The French software firm Intuiface has released a pair of what it calls reference designs for common challenges facing retail, restaurant and facility managers as they manage access and interactions in the midst of this pandemic.
The idea is to develop and document framework designs that make it relatively easy for third parties – like agencies and integrators – to pull together technology solutions.
“By reference design,” explains Geoff Bessin from Intuiface, “we mean heavily documented Intuiface-based frameworks that are meant to be adapted by agencies and integrators. They’re fully operational but can be treated as a starting point.”
“Our plan is to create an entire library of these things for common/popular/high value scenarios, most of which will probably not be COVID-themed. It just made sense to start with what’s got all of our attention.”
The first two versions are:
- Multi-Mode Interaction
Giving visitors a choice of both touch and touch-alternatives for completing a goal. In this example, a beverage recommendation kiosk can take input either by touch, speech, or via a personal mobile device acting as a remote control.
- Entrance Flow Management
Tracking entry/exit counts, comparing them to a predefined capacity, and displaying enter/wait guidelines on digital signage. Actual counts can be collected manually (e.g. via mobile phone) or through use of 3rd party automated people counters. Signage could be at one entrance, or synchronized across multiple entrances.
Says a press release:
Collectively, these reference designs enable creative teams of any size and budget to create custom, fit-for-purpose solutions addressing today’s most pressing digital requirements for physical places.
The global pandemic has forced organizations of all sizes to reassess how best to adopt and use on-premise digital content. From retailers to cultural institutions to schools, gathering places for large numbers of health-conscious visitors need to adapt and to do so quickly. Two priorities have risen to the top. The first is managing the flow of visitors into an establishment, ensuring acceptable distancing is maintained through clear communication and without error. The second is to address the inevitable concerns about touchscreen safety by offering touch alternatives, like speech or use of a personal mobile device as a remote control.
Dedicated third-party solutions address these issues but typically at a high cost and with low flexibility and high rigidity that prevents full customization and repurposing for other future uses. By contrast, with Intuiface and their new reference designs, users are given the tools, knowledge, and templates necessary to create fully personalized digital solutions that can fit any budget and requirement, even as needs inevitably change over time.
Each reference design is comprised of a fully operational project sample, process workflows, detailed guidance, supporting videos, and access to Intuiface support. Project samples can be used as-is, but expectations are agencies, integrators, and in-house creative teams will use these samples as a starting point for creating custom solutions running on the hardware of their choice.
“We have run into a significant demand for COVID-influenced usages,” said Sébastien Meunier, Intuiface’s Head of Customer Success. “Since our goal is to lower the cost and skills barrier standing between companies and their ability to serve customers in as safe and sensitive a manner as possible, we thought reference designs would be the perfect enabler. Each design works out of the box but can be easily customized for any unique scenario.”
The two reference designs, “Entrance Flow Management” and “Multi-Mode Interaction” are freely accessible on Intuiface’s new Reference Design website, http://www.intuiface.com/reference-designs. They can be used immediately and without attribution to Intuiface.
Future reference designs are planned, addressing other common on-premise digital content themes, including many not directly related to the pandemic. An optional bootstrap service is available for those interested in hands-on guidance for adoption and customization of any reference design.
This is interesting. In conversations lately with clients and on webinars and podcasts, I have been stressing the importance of making things easy for both partners and end-users.
It is the difference between “This is what it could do” versus “This is what it does.”
While some of these new demands, like access control, may seem simple to software and solutions people who have been around signage for years, it likely looks complicated and expensive to those who are unfamiliar.
This is like a cake mix or meal kit. The elements are already thought out and pulled together, and the process laid out. All the user has to do is make it, and they can add their extra sugar or hot sauce or whatever.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.