Bsquare Prepares Ford SYNC for 15,000+ Possible Uses

Ford and Bsquare Add New Touch Screen UI to Develop

Most Advanced Auto Entertainment Communications System Ever

Las Vegas, NV and Bellevue, Wash. – Jan. 7, 2010 – Start it up, adjust the volume, turn up the heat, check the traffic and call ahead. That’s just one of the more than 15,000 possible combinations Bsquare Corporation (Nasdaq: BSQR), had to plan for and test to develop the newest version of the Ford SYNC, the most advanced in-vehicle infotainment system ever implemented.

Ford SYNC offers an unprecedented number of features – such as navigation, hands-free calling, phone book, text to voice messaging and CD, DVD, radio and media player control – through a single touch screen or by voice command.  Using Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Auto software platform, Bsquare worked closely with Ford and integrated the technologies of other Ford partners to develop the system that makes all of these features function as a single integrated solution. The work included managing hardware and software integration.

“From the amount of information SYNC controls to how it can receive software updates, this truly is a ground-breaking product that will change the auto industry,” says Carey Butler, Bsquare’s vice president of professional engineering services. “Ford SYNC is the ultimate converged device.  It is far and away the most advanced in-vehicle infotainment system to be implemented and has made Ford cars best in class for technology. The first version of SYNC was impressive, but this blows the doors off.”

Bsquare estimates that average drivers perform two- to three-thousand possible combinations of actions in every trip—from opening the door to making a left-hand turn.  Bsquare’s integration of Ford SYNC had to plan for those thousands of possible actions, integrate many technologies and test all the functionalities of SYNC across hundreds of phones, portable media players and other devices to ensure a seamless experience for consumers.   Additionally, Ford required a new level of integration among all the possible applications through a very easy-to-use touch screen or voice control.

“A key challenge facing automakers is how to bring these innovative solutions to their customers quickly and affordably, while maintaining a competitive edge,” said Ilya Bukshteyn, senior marketing director for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Business division. “Ford SYNC transforms the user experience for both driver and passenger and Bsquare has shown expertise and innovation on the Windows Embedded Auto platform. The development of a state-of-the-art, in-vehicle communications and entertainment system for a mobile and rugged environment with an outstanding user experience is a great engineering feat.”

From Part to Art: Bsquare Combines New Technologies for Breakthrough Developments

Bsquare Integrated several new technologies for the project, including:

Custom User Interface: Bsquare implemented the entire user interface designed by Ford, including integration of Adobe Flash, to provide state of the art graphic and multimedia capabilities.  It also integrated several other technologies including speech recognition, navigation, media, climate controls and phone for a seamless user experience.

Single Point of Navigation (Voice and Touch): Bsquare combined applications from  other Ford partners into its customized user interface to provide a single point of control, whether driven by speech commands or a touch screen.

About Bsquare

Bsquare is an industry leader with a proven track record in providing engineering services and production-ready software products for the smart device market.  Bsquare is involved with the automotive industry at all levels including automotive manufacturers and after-market infotainment OEMs. With an automotive consulting practice that encompasses deep technical knowledge of Windows Embedded Auto platform and the technologies needed to integrate speech recognition, hands free phone support, entertainment and navigation, Bsquare enables OEMs to select, adopt, develop and ship best in class products.  Since 1994, Bsquare has provided device manufacturers with software solutions for personal navigation devices, point-of-sale terminals, handheld data terminals, smart phones and many other device categories allowing them to get to market more quickly and cost effectively.

For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.

Bsquare Contact:           Investors:
Barbara Leavitt                   Brett Maas
Bsquare Corporation         Hayden IR
1.425.519.5258                    1.646.536.7331
BarbaraL@bsquare.com Brett@haydenir.com

Echo Therapeutics Corporate Profile

Echo Therapeutics
Echo Therapeutics

Echo Therapeutics is a transdermal medical device company developing its needle-free Symphony™ tCGM System as a non-invasive, wireless, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring (tCGM) system and its Prelude™ SkinPrep System as a platform technology for transdermal drug delivery. Echo believes that the Symphony tCGM System will change the paradigm of invasive, needle-based, episodic glucose testing in the diabetes consumer and hospital critical care markets to one of continuous, needle-free monitoring. Echo is also developing its needle-free Prelude SkinPrep System as a platform technology for enhanced skin permeation to allow for transdermal drug delivery of a wide range of FDA-approved products.

Want to learn more? Open, Print, and Read the full corporate profile and power point presentation below.

Echo Therapeutics Corporate Profile Link

Echo Therapeutics Power Point Link

Sarah Palin ‘Going Rogue’ New Book

Not sure if you know yet or not, but Sarah Palin has a new book called “Going Rogue” and from what I heard so far it is her becoming the Chief of Complaining.

