Video and audio communications solution provider Lifesize has announced a new native integration with Alexa for Business, bringing Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) intelligent assistant to the conference room in a play designed to help offices reopen with hands-free technology after the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The integration – which Lifesize says is an industry first – brings a wide range of productivity-boosting voice-activated controls to existing Lifesize meeting room systems without requiring additional hardware. The companies will offer 90 days of free service to customers who sign on for the joint service.
In a press release, the companies cite research of meeting room decision makers in North America that found voice-activated controls will be a highly demanded technology and could potentially be more popular than other control hardware.
In a statement, Lifesize Chief Technology Officer Bobby Beckman said the integration should unlock unlimited productivity along with better efficiency and safety in meeting rooms.
“Alexa for Business’ security, privacy and automation controls are unparalleled, and we look forward to building on them to empower our customers with all sorts of skills and features,” Beckman said.
Features of Lifesize’s integration with Alexa for Business include:
- More intelligent in-room video meetings via Alexa voice commands with Lifesize Icon meeting room systems to check in and claim rooms, dial directory contacts, quickly start meetings and activate other room controls like lighting and power shades.
- Enjoy high-definition, secure videoconferencing with Alexa’s help without the need for additional hardware like Amazon Echo devices.
- Utilize every room to its full potential via the Alexa for Business dashboard, which allows users to check room availability, manage and reserve rooms through calendar integrations, automatically release unused rooms and analyze and report room utilization metrics.
- The ability to create custom Alexa skills to suit their needs, workflow and room management requirements like providing guest WiFi to creating a virtual help desk that contacts the IT department and reports issues immediately.
According to the press release, Lifesize devices are Alexa Voice Service certified, so compatibility, security and data privacy for the new integration are ensured. An icon and button on the Lifesize Phone HD, a part of all room systems, indicate when Alexa is enabled and gives users the ability to disable Alexa if they prefer. Audio is only sent to the secure Alexa cloud when the smart assistant is invoked. The audio can be deleted with a simple voice command.
According to the companies, Alexa for Business is available for Lifesize Icon meeting room systems in the U.S. via the Lifesize Admin Console. Once the 90-day trial expires, cost is on a per-device basis through the organization’s Alexa for Business account.