Airports are a mecca of activity with thousands of people streaming through busy gates each day. Communicating to these masses is a challenge. Airport staffs are shrinking and security inspectors compete with the sounds of other passengers, vendors, and more. Picture the following:
While waiting at an airport security checkpoint, you are verbally instructed by a woman to “please power down all electronics for screening purposes.” You glance over and notice the woman’s nametag reads “AVA.” She stands in front of the long, crowded line guiding everyone to ensure a speedy, yet efficient prescreening process. With a second glance you realize, she is not a real person at all, but an avatar…
Developed by Airus Media, AVA also known as the Advanced Virtual Assistant, is a lifelike, virtual mannequin predominantly used for communicating messages effectively in high volume areas such as airports and other mass transit locations.
AVA combines a discreet projector with a specially designed screen that has been cut to look like a live presenter. As a result, a realistic virtual presenter captivates visitors by speaking and engaging as a live presenter would. AVA enhances customer service and welcome centers by answering basic and routine questions asked by arriving visitors. Keeping this in mind, employees and security personnel are able to focus on more important things while the AVA makes announcements.
Powered by a Casio Signature XJ-M250 projector, AVA is nearly maintenance-free. Arius Media chose Casio’s XJ-M250 projectors because they are LampFree™ and run on Casio’s state-of-the-art LASER & LED Hybrid Light Source. This means lamps do not need to be replaced every few months, which typically cost almost as much as the original projector cost over one year. With the light source having an estimated lifespan of 20,000 hours, AVA can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week which is crucial in airports.
“Airports are among the busiest places in the world, and AVA plays an extremely important role in helping them run as smoothly as possible by helping increase the efficiency of security checkpoint lines,” said Patrick Bienvenu, Chief Operations Officer of Arius Media. “Using Casio’s Signature XJ-M250, AVA can run for long periods of time and eliminate the time and cost associated with lamp replacement, as well as dark periods during critical high volume periods throughout the day.”
Since AVA can be utilized for a number of applications outside of airports, Arius Media made sure almost every detail could be customizable. Customers can choose a male, female, cartoon or animal avatar, write the script and design the case structure to fit location needs. AVA can also be set with a motion sensor which will keep it in sleep mode until someone walks past.
“Casio is proud to work with Arius Media on such a dynamic project like AVA,” said Matt Mustachio, general manager of Casio’s Business Projector Division. “We know this is only the beginning for this technology and its applications. We are excited to continue our relationship with Airus Media to take AVA to new heights.”
Currently, five (5) airports across the United States are equipped with AVA at security checkpoints and customer service areas including LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark International Airport in New Jersey, Northwest Florida Regional Airport in Florida and Long Beach Airport in California. Installation for each AVA unit took approximately two hours which includes both set-up and calibration. Feedback on AVA has been tremendous thus far. Clients say that she is an incredible timesaver and a very efficient way to deliver a clear and consistent message.
“Casio helped us to develop this technology to its full potential and we look forward to continuing our relationship. The sky is truly the limit with this technology and what we can do in the future,” continued Bienvenu.
For additional information on Casio’s portfolio of LampFree projectors