OpenTable Now Piloting Mobile Payments In San Francisco Restaurants

Posted by  (@sarahintampa)

OpenTable is taking its restaurant reservations service into a new vertical today, the company says: mobile payments. According to a post on the OpenTable blog, a pilot program is currently underway in San Francisco which allows diners to not just book a table, but also pay for their meal right in the OpenTable iPhone app.

“Select restaurants” are testing partners for the new service, and more diners will be invited to trial the program over the next few weeks, as OpenTable opens up a way for interested users to request access. Some invites will also be sent out (most likely to frequent OpenTable users) via email. Testers may be invited to an in-person Q&A at OpenTable headquarters in San Francisco, as well. (In related news, did you know TechCrunch has a tips hotline?)

If invited to the pilot, diners will just have to add a credit card to the OpenTable iPhone app before their meal. “There’s no scanning or bar codes involved,” explains the company via the blog post. You’ll also be able to view your check, line item by line item, within the app, a screenshot (see above) makes apparent.

The company did not reveal its time table for a wider launch, as the program is still in its initial phases.

That OpenTable is moving into the payments space is not surprising, but that also means it will face a number of competing restaurant-focused payment solutions already on the market today, like TabbedoutE la CarteCoverDash and others, including, to some extent, broader payment solutions like Square.


PayPal Expands “Real World” Presence Via Integration With iPad Point-of-Sale Maker Revel Systems

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PayPal has today scored another deal to bring its technology to more point-of-sale platforms via an integration with iPad POS solution provider,Revel Systems, a company whose business has grown by 400% year-over year and now includes big-name clients like Dairy Queen, Goodwill, Popeye’s, and others. While PayPal is currently focused on building up its point-of-sale presence involving its own proprietary hardware and software with its newly launched Beacon device, the company is not attempting to take on quickly growing Square and other competitors with in-house technology alone.

In recent months, PayPal has made deals with a number of point-of-sale hardware makers to bring its payments technology into the “real world” via deals with the makers of existing systems. One of the larger partnerships was with NCR, announced at the beginning of the year, which allowed PayPal to begin integrations with several products in the longtime hardware maker, as well as expand PayPal from online and mobile into new places, like restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores.

It has also teamed up with others like Gilbarco (gas stations POS tech), as well as a number of other POS system providers both large and small, including Booker, Leaf, Erply, Leapset, ShopKeep POS, and Vend, for example.

With Revel Systems, however, the company has found its way onto another growing startup’s POS platform. For background, Revel raised $10.1 million in Series B funding earlier this summer, with new investments from Tim Tighe, former CEO of Hungry Jack’s and SVP of McDonald’s Southeast Asia, and Sean Tomlinson. The round was focused specifically on increasing the pace of Revel’s expansion, the company explained.

Revel has been profitable as of Q3 2012, the team told TechCrunch at the time of the announcement, but says this will allow them to grow even more quickly – as well as internationally – than had they just continued to reinvest revenues.



AirTight Networks hooks $10M from Trident & CMEA to push ‘cloud Wi-Fi’

July 15, 2013 7:30 AM

Cloud-managed Wi-Fi startupAirTight Networks has raised $10 million in its fourth round of funding, the company said today.

AirTight offers various wireless security and large-scale Wi-Fi solutions. These include high-performance secure Wi-Fi for enterprises, BYOD onboarding, and wireless intrusion prevention systems. The company’s customer list is quite diverse and includes Citrix, Pinkberry, Modell’s Sporting Goods, New York City Transit, SynergyHealth, and Maine Medical Center.

“AirTight has developed the industry’s most compelling cloud Wi-Fi solution at an unprecedented pace based on customer demand from major enterprises seeking to deploy Wi-Fi across a huge number of geographically distributed locations,” AirTight Networks CEO David King said in a statement. “Our technology team has once again delivered a highly differentiated solution by leveraging our carrier-class cloud architecture and patented location-based administration and enhancing it with Wi-Fi industry breakthroughs in ease-of-deployment, user interface design and integrated analytics.”

The new funding was led by existing investors Trident Capital and CMEA Capital. This brings AirTight’s total funding to $48.75 million.

Mountain View, Calif.-based AirTight was founded in 2002. International offices are located in India and Hong Kong.


