the patient’ room. For example, only the physician in the room requires PPE, while the six or more residents or medical students attending remotely through the application do not. 

“Zyter Virtual Rounding is a game changer as it enables physicians and others to not only see the patient, but also see every detail of that patient’s medical record during a video chat call,” said Sanjay Govil, founder and CEO of Zyter, Inc. “By bringing in more data, the quality of care during virtual rounds can increase because physicians have a complete, holistic view of their patients and conditions.”

Zyter Virtual Rounding easily scales up to any number of participants and can be securely accessed through a browser on any iOS or Android digital tablet or mobile device with a cellular or Internet connection. Zyter Virtual Rounding can also be integrated with other telehealth solutions such as in-home visits, patient device monitoring, and remote patient monitoring.

For more information on Zyter’s telehealth and COVID-19 solutions please visit www.Zyter.com.

About Zyter, Inc.

Zyter, founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Sanjay Govil, provides a cloud-based, 5G-ready platform that enables better outcomes in telehealth, home health, and remote patient monitoring, while also supporting IoT/smart technology and thermal imaging solutions. The platform’s open architecture, military-grade security, and compliance with multiple industry standards enables organizations in healthcare, education, entertainment, government, and transportation to easily and effectively connect, communicate, collaborate and engage. In 2020, the company won more than 50 awards for its solutions including Best Health Care and Medical Innovation as well as Company Innovation of the Year (One Planet Awards, Silver). The privately-held company is based in Rockville, Md. For more information, please visit www.Zyter.com.

Zyter Media Contact:

Michael E. Donner

Chief Marketing Officer

Zyter, Inc.

[email protected]


Michael E. Donner
[email protected]

Genius Brands International Inks Deal With LG Electronics USA to Offer Kartoon Channel! App Across LG Smart TVs, Further Expanding the Reach of the Premiere Children’s Entertainment Destination

Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! Now Reaches Nearly 100% of All U.S. Television Households and Available on Over 300 Million Devices

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Genius Brands International “Genius Brands” (NASDAQ: GNUS) continues the rapid expansion of its premiere children’s entertainment destination, Kartoon Channel!, partnering with its second television manufacturer, LG Electronics USA, to offer Kartoon Channel! for free across all LG Smart TVs, effective immediately. The deal with LG Electronics USA follows the recent partnership with Samsung, which has made Kartoon Channel! available across all Samsung Smart TVs.

“Serving up Kartoon Channel! to kids and parents through new technology-enabled mediums is an important part of our strategy,” commented Jon Ollwerther, General Manager of Kartoon Channel! & EVP of Global Business Development at Genius Brands. “We look forward to announcing a number of similar agreements over the next twelve months. Through this strategy, we are capitalizing on the evolution in viewer habits, which we believe will position us at the forefront of this rapidly evolving market. As the second largest player in the US TV market, LG is a very important platform for Kartoon Channel! viewers that we’re thrilled to add to our distribution.”

About Kartoon Channel!
+ Kartoon Classroom!
Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! are available in over 100 million U.S. television households and over 300 million devices via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobile, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, and streaming via KartoonChannel.com, as well as accessible via Samsung Smart TVs, and now LGTVs.

The channel offers access to a wide variety of Genius Brands original and acquired family-friendly content, with more added daily, including Babar, Angry Birds, Stan Lee’s Mighty7, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, Baby Einstein, Baby Genius, Llama Llama shorts, Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, and more. Additionally, Genius Brands has added more family-friendly gaming content, including Minecraft’s Journey to the End and Fairy Horse QuestOctodad, PixArk, and Big B Roblox Challenge from Tankee. Genius Brands will also premiere on Kartoon Channel! the upcoming comedy-adventure series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, currently in production and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Q2 2021.

Kartoon Channel! content has been curated through a program code developed in consultation with Stanford University Professor Emeritus Don Roberts, one of the world’s leading researchers of children’s media, to ensure the delivery of positive and purposeful content that is safe for children. The Kartoon Channel! Content Code, under the leadership of Professor Roberts, ensures among other things, there will be no imitable violence, no negative stereotypes, no inappropriate language, no degradation of the environment, and no excess commercialization.

