Vantage Interactive Business Directory Kiosk
The software development team of Vantage Innovations has been working on an R&D
project in order implement current user interface advances such as multi-touch interfaces
and video interaction. The result of this R&D initiative will be a software
solution that will operate on standard off-the-shelf PC hardware
to create a cost effective solution for providing a self-service
business directory kiosk to a multi-tenant building facility and ultimately
a multi-building campus environment.
The solution will leverage database and web technology to provide
a simple and centralized way to maintain the business directory information. The
directory data will be organized in a hierarchical manner, whereby an integrated
system of kiosks can be used to provide location specific information
and way-finder information for a large campus environment. For example, at the entrance
to the campus, the directory will provide a high-level view of the entire campus,
and allow a visitor to drill down into any of the designated buildings. When a visitor
arrives at a building, the kiosk will provide building specific information; however
can also optionally be used to navigate the directory for the entire campus. When
the visitor arrives at a hallway, the kiosk will provide area specific information.
Touch Interface Business Directory
A visitor to a building will be able to use the kiosk to navigate a directory list
of tenants via a multi-touch interface. The default screen displayed on the kiosk
is a touch pad consisting of a “button” for each of the tenants and facilities in
Touching a “button” for a designated tenant will display a way-finder map showing
the visitor how to find the tenant’s office location within the building. Future
enhancements to the software will provide additional options that will allow the
visitor to browse additional information about the tenant’s business (such as hours
of operation and company brochure), initiate a call to the tenant (to announce his
arrival) and to leave a voice mail message if the tenant is not available.
A web-based administration system will provide authenticated secure access to the
directory information to change tenant information. Since the application is web-based,
all that is required in order to maintain is a PC and network connectivity to the
kiosk server system (i.e. the data administrator does not have to physically visit
any of the kiosk systems – administration can be performed from the comfort and
convenience of your office).
Future Product Development
Vantage Innovations plans to continue to evolve the product to include a variety
of other useful features that will fully leverage the capabilities of the full capabilities
of the peripheral components available in the standard “all-in-one” PC such as web-camera,
microphone and speakers.
Expanded Tenant Information
In addition to way-finder information, the kiosk will have the capability to offer
a visitor additional information about the tenant’s business, including hours of
operation and description of products and services. Leveraging the kiosk’s multi-media
capabilities, the digital content could even include interactive content allowing
for visually interesting delivery of the information.
Tenant Presence Indicator
A tenant can optionally indicate their availability to accept a visitor by setting
their status as “In” or “Out”.
Visitor Notification and Preview
When a visitor arrives at the kiosk and wants to visit the office of a tenant, and
the tenant’s presence indicator is flagged as “In”, the kiosk will offer the visitor
an option to send a notification to the tenant to initiate a video conference session.
When the tenant receives notification, the tenant can preview who the visitor is.
Voice or Video Conferencing (visitor to tenant communications)
When the tenant receives notification, the tenant can optionally engage in a video
or voice only conversation with the visitor.
Voice or Video Mail
In the event a tenant is not available to accept the visitor or declines, the kiosk
allows the visitor to leave a voice mail or video mail message for the tenant.
Tenant Access to the Kiosk’s Web-Camera
Via the kiosk’s web-camera, authorized tenants will have access to the current video
being captured by the kiosk’s web-camera. At any time, an authorized tenant can
preview the activity taking place near any of the kiosks.
Using the built-in web camera, the kiosk will be able to determine when there is
motion and power-on the monitor of the kiosk. After a period of inactivity, the
kiosk can power-down the monitor to conserve power.
Leveraging the kiosk’s web-camera and motion detection software, the system can
be used to capture video of any activity taking place near the kiosks. The captured
video will be stored on a separate storage server connected to the kiosk network.
Retention rules will be used to specify the duration video history will be kept
for. Only authorized users will have access to the captured video. In the event
of a security issue arising the historical video can be referenced.