Business Productivity

Use Lifesize Rooms with Alexa for Business for touch-free meeting room control

As companies plan to reopen offices, the well-being of employees is the highest priority. Ensuring users can communicate and collaborate comfortably in the workplace is top of mind for many leaders. Alexa for Business provides a safe, hands-free way to interact with shared meeting room devices, such as touchscreens, lighting, and thermostats. For example, after a user enters a room, instead of using a touchscreen, they can simply say “Alexa, join my meeting” to connect to their video call. As company leaders look to expand voice control in the workplace, AWS is excited to announce that Lifesize has built Alexa for Business directly into their Icon family of meeting room systems. Lifesize’s 4k video conferencing hardware and software solutions are built for plug-and-play simplicity to enable you to turn any space into a video meeting room in seconds. Now, that video room can also offer easy to use, touch-free navigation through Alexa built-in.

Lifesize Icon with Alexa built-in

“We recently polled meeting room decision makers in North America to understand what they are considering in their meeting rooms to meet safety concerns when employees return to the office, “ said Craig Durr, Senior Analyst at Wainhouse Research. “Our research indicates that in the next 12 to 18 months voice-based controls will be a top technology of interest, potentially leapfrogging alternative solutions that require touching a remote control, room-based PC, or some other piece of shared equipment.”

Starting today, the Lifesize Icon 300, Icon 500, and Icon 700 systems with Alexa for Business allow users to simplify their collaboration experience. You can save time by using voice to check into rooms, join meetings, and call contacts. With the Lifesize directory integration, users can easily reach any contact, room system, or meeting in your organization with name-based calling. Room booking utterances, like “Alexa, find me an available room.”, allow users to optimize their meeting spaces by finding and booking free rooms, extending room reservations, and automatically releasing rooms that are reserved but not used. Additionally, private skills enable organizations to easily create custom experiences for their employees. For example, “Alexa, what’s the guest wifi password?

With this new solution, company leaders can see helpful usage data and metrics to understand how rooms are being used as employees return to the office. Lifesize Icon also come with the Alexa Built-in certification, which ensures the same security, privacy standards, and features that Alexa offers today. For example, a visual blue bar appears on the screen when Alexa has detected a wake word and audio is streaming to the Alexa cloud. Users can also use a mute icon to disable Alexa at any time. Further, Alexa for Business offers IT and end-user controls to manage and delete the Alexa voice and response history.

Alexa for Business also offers individual productivity features that give employees the flexibility to balance their work from home and in-office days. This provides employees with continuous access to a smart assistant regardless of where they are working. These include features like “Alexa, tell me about my workday.” or “Alexa, schedule a meeting with Nikki Wolf for 3pm.” For more information on individual features, read our blog on Boosting Work from Home Productivity with Amazon Alexa.

As customers continue to plan and define their new workplace environment, Lifesize Icon and Alexa for Business can help employees feel more comfortable, increase productivity, and offer IT leaders visibility into room usage and efficiency. Bobby Beckmann, Chief Technology Officer at Lifesize, is committed to enhancing the meeting room experience. “Advancing our joint development efforts with AWS unlocks boundless productivity potential and increased efficiency for in-room meetings,” said Beckmann. “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.”