Kartoon Classroom! is an innovative extension of Kartoon Channel! that features relevant and impactful STEAM-based content (science, technology, engineering arts and math), including programming from Genius Brands’ ‘content with a purpose’ library such as Baby Genius (Early Development), Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab (STEM)and Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club (Financial Literacy). Additionally, Kartoon Classroom! will showcase content from third party creators worldwide, such as Baby Einstein (Early Development), Little Smart Planet (Early Learning), I’m A Dinosaur (Paleontology), Super Geek Heroes (Early Learning), Counting with Earl (Math), Giligilis (Musical Learning), and Out of this Word (English Language)Genius Brands will also develop new original content for the platform and announces the first Kartoon Classroom! original series in development, KC! Pop Quiz.

To stream Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! for free, download our app or visit: www.kartoonchannel.com

About Genius Brands International

Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s award-winning ‘content with a purpose’ portfolio includes the upcoming Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and in partnership with Alibaba; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal; Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr.; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab; and entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club. Through licensing agreements with leading partners, characters from Genius Brands’ IP also appear on a wide range of consumer products for the worldwide retail marketplace. The Company’s new Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! are available in over 100 million U.S. television households via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart TVs and LG TVs. For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

About LG Electronics USA

LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $53 billion global innovator in technology and manufacturing. In the United States, LG’s focus on Innovation for a Better Life is exemplified by a wide range of innovative home appliances, home entertainment products, mobile phones, commercial displays, air conditioning systems, solar energy solutions and vehicle components. The “Life’s Good” marketing theme encompasses how LG is dedicated to people’s happiness by exceeding expectations today and tomorrow. LG is a 2020 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence. www.LG.com.

Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “predict,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend” or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; our ability to repay our outstanding debt; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares to our convertible note holders which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.


[email protected]


[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/59b2e068-d43a-4fec-ac67-8d8de441c7b4

Couchbase Launches Free Self-Service Trial of One of the Most Comprehensive Database-as-a-Service Offerings on the Market

Release coincides with expanded availability of Couchbase Cloud on AWS across the APAC region; Couchbase Server 6.6 capabilities also now available on Couchbase Cloud

Santa Clara, Calif., Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AWS RE:INVENT Couchbase, the creator of the enterprise-class, multicloud to edge NoSQL database, today announced the availability of self-service trials for its Couchbase Cloud Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS). The trial allows users to immediately get up and running with Couchbase Cloud for free, hosted within their own virtual private cloud (VPC) on AWS. 

Couchbase also announced Couchbase Cloud’s support for AWS regions in Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo– expanding global coverage of the fully managed DBaaS. Finally, Couchbase Cloud now offers the full suite of capabilities of Couchbase Server 6.6. This means that organizations can harness the benefits of advanced analytic processing, querying, full-text search and eventing services that greatly improve developer productivity, and by extension, the organization’s overall operational agility — in full production or as part of the new self-service trials. 

As organizations accelerate their digital transformation journeys, the need to quickly and efficiently scale their database infrastructure to meet increased processing demands has driven the adoption of DBaaS solutions. However, organizations need clarity on how DBaaS can meet their specific needs, and assurance that the features, pricing model and data ownership structure aligns with their unique requirements. The Couchbase Cloud self-service trial enables organizations to experiment with this high-performance DBaaS in a production-grade environment, to find out how it can work for their business, all as part of one of the most comprehensive DBaaS trials on the market.

‘Full-fat’ functionality

While other DBaaS providers place limits on the functionality of their trial offers or require payment information up-front, the Couchbase Cloud self-service trial configuration offers organizations a fully managed DBaaS with all the services and features of Couchbase Server included. Key features include:

–       Full control: The trial follows Couchbase Cloud’s philosophy of giving users total control and transparency over their data and its cost of operation. Instead of mandated hosting on shared infrastructure, the Couchbase Cloud self-service trial is hosted on a dedicated cluster within the user’s own public cloud environment, giving total control to the user.

–       Scale: While some DBaaS trial offerings on the market limit users to 500 MB of storage, the Couchbase Cloud self-service trial offers up to 200 GB across three database nodes, and the choice of two AWS EC2 instance types for the cluster, enabling the creation of trial infrastructures that support millions of documents.