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Check out the NY Daily News

As always, connect with me at the following places.

Brett Maas Dot Net, Brett Maas Dot Org, Brett Maas Facebook and Brett Maas Twitter!

Samsung Profit Soars!

SEOUL—Samsung Electronics Co.’s third-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago —to 3.72 trillion won ($3.14 billion), its highest quarterly profit ever—as its chip business soared to its highest operating profit in two years, joining strong performances in its other divisions after a prolonged slump.

Check it out on the Wall Street Journal

Connect with me at Brett Maas Twitter, Brett Maas Dot Net, Brett Maas Facebook.

Silicon Valley venture capitalists nurturing growth of green technology

Brett Maas suggests you – Check out this story on the LA Times

Silicon Valley venture capitalists nurturing growth of green technology.

What green technology stocks are you looking at right now?

Let me know and at my Brett Maas Facebook, Brett Maas Twitter or at my Brett Mass Charity site – BrettMass.org

Raser Technologies Unveils 100+ MPG Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Here is some information about the 100 + MPG Plug-in Hybrid Hummer from their website.

Technology in New Electric Hummer Could Drive Bold Leap Ahead for U.S. Automakers, Making Popular Trucks & SUVs ‘Greener Than a Prius’

Raser Technologies, Inc. unveiled a 100+ mpg Hummer H3 powered by Raser’s plug-in hybrid E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) at the 2009 SAE International World Congress, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI.

Raser developed the 100+ mpg Electric H3 demonstration vehicle working closely with Hummer.  Just one year ago at the 2008 SAE World Congress, Raser and its development partner FEV Inc., Auburn Hills, MI, a leading automotive integrator, introduced Raser’s E-REV power train, similar in function to the Chevy Volt but designed for use in a variety of larger full-sized SUVs and light trucks.  The vehicle was developed in association with the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium, co-founded by Raser along with leading electric utilities, lithium ion battery companies and other automotive technology companies.

hummer_stats2

Raser CEO Brent M. Cook said, “The technology in this electric-powered Hummer is a leap ahead for U.S. Automakers.  It could make the nation’s popular light trucks and SUVs greener than a Prius.”

Estimated Electric Hummer H3 Fuel EconomyEstimated Electric Hummer H3 Fuel Economy

The vehicle has performed well in initial test drives and dynamometer testing conducted by FEV.  Video from recent test drives of the 100+mpg H3 is available online:  http://rasertech.com/hummer

The plug-in electric Hummer H3 has a range of about 400 miles, driving its first 40 miles exclusively on batteries before turning on its combustion generator. Most vehicles drive fewer than 40 miles a day, most drivers would rarely use gas and average more than 100 mpg in gas fuel economy over time.

Raser’s E-REV power train was designed for most full-sized 4WD SUVs and light trucks, which represent nearly half of the vehicles on U.S. roads today because of their versatility and wide application in fleets.

“We chose the Hummer H3 and H3T as demonstration vehicles because trucks and SUVs are the best-selling vehicles in America and can benefit the most from increased fuel economy and reduced emissions,” said Cook.

The Electric Hummer H3 is propelled entirely on electricity by Raser’s 200kW advanced AC induction motor connected to a 4WD transmission. A small high efficiency EcoTech engine uses Raser’s 100KW electric generator to recharge the batteries while driving and provides additional electric power when needed.

“Our goal was to demonstrate that electric vehicle technology is a viable solution for a variety of vehicle platforms,” said Gary Rogers, president and chief executive officer of FEV. “This full-sized SUV extended-range electric vehicle shows that fuel economy in larger vehicles does not mean sacrificing power and utility.”

Don’t forget to follow me on Brett Maas Twitter and become a friend on my Brett Maas Facebook.

Investor Relations defined by Wikipedia

Here is a great link to what Wikipedia defines as Investor Relations.

Investor Relations (IR) is a strategic management responsibility that integrates finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance to enable the most effective two-way communication between a company, the financial community, and other constituencies, which ultimately contributes to a company’s securities achieving fair valuation. (Adopted by the NIRI Board of Directors, March 2003.) The term describes the department of a company devoted to handling inquiries from shareholders and investors, as well as others who might be interested in a company’s stock or financial stability.

Also, don’t forget to add me as a friend on my Brett Maas Facebook and Brett Maas Twitter.

Global Axcess becomes a cash machine

Link to article on Jacksonville Business Journal

Friday, August 21, 2009
Global Axcess becomes a cash machine

Jacksonville Business Journal – by Kimberly Morrison

Global Axcess Corp. is one of Jacksonville’s lesser-known publicly traded companies, but if it keeps up momentum, that won’t be the case for long.

