For corporate communications environments, reception signage has long been a basic starting point of any sales spiel. Most of “at reception” use-cases however are typically passive in nature, where signage does not offer much benefit beyond enhanced branding and one-way communication.
Putting a new and functional twist on Digital Signage at the front desk is ALICE (A Live Interactive Communication Experience). ALICE is a Virtual Receptionist that via a touchscreen interfaced with company’s Voice Over IP phone system (VoIP) connects the visitor to company staff they are visiting.
Offering ready-integration with most VoIP SIP PBX environments (Cisco, Avaya, Asterisk, Broadsoft, 3CX, Mitel and others) or a standalone desktop app for environments without VoIP Telephony, ALICE allows for Video or Audio interaction between the ALICE station and company staff being paged.
Promoted as a productivity enhancement for multi-tasking receptionist (or a complete replacement of thereof), ALICE offers exactly the type of functionality we have seen requests from an increasing number of Corporate Communications clients. While with varied degree of custom integration, some mainstream digital signage companies can theoretically offer similar capability, ALICE’s out of the box compatibility with any SIP device, ability to offer a soft agent on user PCs if VoIP infrastructure is not present and ready-built API into virtually all major IP PBX environments makes it unique and suitable for even the SMB customers.
ALICE is delivered on a variety of hardware platforms (Kiosk, AIO PC, etc) as long as microphone or camera feature is accessible. Camera feature is used not only for 1 or 2-way communication but also to trigger a welcome playlist activated once the camera senses motion in front of the device.
For pure digital signage applications, ALICE provides basic looping media playlist functionality (both full-screen as an idle-mode screensaver and in-window as part of the UI). Development of more advanced scheduling and media management features is on the way we were told. It would be interesting to see the solution take-over a 2×1 video wall for instance!