–       Ease of access: Users sign up via the Couchbase website with no need to hand over any credit card information, allowing them to get up-and-running immediately. Since it’s hosted within the user’s own public cloud environment, the Couchbase Cloud self-service trial does away with up-front payment; instead, users simply pay their public cloud provider for the infrastructure they use.

Supporting quotes:

“In less than six months, Couchbase Cloud has come a long way. Couchbase has demonstrated impressive performance and ease of operations at scale. They have expanded globally, upgraded the environment’s engine to Couchbase Server 6.6 and added integrations. Now, with this self-service trial, they are making it easier for organizations to see for themselves, on their own and at their own pace, how productive they can be building applications using Couchbase Cloud.” 

–Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, IDC

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation process for many organizations. As a result, data demands have intensified substantially, and demand for DBaaS has surged. Yet those organizations wanting to find out how DBaaS can work for them may have been put off by the risk of losing control of their data, or becoming locked into a restrictive, over-expensive pricing model. With the Couchbase Cloud self-service trial, we’re giving users the opportunity to explore the full potential of DBaaS on their own terms.”

–Scott Anderson, SVP, Product Management & Business Operations, Couchbase


About Couchbase

Unlike other NoSQL databases, Couchbase provides an enterprise-class, multicloud to edge database that offers the robust capabilities required for business-critical applications on a highly scalable and available platform. As a distributed cloud-native database, Couchbase runs in modern dynamic environments and on any cloud, either customer-managed or fully managed as-a-service. Couchbase is built on open standards, combining the best of NoSQL with the power and familiarity of SQL, to simplify the transition from mainframe and relational databases.

Couchbase has become pervasive in our everyday lives; our customers include industry leaders Amadeus, American Express, Carrefour, Cisco, Comcast/Sky, Disney, eBay, LinkedIn, Marriott, Tesco, Tommy Hilfiger, United, Verizon, as well as hundreds of other household names. For more information, visit www.couchbase.com

© 2020 Couchbase, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Couchbase, the Couchbase logo, and the names and marks associated with Couchbase’s products are trademarks of Couchbase, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Christina Knittel
[email protected]

Blink Charging Hellas Awarded Purchase Agreement to Deploy EV Charging Stations by the Public Power Company, Greece’s Largest Electricity Provider

– The Purchase is the first following PPC’s announcement to bring 10,000 charging stations to Greece

Miami Beach, FL, Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Blink Charging Hellas, a joint venture between Blink Charging Co. and Eunice Energy Group, announced today the purchase of 45 dual-port Blink charging stations by Public Power Company (PPC S.A.) for deployment across Greece. This tender is the first following the utility’s public announcement to enter into the Greek EV charging market with 10,000 charging stations.

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded this purchase agreement as it reaffirms that the product design and technology of our IQ 250-EU are truly exceptional. We couldn’t be more proud that the unit has been designed with our team and produced in Greece and will now be seen in use charging electric vehicles across the country,” commented Michael D. Farkas, Founder, and CEO of Blink Charging.

PPC is the leading power generation and supply company in Greece. It has announced a commitment to issue a series of tenders for the purchase of electric vehicle charging stations for deployment across the country. This initial purchase, awarded to Blink Charging Hellas, valued at 224,874 € (VAT included) (or approximately US $272,451 at current exchange rates), will begin PPC’s program with the first 45 dual-port chargers. The units will be delivered to PPC before the end of this year.

A number of companies competed for this first EV charging station purchase agreement, which was awarded based on the charging stations’ technical functionality, connectivity, and pricing, according to PPC. Additional tender offers for Greece are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

This award deepens Blink Charging’s footprint globablly and expands its presence in markets that are in the early stages of EV adoption. Earlier this year, Blink also announced significant purchase agreements for the Dominican Republic and Panama with InterEnergy and continued expansion in Israel.

The Blink IQ 250-EU product, designed by Blink and manufactured locally, is a three-phase, AC, dual-socket electric vehicle charger. The charger is available in 22kW or an optional 43kW per socket.



Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK, BLNKW) is a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and has deployed over 23,000 charging stations, many of which are networked EV charging stations, enabling EV drivers to easily charge at any of the Company’s charging locations worldwide. Blink Charging’s principal line of products and services include its Blink EV charging network (“Blink Network”), EV charging equipment, and EV charging services. The Blink Network uses proprietary, cloud-based software that operates, maintains, and tracks the EV charging stations connected to the network and the associated charging data. With global EV purchases forecasted to rise to 10 million vehicles by 2025 from approximately 2 million in 2019, the Company has established key strategic partnerships for rolling out adoption across numerous location types, including parking facilities, multifamily residences and condos, workplace locations, health care/medical facilities, schools and universities, airports, auto dealers, hotels, mixed-use municipal locations, parks and recreation areas, religious institutions, restaurants, retailers, stadiums, supermarkets, and transportation hubs. For more information, please visit https://www.blinkcharging.com/.


WE (WE ENERGY) is the distinctive title of EUNICE TRADING S.A., member of EUNICE ENERGY GROUP (EEG). Its vision is to provide consistent access to the cutting-edge global developments and at the same time to create TOGETHER (WE), concerning the environment, a world of sustainable development and energy autonomy for everyone.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements, along with terms such as “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and other comparable terms, involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief, or current expectations of Blink Charging and members of its management, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, including the expected level of future purchases of Blink EV charging stations and others described in Blink Charging’s periodic reports filed with the SEC, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Except as required by U.S. federal securities law, Blink Charging undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed conditions.

Blink Media Contact 

[email protected]

Blink Investor Relations Contact 

[email protected]


Augmented Reality Christmas Characters Take Over Westfield Shopping Centers in the US

COFFEE Labs and 8th Wall to Surprise Shoppers With an Immersive Holiday Scavenger Hunt

NEW YORK, Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Just in time for the holiday season, interactive agency COFFEE Labs and award-winning AR software company 8th Wall will launch an interactive augmented reality (AR) scavenger hunt at Westfield shopping centers across the US. The Holiday Hunt experience brings joy and festivity to shoppers while providing exclusive promotions.

The Holiday Hunt is the world’s first web-based augmented reality (WebAR) scavenger hunt to take over US malls during the holiday season, and provides a fun and safe way for shoppers to get into the holiday spirit while browsing for gifts at their favorite shopping centers.

“While this season may look a bit different, we still wanted to create experiences that not only make it fun and festive to shop, but keep health and safety top of mind. That’s why we joined with COFFEE Labs to develop and execute a virtual Augmented Reality experience at 22 Westfield shopping centers across the U.S. The Holiday Hunt was developed to entertain as well as deliver offers from our retail partners over the holidays in a safe and socially-distant environment,” says Anthony Sion, Senior Vice President – New Business Development at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, owner of Westfield shopping centers in the U.S.

Upon scanning a QR code at participating Westfield centers, the scavenger hunt takes shoppers on a magical adventure to uncover 10 virtual Christmas-themed characters who are hiding at secret locations throughout the shopping center. Holiday Hunters can scan a unique QR code at each location to discover dancing gingerbread people, snowmen, a Santa Claus face filter, a Nutcracker, reindeer and more — each providing the opportunity for a selfie or video recording that can be shared with friends and family. Upon finding all 10 characters, players are awarded with exclusive promotions and offers to redeem at participating shops.

“During this unusual and unprecedented holiday season, we at COFFEE Labs are continuing to leverage innovation as a way to rethink consumer engagement through new forms of technology,” says Al Silvestri, Partner and Chief Creative Officer of COFFEE Labs. “We know that brands are looking for ways to connect with consumers and we spend every waking moment in creating unique experiences that do exactly that for our top clients. We are excited to partner with Westfield to help drive shoppers to their centers for a fun, interactive Augmented Reality experience with special offers during this holiday season.”

The Holiday Hunt was developed by creative agency COFFEE Labs using 8th Wall’s WebAR technology, allowing it to be experienced on any smartphone without requiring the user to download an app. Shoppers can simply scan a QR code with their phone’s camera to immediately access the augmented reality scavenger hunt.

“We’re delighted that COFFEE Labs utilized WebAR technology to create an immersive, touchless scavenger hunt for Westfield guests that allows them to get into the spirit of the holidays,” says Erik Murphy-Chutorian, Founder and CEO of 8th Wall. “Now more than ever, it’s important to provide engaging experiences to customers that keep them safe while transforming ordinary physical locations into something magical and extraordinary.”

