Top 5 Tech Industry News

1. SoundHound Inc. and Mastercard Partner to Develop Solutions for Quick Service Restaurants

SoundHound Inc. and Mastercard have partnered together to create automated drive-through solutions for quick-serve restaurants. Customers can order like they normally would and ask for modifications such as, “Can I please have a number one without mustard with a Dr. Pepper and a side of fries.” Circle K, Delaware North, Dunkin’, and White Castle will be among the first to receive this new AI technology.

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Why it matters: This solution will provide a variety of benefits to QSR employees–especially during peak service hours. Having automated technology take and transmit orders should give workers more time to focus on preparing the food and serving customers more effectively. 

2. New Verizon 5G Internet Hardware Offers Easy, Distance Set-Up

The new 5G internet home hardware is the first of its kind to market MMwave 5G CPE/Router and to allow customers to reach peak speeds of 1Gbps.

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Why it matters: Since the majority of people are now reliant on the internet and connectivity due to the pandemic, this new router provides a solution and allows for multiple connected devices to run simultaneously. 

3. Microsoft Teams to Offer ‘Virtual Commute” and Wellbeing Features in 2021

At Microsoft Ignite this week, the tech company announced new features on Teams and Outlook that will be focused on monitoring employee wellbeing and productivity. The new features including the “virtual commute” are set to release during the first half of 2021.

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Why it matters: Microsoft reports insights that many are facing unexpected challenges from the transition to remote work and are having difficulty separating home from work. These new tools should help begin the start to a more balanced and happy remote workforce.

4. The Future of Hospitality Tech is Touchless 

The hospitality industry has changed and demands new features and technology to accommodate guests. Some new upgrades said to be crucial to hotels involve the following:

  • Contactless Guest Experiences
  • Guest Management & Communications
  • Hotel Marketing Data

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Why it matters: Data shows tourists are now expecting a clean, safe, and relaxing travel experience when they book a hotel. Simple changes such as using an app to check-in could guarantee guest satisfaction!

5. The Top Skill Tech Workers Need to Have Moving Forward

According to Goldman-Sach’s former CFO, coding is an essential skill for tech workers to have moving forward. He also tells CNBC that “for most workers, the key is to learn an algorithmic, problem-solving way of thinking.”

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Why it matters: Technology is constantly developing and breakthroughs seem to happen overnight. This puts IT departments that are equipped with employees eager to learn new skills at the top.

Top 4 Community & Local Tech News

1. Walmart Stores in TN to Recieve Some of the First Digital Makeovers

Walmart is digitizing and remodeling 200 stores this year and Tennessee will receive 5 of the first 20. New features will include new bold, digital signage, self-checkout kiosks, and Walmart Pay capabilities.

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2. Friends of the Library Donate $50K to Knoxville Libraries 

 The Friends of the Library organization helps foster the love for reading and donated $50K to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization. The funds will be distributed throughout Knoxville libraries and will go towards purchasing ebooks and audiobooks.

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3. Knox County Schools Continue with Virtual Learning Option Through Spring 2021

Knox County Schools released that the same options will be available for learning in the Spring (in-person with safety precautions, or virtual). To switch classroom orientations, parents will have to fill out an online form from Oct. 26- Nov.6!

4. UT Announces Commencement Plans

Chancellor Plowman announced plans for in-person graduations for the Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Fall 2020 graduates to happen Nov. 19-22. Masks and social distancing procedures will be mandatory.

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A Good Note

We want to end each Tech Briefing on a Good Note by sharing something to uplift your spirits.

The World’s Fastest, First Electric Aircraft From Rolls Royce

The zero-emission aircraft can fly up to 200 miles on a single charge. Digital sensors will measure battery voltage, temperature, and general performance metrics across 20,000 points every second.

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Until Next Week: Stay tuned each week for another Tech Briefing from RCN! Our goal is to bring you the latest and most relevant information surrounding the tech industry so you don’t have to go searching.