“Alexa, Clean Out My Desk”

alexa clean out my desk

Image and graphic design by Kate Couch and Canva

By Kate Couch

How will smart devices be used in the corporate world in years and months to come?

Last year, the corporate office took a large turn as many of us had to begin working remotely from home. This created an entirely new world for audiovisual — Zoom. Zoom, as most companies are aware, is an online videoconferencing platform that is for personal, educational and corporate use. Since this is now one of the primary ways that offices and businesses have meetings, a lot of them have been needing a dedicated space — or what we at Audio-Visual Bend call a Zoom-room (not to be confused with actual Zoom Rooms). These Zoom-rooms have become very popular over the last year, and many corporate offices have incorporated them into the workspace. It can look like only an audiovisual setup or accompanied by complete acoustical treatment. But with this drastically new technology becoming popular so quickly, it poses the question, “what other highly technological things will be introduced into the corporate world in the upcoming months and years?”

The statements, “Alexa schedule my meetings for next week,” or “hey Google what conference room is open?” Might sound a little outlandish, they’re actually both current technology used in the corporate world. Starting in November 2017, Amazon launched Alexa for Business, which is an Alexa platform designed for more business-type use, scheduling meetings, general questions around the office, dimming lights, etc. It’s a very unique idea that something we use in our homes could also be so useful in the office. These AI personal assistants are now available to anyone no matter their title of job. With Alexa for Business, Alexa can communicate with the Amazon Echo devices (full-size, Dot, or other) assigned to each room and answer you with something like, “The conference room near the IT deck is empty.” You can also say things like, “Alexa, book me a conference room” with the time and date. You can also schedule it out further or see if any are available right away.

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This new tech is extremely efficient but also goes to show how much audiovisual will be part of almost every corporate business in years to come. Virtual conference rooms, acoustical treatment plans, high-tech phone systems, Wi-Fi, and possibly even Echo and Alexa setup and design could all be things that are more common in years to come. It currently hasn’t caught on as well as it probably will in the next year, In Unit4’s 2017 Enterprise Tech End-User Sentiment Survey, it found that 38% of professionals affirmed that they use a digital assistant like Alexa for personal reasons; only 11% use it in their professional lives. They asked that 38% if they would trust a digital assistant like Alexa for a work-related task, 54% thought they would. This shows the interest is there — it will just take time for it to trickling into our offices and workspaces.

Because of what has happened in the past year, all corporate offices have been forced to rise to the level of tech. Unfortunately, we will see a lot of small businesses fall behind because they can’t keep up with it. The idea that everything is going to be high-tech and connected to Wi-Fi is called The Internet of Things. On our blog, we will be doing more articles in the weeks to come on this topic. IoT is going to affect the corporate world in a very large way,  and it’s going to affect audiovisual in even a larger way — as we both have to incorporate it into our offices but also be able to incorporate it into others as our clients. So follow along if you want to know more about IoT and high-tech things that audiovisual will be incorporating and general corporate offices will be incorporating in the future.

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