Imagine being at a trade show where you can have someone man your trade booth 24/7 (taking no food or bathroom breaks); someone who will give the perfect presentation EVERY time; someone who looks clean, neat and professional all day long; and someone you never have to pay!
A Jacksonville company has a new product that can do all of that and more. Media Works, a 25-year-old company that specializes in trade show displays, vehicle wraps, promotional products and printing, has a new presentation package called “Virtual Spokesperson.” It is so new in the industry, it is also being called an “Avatar Presenter.”
Essentially the product is a computerized, hologram-like image of a person that can talk and gesture like a human. It’s not exactly a 3D program, but when you encounter the image from the front, it is amazingly life-like. The virtual presenter in Media Works’ showroom looks right at you and makes an impressive sales pitch. And when you move back and forth in front of it, the eyes appear to follow you.
According to Fred Dietsch, who owns the company with his wife Theresa, the package consists of a Plexiglas silhouette body structure that encases a special 3M film. The shape of the structure can be made into a man or woman. A rear projector is position about 4 to 5 feet behind the structure. A human actor is videotaped making a pitch, which then becomes the projected image. The program is put on a stick drive that is plugged directly into the projector. The presentation can be as short or as long as necessary and can be run as a continuous loop.
“We have just introduced the product in the North Florida market,” Dietsch reported. “But already we have had a major insurance carrierin the state purchase the package for their South Florida facilities.”
A virtual presenter has just been installed in the New Jersey Newark Liberty International Airport to help provide travel information to airport visitors. And according to FoxNews.com, The Port Authority is spending $180,000 to place the high tech presenter in Kennedy and LaGuardiaairports. In their description of the program, they say this provides someone “who can assist travelers 24 hours a day and it doesn’t need a security background check.”
Dietsch sees an almost unlimited application for the virtual spokesperson. While trade shows are a natural use, these could be used as information sources for tourist destinations, hospital lobbies and emergency rooms, retail locations… anywhere there is informational or educational needs for operations with public access.
The price of the virtual package will vary, mainly depending on the video production and talent costs, but the average range could be around $20,000.00.
The virtual presentation is very impressive. You can see a demonstration at Media Works exhibit showroom at 1451 Louisa Street, located behind Tidbits Restaurant on Hendricks Avenue in the San Marco area.
The photo shows a close up of the virtual spokeswoman on the Media Works showroom floor.