The Holiday Hunt is now available at 22 participating Westfield locations until December 24th, 2020. Check it out at one of the following locations: Annapolis, Brandon, Century City, Culver City, Fashion Square, Galleria at Roseville, Garden State Plaza, Mission Valley, Montgomery, North County, Oakridge, Old Orchard, Plaza Bonita, San Francisco Centre, Santa Anita, Southcenter, Topanga & The Village, UTC, Valencia, Valley Fair, & Westfield World Trade Center.

About URW
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is the premier global developer and operator of Flagship Destinations, with a portfolio valued at €58.3 Bn as at September 30, 2020, of which 86% in retail, 7% in offices, 5% in convention & exhibition venues and 2% in services. Currently, the Group owns and operates 89 shopping centers, including 55 Flagships in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States. Its centers welcome 1.2 billion visits per year. Present on two continents and in 12 countries, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield provides a unique platform for retailers and brand events and offers an exceptional and constantly renewed experience for customers.

With the support of its 3,400 professionals and an unparalleled track-record and know-how, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is ideally positioned to generate superior value and develop world-class projects.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield distinguishes itself by its Better Places 2030 agenda, that sets its ambition to create better places that respect the highest environmental standards and contribute to better cities.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stapled shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris (Euronext ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from an BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and from a Baa1 rating from Moody’s.

For more information, please visit www.urw.com
Visit our Media Library at https://mediacentre.urw.com
Follow the Group updates on Twitter @urw_group, Linkedin @UnibailRodamco-Westfield and Instagram @urw_group

About COFFEE Labs

COFFEE Labs creates immersive experiences focused on using innovative technologies to produce content designed to be experienced rather than simply consumed. As a multi-discipline creative shop and consultancy, COFFEE reimagines how brands connect with consumers, while pushing the boundaries of possibility in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

About 8th Wall

8th Wall is an award-winning computer vision software company that makes it possible to build interactive web-based augmented reality (WebAR) that can be experienced on any smartphone—no app required. 8th Wall has powered AR activations for brands across industry verticals including retail, food and beverage, travel and tourism, automotive, fashion, sports and entertainment. Customers of the platform include Nike, Sony Pictures, Burger King, General Mills, British Gas, Heineken, McDonald’s, LEGO, Swiss Airlines, Toyota, EVA Air, Red Bull, adidas, COACH and more. 8th Wall is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. For more information, please visit: www.8thwall.com. Follow 8th Wall on Twitter @the8thWall.

Tom Emrich
[email protected] 

Jennifer DeFalco
[email protected] 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/16b30bde-e6d7-4360-b7d3-46e5accafb42

IIROC Trade Resumption – BETR

Canada NewsWire

VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 8, 2020 /CNW/ – Trading resumes in:

Company: BetterLife Pharma Inc.

CSE Symbol: BETR

All Issues: No

Resumption (ET): 9:30 AM

IIROC can make a decision to impose a temporary suspension (halt) of trading in a security of a publicly-listed company. Trading halts are implemented to ensure a fair and orderly market. IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

As COVID-19 Cases Rise and Restrictions Loom, Small Business Owners See Long Road to Recovery

As COVID-19 Cases Rise and Restrictions Loom, Small Business Owners See Long Road to Recovery

Wells Fargo survey highlights tough times for business owners, their expectations for economic recovery, and payment trends

With COVID-19 cases surging and a new wave of restrictions looming, challenges persist for small business owners as they continue to weather the pandemic according to data from the Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. While the index score rose 12 points for the second straight quarter, overall optimism levels remain just over half of what they were in late 2019.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201208005743/en/

The Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index score rose 12 points to 72, overall optimism levels remain nearly half of what they were in late 2019. (Graphic: Wells Fargo)

The Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index score rose 12 points to 72, overall optimism levels remain nearly half of what they were in late 2019. (Graphic: Wells Fargo)

For the third straight quarter, respondents most frequently ranked the loss of business or closings due to the impact of COVID-19 as their top concern. Attracting new business, worries about financial stability and reduced cash flow were the other top ranked concerns.

“With COVID-19 numbers hitting new high-water marks across many states as we enter the important holiday season, small businesses are facing another steep round of challenges,” said Steve Troutner, head of Small Business at Wells Fargo. “Helping small businesses keep their doors open, their employees at work, and meet their customers’ needs safely is a top priority for Wells Fargo and we are deploying a wide array of tools to do so including our Open for Business Fund which is investing approximately $400 million to support small businesses.”