SkyDog is your home Wi-Fi Solution

PowerCloud’s Skydog app lets you manage your family’s internet use from your phone

Via VentureBeat

Dean Takahashi


The Internet can lead your family astray. With PowerCloud Systems‘ new Skydog product, you can take back control. Skydog is a new home network router that you can control with your smartphone. It monitors all of the traffic on your home network and tells you whether your kids are surfing the web during study hours or visiting places they shouldn’t be. In short, it’s a nice way to spy on your family, or, if you prefer, make sure that everyone is viewing appropriate content.

The router also tells you some useful information without requiring you to be a technical wizard. It can, for instance, tell you exactly when your internet access goes down and whether you need to fix something at home or contact your internet service provider. In doing so, it will help demystify the process of making sure your internet works when you want it. The company bills it as “the best thing to happen to the home network since Wi-Fi.”

Palo Alto, Calif.-based PowerCloud Systems is a startup that spun out of Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the research think tank that invented the personal computer. The purpose of its Skydog is to manage family internet use and give you visibility into your home network, said Jeff Abramowitz, founder and chief executive of PowerCloud Systems, in an interview with VentureBeat.

The company is launching a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter today to raise money to promote its first set of products that will debut in May 2013. Earlybird backers can get a Skydog home network package in May at a special pledge price of $79. Other backers can access Skydog’s second production run for a pledge of $99 for one unit, or $179 for two Skydog units. There are no annual fees. The home network package includes the mobile companion app, which works on any tablet, Windows PC, Mac, or smartphone.

The startup is housed inside PARC and it includes people from  Broadcom, Netgear, 3Com, Synchronoss, and Hewlett-Packard. The company was founded in 2008, and until now it was focused on the enterprise network management market.

Applebees Wi-Fi

Meraki Partners With Applebees Grill & Bar And Offers Guest Wi-Fi

Diann Banaszek, Marketing Partner for Apple American Group LLC, thought it would be a great idea to offer guest WiFi at Applebee’s Grill & Bar — and to use click-through splash pages to share targeted messages with customers.

With approximately 270 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants nationwide, Apple American Group LLC is the largest Applebee’s franchisee and the second largest franchisee of any type in the world. And with a youthful target audience, Banaszek felt that guest WiFi was a must.

“For one thing, customers expect you to have it,” Banaszek said. “It’s important to be current. But we’re also looking for new friends on Facebook, seeking ways to get customer email addresses, and of course we have messages we want to get out, such as our Girls’ Nights Out or our late night half-price appetizers.”

A number of Apple American Group Applebee’s restaurants already offered guest wireless through consumer-grade access points. But when problems arose, Network Administrators Leslie McMasters or Rick Holley would get a call.

“We didn’t even know the restaurant’s WiFi providers, but we were expected to fix the WiFi,” McMasters said. “It became clear that we needed the same network from one location to the next, so that we would know how to deal with it. Plus, there was the reporting piece. Is anyone using the wireless? How much bandwidth is being used? We didn’t know.”

Banaszek was also concerned about what people were actually doing on the various networks. “Since we had no landing page, we had no opportunity to ask people to agree to terms,” she said. “Now, not only can we monitor the amount and type of use, we can also ensure that the system is being used appropriately.”

Applebee’s started testing Meraki 802.11n access points (APs) in California and quickly expanded to other markets. Because the Meraki APs are plug-and-play and the network is managed through the cloud, McMasters and Holley can monitor the network from anywhere.

“The restaurant managers could install the APs without on-site IT,” McMasters said. “The Meraki dashboard makes it easy to manage the WiFi across all the restaurants, and we have the visibility we wanted.”


Sandals Resorts International Selects Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi for Massive Wi-Fi Upgrade to 23 Caribbean Luxury Properties

From Dual-Band Wi-Fi Wall Switches to Three-Stream Outdoor Mesh Access Points-World-Renowned Resort Uses Smart Wi-Fi to Improve Guest Experience and Operational Efficiencies

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013 – 6:14 am

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 26, 2013 – /PRNewswire/ – Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) announced today that Sandals Resorts International (SRI), operator of Luxury Included® Sandals Resorts for couples and Beaches Resorts for families, is making an extensive upgrade to its existingSmart Wi-Fi network across its 23 luxury resort properties.