The ATM operator turned self-service kiosk provider is emerging from a three-year turnaround that has produced fatter margins and more consistent profits than it has seen in years. Management thinks the company is finally in good shape. Earnings have nine quarters of positive momentum, and in the last quarter were up nearly 24 percent to $557,000 with less debt and more cash.

It’s a different company from what it once was — a little more grown up and finally figuring out what it is really good at and how to build on that. In this newfound maturity, Global Axcess is branching out into DVD rental kiosks, which it is piloting in Jacksonville and two other markets.

The move is part of a broader strategic plan to increasingly expand beyond the ATM, which is an industry not expected to see an increase in use over the next several years.

Global Axcess (OTC: GAXC) today remains a small player in the $7 billion to $12 billion ATM industry. Its 4,300 ATMs account for just 1 percent of market share, making it the seventh-largest non-bank ATM company in the country.

As the company enters the final, high-growth stage of its turnaround, it has a new crackerjack consulting agency in tow. New York-based Hayden IR is helping the company launch an aggressive marketing and investor relations campaign to drive growth and maximize shareholder value.

“In my opinion, the management of Global Axcess Corp. has done a tremendous job of repositioning the enterprise to differentiate it from others in the industry and to set the stage for revenue growth and margin expansion,” said Brett Maas, Hayden managing partner.

Global Axcess this week landed a three-year contract with an undisclosed national grocery chain worth $750,000 per year, one of the company’s first major successes for its newly restructured sales team. CEO George McQuain sees a good future ahead.

Back in 2006, things were less stable. A management shake-up ended in three top executives resigning from the company. Michael Loiacono became chief financial officer and McQuain was named CEO, both promotions from within. But company losses accelerated to $3.6 million that quarter. There was house cleaning to do.

Before new management, the company had overestimated the benefit of an acquisition, which inflated quarterly earnings that the company later had to lower by $500,000. A group of investors sued the company, resulting in a settlement in 2007 of undisclosed terms.

“George stepped into a quagmire of trouble,” said Lock Ireland, vice chairman of the board and chairman of the board for Proficio Bank. “His first full quarter, he made a profit of $14,000, which was a tiny amount of money but an amazing turnaround.”

Global Axcess then sold an unprofitable South African subsidiary and outsourced certain functions to focus

resources where they were most needed. The company began paying down debt and working to increase cash flow, which made 2008 a banner year on the balance sheet.

McQuain looks back and can see where the company went wrong, although he refuses to take credit for getting it back on track.

“We weren’t sure of our core competencies,” he said. “We had a strategy that didn’t emphasize what we were really good at, and it stretched the company.”

His first step in the turnaround was to scrub expenses. Costs go to the bottom line, and finding places to cut was going to be easier than generating new revenue.

“We have an internal value of ‘bare bones, no frills’ — only spend money on things that add value,” McQuain said, pointing to his older, beat-up office furniture that he seems to take pride in. “So if that means I stay at a Motel 6 when I travel rather than a Howard Johnson, then that’s what I do. Our clients don’t want to pay for me to stay somewhere expensive.”

Step Two was emphasizing operational efficiencies. Divesting unprofitable operations and outsourcing was part of that, but Global Axcess also did a better job of making sure the ATMs were always working, and making money. Then the company implemented an overdue fee increase.

Step Three was to listen closely to clients — the owners of convenience stores and grocery chains where the ATMs were. Surveys and other research helped the company identify its strengths through its customers’ eyes, so it could then capitalize on the information and differentiate itself in the market. Global Axcess found out that paying its clients on time, better-operating machines and service so personal it sends gift baskets to clients on their birthday made them a standout.

It’s somewhat of an extension of how the company’s small 20-person office in Southpoint operates. The family-man side of McQuain was also listening to his employees, and he began letting parents bring their kids to work, bought laptops for each person so they could work from home if needed and recently started offering college tuition reimbursement. Happy employees are productive employees.

The strategy has paid off. Although the company’s stock hit a 52-week low in February at 10 cents, it has been on a steady ride up ever since and hitting new highs almost every day. It reached a 52-week high earlier this month at 73 cents.

“I think Global Axcess is a jewel in the sea,” Ireland said. “Cash flow has been increasing tremendously, earnings are increasing beyond our expectations and the revenue base has been increasing in 2009 beyond what we expected. We are in tremendous shape for diversification.”

kmorrison@bizjournals.com | 265-2218

Investor Relations Contact:

Brett Maas, Hayden IR