Business owners see long road ahead for recovery

The Q4 survey highlighted that the journey to economic recovery for small businesses is not a short one. Almost half (46%) of the respondents continued to report decreases in revenue in the last 12 months. The number of owners that felt the economy was growing climbed nine points to 29%, but 33% felt it was continuing to slow, while a combined 38% said it was in a recession or depression.

When asked about the timeline for economic recovery, 28% said it would not come until the second half of 2021, while over one third (34%) did not anticipate a recovery until after 2021. More specifically, when asked how long recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 for businesses like theirs would take, over half (55%) said it would not be until the second half of 2021 or beyond.

The pandemic has changed how many small businesses think about payment solutions

The pandemic has required many businesses to establish safer ways to engage with customers. Payments is no exception. The pandemic’s effects were particularly highlighted in the data showing that 25% of owners said they have stopped or reduced their acceptance of cash or check via in-person payment. Credit and debit cards continue to be a staple for online payments (25%) and in person payments (38%). Business owners have also heard that more customers would like the ability to make payments over the phone with a debit or credit card. This being said, cash and checks remain the largest method of payment with 74% of businesses continuing to accept them.

“As we think about how to serve our small business customers amid the current COVID environment, it’s critical that we support them with new payment techniques which in turn allow them to operate safely and efficiently,” said Liz Ryan, executive vice president and interim head of Wells Fargo Merchant Services. “The data tells us that for a large number of business owners, both their current circumstances and their customer preferences are dictating a hygienic approach for payments. As we observe the current shift toward innovative solutions like contactless payments, the pandemic is accelerating the adoption of these capabilities as consumer buying behaviors and preferences change. We continue to operate with a customer-first mindset and focus our support on helping business owners not just survive but thrive.”

Despite challenges, small businesses remain resilient, and focused on deliberate investments

Though COVID-19 continues to weigh on small businesses, owners are focused on staying positive and continuing to make thoughtful decisions. Sixty-nine percent of business owners rated their company’s current financial situation as good or somewhat good, and the measure lifted to 73% when asked about 12 months from now. With the shifts and changes small businesses have had to quickly make this year, 46% reported decreases in revenue, but 53% expect revenue to increase over the next 12 months. Indicators showing a very deliberate approach to weathering the storm in 2020 include only 23% of owners acknowledging investing in their businesses this year, and only 13% reporting adding employees. Yet for the next 12 months, business owners hope to increase those numbers with 30% investing in their businesses, and 25% adding to their staff.

“Owners seem to be acknowledging the challenges COVID-19 continues to bring to their business, particularly with the resurgence in cases across the country,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo. “With that said, given the myriad of factors that have affected the small business landscape, the continued recovery in optimism indicates these owners see brighter horizons ahead.”

Many Hearts. One Community.

The survey’s reflection of the long road ahead for small businesses highlights the importance of supporting them on their journey to recovery, particularly during the holiday season. To this end, during the month of December Wells Fargo will use its online and social media platforms to shine a light on small businesses and encourage people to shop locally. Additionally, Wells Fargo will deploy approximately $50 million through its Open for Business Fund to nonprofits that help small businesses stay open and to provide relief for small businesses during this time of need.

More details about Wells Fargo’s “Many Hearts. One Community.” holiday campaign can be found on the company’s social media channels and Wells Fargo Stories.

Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index Scores: Q4 2019 – Q4 2020


Overall Index Score

Present Situation

Future Expectations

Q4 2020 (surveyed November 2020)




Q3 2020 (surveyed August 2020)




Q2 2020 (surveyed April 2020)




Q1 2020 (surveyed January 2020)




Q4 2019 (surveyed September 2019)




About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.92 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,200 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2020 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo


Results for Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey are based on web interviews with 600 small business owners, conducted during the period November 6-13, 2020., Beginning in Q2, 2019, interviewing formally transitioned from outbound phone data collection to a national small business web opt-in panel provider.

