"What do you think you're doing, Dave?" These words, made famous by the artificially intelligent computer HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", sound in my ears every time I think about the subject of this week's article: virtual assistants.

For those of you who were too young to remember, HAL was the artificially intelligent computer aboard Discovery in the movie, paying attention to the myriad of details that required oversight when the ship's crew arrived at Jupiter. Its seemingly ubiquitous red camera lens monitored all ship activity.

With HAL’s words still fresh in my memory, even after all these years, it is with a little personal hustle that I want to discuss how digital signage can be used to add a virtual assistant to any sales or marketing process. But don't worry, with this kind of use there is no danger of being sucked out into the cold recesses of the room.

As in "2001", the concept of a virtual assistant is simple: make a complex process simple and manageable using an efficient, "intelligent" computer. Implementing this concept into practice here on earth helps two Wichita, KS, area businesses expand their sales and marketing efforts and better serve their customers while freeing up staff for other critical tasks.

At the Walnut Valley Garden Center in Andover, KS, outside Wichita, a detailed, interactive digital signage helps customers determine how much product they need for a given landscape architecture or garden project by combining maps from Google Earth, a digital signage controls from Keywest Technology and an Orion touch-screen LCD panel with a database of landscape products the store carries and their recommended coverage area.

Customers simply enter their names and addresses when using the system, and a map of their individual property is called from Google Earth. By touching the screen to define the boundaries of their project, customers trigger a computer to decide what types of products to use and how much they need. For example, by identifying an area on the map, they can learn what type of fertilizer they need for their lawn and how much to buy.

For those new to gardening, the system cycles through digital signage presentations that encourage them to touch the screen to select one of 12 different types of gardens. After making a design available, the system allows customers to interact and tell them exactly what is needed - including plants, mulch and rocks - to build a similar garden at their yards.

At Randy Dean Construction in Wichita, another interactive digital signage system, using a Keywest Technology digital signage controller, a touch-screen sensor interface from ELO, and a 32in flat-screen LCD greet potential buyers as they enter a model home. While Randy Dean's sales agent can answer questions from a buyer, the interactive digital signage system can take other potential buyers on full 360-degree virtual tours of all Randy Dean houses, access and print floor plans, examine the builder's home inventory and access the company's site - all without removing the sales agent from the potential buyer.

Out-of-home media specialist DSX Media in Wichita designed and delivered both systems, including digital signage content creation, interactive branching and digital signage hardware and software delivery, touch-screen controller and flat screen LCD screen. In the case of Randy Dean Construction, DSX Media also sold advertising contracts to adjusted companies such as mortgage banks and title companies, so that their commercial messages could be merged into a loop of content that plays until the screen is touched.

While the details of both applications are different, they share the concept of using interactive digital signage - a hybrid of digital kiosk technology and conventional linear digital signage pages - to boost both companies' sales by essentially projecting the presence of a virtual sales assistant to answer many of the questions typically asked by consumers. This raises digital signage for a new plateau, somewhere far beyond the role of an electronic equivalent of a printed sign, where it becomes an integral part of an orchestrated sales process https://ibiz.page/

Author's Bio: 

While the details of both applications are different, they share the concept of using interactive digital signage.