SRI is deploying more than 1,200 of the latest Ruckus Smart wireless LAN (WLAN) access points(APs), including the new Ruckus ZoneFlex™ 7055 dual-band Wi-Fi wall switch, Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 indoor and Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 outdoor 802.11n 3×3:3 stream APs. The new SRI Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure is being deployed to deliver high-capacity, high-speed Wi-Fi service across thousands of acres of their resort properties in six Caribbean island nations, including Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. SRI’s newly upgraded Smart Wi-Fi network will now support more than 6,000 guest rooms, and thousands of concurrent users.The move to the most advanced Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology by this world-famous luxury hotel brand is essential to deliver ultra reliable, high-speed access to guests, many of whom need wireless connectivity for multiple smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, according to Bobby Stewart, Sandals Resorts International’s director of Guest Networks.

In conjunction with the deployment of and powered by their new Ruckus Wi-Fi network, Sandals Resorts is in the process of rolling out a mobile app with free international calling capabilities to the U.S., Canada and to UK landlines, as well as local calls to Jamaican landlines, for guests staying at one of the seven Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, on their iPhone and Android mobile phones. SRI’s corporate staff will also rely on Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi for use with their Wi-Fi based VoIP  (VoWiFi) handsets, as well as Wi-Fi equipped digital cameras, which are being used to capture on-property photos that are automatically uploaded to the SRI photo sales server, without requiring the photography team to return to the office.

“We’ve always been keenly impressed by the power and reliability of Ruckus Wi-Fi technology, as well as its extreme ease of use,” said Stewart. “Our Wi-Fi network is run centrally by only two persons, with a little help from the local IT manager at each site, and we manage the entire network across all of our properties very easily. It continually manages and optimizes itself – and it performs beautifully.”

Not only is SRI satisfied with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology, for the second year in a row, Ruckus was recently named by HotelChatter as a company offering the “Best Hotel Wi-Fi” to some of the other top hotel chains in the world.


Ruckus Ready For Train And Trackside Networks

Wi-Fi access points from Ruckus Wireless Inc. have met test requirements from railway systems for commuter trains and subways stations and platform, according to the company.

Ruckus said that its ZoneFlex 7982 indoor and 7782 outdoor access points passed tests for shock and vibration and electromagnetic compatibility, and can now be deployed for trackside wireless LANs.

Meeting these test requirements means that Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology can now be deployed to enable high-performance wireless LANs (WLANs) trackside on railway systems nationwide, providing an exceptional user experience for data-hungry users of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is especially important for those who commute on a daily basis and demand Wi-Fi access both while on and off their trains.

Why Doesn't My Restaurant Have Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi Solutions For Bars And Restaurants

To visit our latest slide show -PRESS HERE

Have you ever been in an area with poor cell phone reception?  Did you ever need to check a link from work or that a friend just sent that has a large file and you don’t want to use up your data plan?  Want to relax and take in a Netflix?  Where do your go?  Probably to the nearest free Wi-Fi.

Then when you get to a favorite bar or restaurant you find out their Wi-Fi is down or maybe non-existant.  What do you do?  Stay and pay for food and drink and get your messages elsewhere?  No!  You get up and find a place you can have your Wi-Fiand eat there too.

Watch our new SlideRocket presentation and realize your not alone in search of safe and secure free Wi-Fi.

To visit our latest slide show -PRESS HERE


Wi-Fi Solutions For The Hospitality Industry



GuestWiFi is the leader in Wireless technology for the hospitality industry.

GuestWiFi fully designs, monitors,supports and maintains your hotel’s wireless network. Their goal is to provide the best WiFi service available so that guests return to your hotel again and again.

Use GuestWiFi for all your guest Wi-Fi Solutions.

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Free Wireless Hotspots Keeps You Business Competitive

Cafe Wi-Fi and wireless hotspots are gradually becoming a necessity for many coffee shops and restaurants. Without it, they are finding it more difficult to compete against the behemoths within their market. For example, in early 2008, Starbucks began offering free Wi-Fi to their customers, essentially becoming an internet cafe. McDonalds did the same. Other restaurants and coffee shops are following suit in order to remain competitive.

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