News Release Category: WF-SB


Manuel Venegas, 213.269.2723

[email protected]

KEYWORDS: California United States North America

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Small Business Banking Professional Services Finance


The Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index score rose 12 points to 72, overall optimism levels remain nearly half of what they were in late 2019. (Graphic: Wells Fargo)

New ClearOne BMA 360 Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tile Receives a 2020 Sound & Video Contractor Magazine Innovation Product Award

PR Newswire

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Underscoring the overwhelmingly positive market reaction to its introduction, ClearOne (NASDAQ:CLRO), a leading global provider of audio and visual communication solutions, today announced that its new BMA 360 Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tile was named a 2020 Innovation Product Award winner by the readers of Sound & Video Contractor, a leading American business publication read by tens of thousands of commercial audiovisual systems integrators and installers.

“We are honored by the readers of Sound & Video Contractor who clearly understand the unique value our new BMA 360 Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tile brings to their customers across a broad range of vertical markets,” said ClearOne Chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu.  “The BMA 360 sets a new benchmark in natural, full fidelity audio that customers are quickly responding to.”

The ClearOne BMA 360 is the world’s first truly wideband, frequency invariant beamforming mic array with uniform gain response across all frequency bands. With FiBeam™ technology, conference participants will experience the ultimate in natural and full fidelity audio across all beams and within a single beam.

Deep sidelobe beamforming, DsBeam™, provides unparalleled maximum sidelobe depth, below -40 dB, resulting in superior rejection of reverberation and noise in difficult spaces for superb clarity and intelligibility.  

The BMA 360 is based on a dramatically new approach to beamforming that provides a new beam topology to easily achieve distortion-free, full 360-degree coverage of any room shape and any seating arrangement using ClearOne Audio Intelligence™. Further advancements in adaptive steering (think of it as smart switching) provide impeccable coverage of each conference participant as well as support for camera tracking.

In addition to being its own stand-alone commercial solution, certain core and patented ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array 360 technology is also featured in the company’s recently launched line of Aura™ beamforming array home office audio solutions; thus extending the benefits of a commercial grade communication and collaboration solution to the new, and increasingly important, next generation home office environment. 

Going beyond the advancements in beamforming technology, the 6G Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) delivers unmatched per-beam full-duplex audio performance.  On-board audio algorithms, like noise reduction, filtering, and Automatic Level Control, eliminate the need for per-beam processing in a DSP mixer – requiring fewer DSP mixer resources. Finally, robust built-in amplifiers, configurable as 4 x 15 Watt or 2 x 30 Watt, provide flexibility for driving loudspeakers. 

ClearOne’s breakthrough technologies, FiBeam, DsBeam, and 6G AEC combine to create VividVoice™, a significant advancement for professional conferencing. 

The integrated features in the BMA 360 significantly reduce system design complexity, simplify installation, consume less rack space, and lower system cost. The BMA 360 also supports daisy-chaining of up to three ceiling tiles via P-Link for divisible rooms, or larger conference setups – for simpler wiring, longer distances, and lower-cost deployments compared to networked “home-run” connections via Ethernet. 

Simple, single-workflow configuration is provided by a new release of ClearOne’s CONSOLE® AI software. Competing products require practitioners to program multiple system components with different toolsets: Ethernet switches, ceiling tiles, DSP mixers, and the Dante controller. 

The BMA 360 supports three different ceiling grid sizes: 24 in, 600 mm, and 625 mm.  It incorporates a VESA-standard hole pattern that supports pole mounting. Hard-ceiling mount accessory kits are also available. 

ClearOne’s BMA technology is protected by at least a dozen patents and pending patent applications.

About ClearOne
ClearOne is a global market leader enabling conferencing, collaboration, and network streaming solutions. The performance and simplicity of its advanced, comprehensive solutions offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability, and scalability. Visit ClearOne at www.clearone.com.



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Appian and Accenture Federal Services Team to Accelerate Acquisition Modernization for Government and Defense Organizations

New Collaboration Focused on Managing Entire Acquisition Lifecycle, Adding New Delivery Accelerators to Simplify the Government Procurement Processes

PR Newswire

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Appian (NASDAQ: APPN) today announced a collaboration with Accenture Federal Services (AFS), a subsidiary of Accenture (NYSE: ACN), to further simplify the federal acquisition process through low-code automation. Through the joint effort, AFS is developing new delivery accelerators to enhance Appian’s Acquisition Solutions, which simplify the acquisition process and validate that the process fully complies with the Federal Acquisition Regulations for defense and civilian agencies, their supplements and policies.

“Federal procurement teams are often bogged down by systems and manual tasks that complicate the acquisition process, increase risk, lower efficiency and add unnecessary costs,” said Aaron Jackson, digital platforms lead at Accenture Federal Services. “Appian’s low-code automation platform, coupled with Accenture’s experience in automation and artificial intelligence, simplifies the acquisition process and delivers tremendous value, helping organizations eliminate process bottlenecks and ensure timely delivery of products and services.”

In today’s digital landscape, federal leaders are tasked with automating complex workflows and processes while being required to securely unify data, people, the digital workforce, and all business processes. This places a heavy burden on procurement teams that are tied to outdated systems and have strict budget constraints. In order to adjust, agencies must leverage their current IT investments and extend the capabilities of their legacy systems, which can be done with a low-code automation platform.

“Accenture is a long-time collaborator with Appian, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship into federal services,” said Marc Wilson, senior vice president of Global Partnerships & Industries, Appian. “Partners play a key role in helping garner awareness for the benefits of low-code automation and we continue to see success when we work together. The new delivery accelerators being created by Accenture Federal Services for the Appian Government Acquisition solutions suite will further aid the government to make changes in their digital automation strategies that have lasting impact.”

The new delivery accelerators from AFS seamlessly integrate into the new Appian Award Management solution, which advances the process for contract closeout, while simplifying adoption and rapid implementation.

Appian works with more than 100 government organizations worldwide. To learn more visit https://www.appian.com/industries/government-public-sector/.

About Accenture Federal Services 
Accenture Federal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, is a U.S. company with offices in Arlington, Virginia. Accenture’s federal business has served every cabinet-level department and 30 of the largest federal organizations. Accenture Federal Services transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations. Learn more at www.accenturefederal.com

About Appian
Appian provides a low-code automation platform that accelerates the creation of high-impact business applications. Many of the world’s largest organizations use Appian applications to improve customer experience, achieve operational excellence, and simplify global risk management and compliance.

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Sacramento’s Allworth Financial Acquires Bastoni Financial Services

The deal marks the 12th in three years for fast growing Allworth Financial

Sacramento, California, Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 8, 2020- Allworth Financial (“Allworth”) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the financial planning and investment advisory firm Bastoni Financial Services (“Bastoni”) of Folsom, California. With roughly $270 million in assets under management, Bastoni expands Allworth’s footprint in Northern California, and increases the firm’s total assets under management to over $10 billion.

“Pat McClain and I have known Dave Bastoni for a long time, and we have a lot of respect for the high-quality retirement planning services he provides to his clients,” said Scott Hanson, co-CEO of Allworth Financial. “With Dave, we are entering into a partnership with a firm that has a great reputation in a region we proudly call home.” 

“Everyone here at Bastoni is excited to be partnering with Allworth,” said Bastoni president and founder, Dave Bastoni. “Working together is something we’ve been discussing for a long time, and now that’s it’s finally official, we’re looking forward to the benefits of our partnership.”

The deal represents Allworth’s 5th acquisition this year and 12th overall since the Sacramento-based firm partnered with Boston-based Parthenon Capital back in 2017. Allworth was recently named one of Financial Advisor magazine’s 10 fastest growing firms in the country.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest from firms looking to partner. We’re proud of the team and model we’ve built at Allworth, and it seems the industry is taking notice,” said Allworth co-CEO Pat McClain. “With the addition of Dave Bastoni, and his terrific team, we’ve taken another step toward reaching our goal of building a national firm that is a respected leader in the marketplace.”


About Allworth Financial

With its direct and educational approach to advising, Allworth Financial is a full-service independent investment financial advisory firm that specializes in retirement planning, investment advising, tax planning & preparation, estate planning, and 401(k) management. With over $10 billion in AUM, Allworth delivers long and short-term investment planning solutions and guidance to help clients achieve their goals and plan strategically for retirement.

About Bastoni Financial Services  

Bastoni Financial Services provides financial planning and investment management for individuals, families, and utility company employees in the Sacramento, California, region.

Sean Harvey
Allworth Financial
[email protected]