“IN2 Access provides technology support for new Commend Product”
As part of a new smart kiosk design, Commend UK Ltd. was looking for a way to allow customers to interact with the kiosk without having to rely on touch. IN2 Access & Control Ltd. was able to facilitate a solution using CleanSwitch hands-free technology from BBC Bircher Smart Access. As BBC Bircher’s distribution partner for the UK and Ireland, IN2 Access was in a unique position to offer Commend UK support.
Derek Foreman, Managing Director at IN2 Access recalls, “I was speaking with the BBC Bircher representative about a recent global pricing agreement with the Commend Group. I then got in touch with Commend UK as Bircher’s UK distribution partner and said we would be happy to help in any way we could with UK projects – whether it be technical support or pricing.”
The result of the nearly two-year development process was Commend UK’s smart kiosk model “OD22” featuring a sleek free-standing enclosure housing a 22-inch portrait-oriented screen made of toughened glass, and two contact-free calling buttons (it can also be wall mounted). According to Commend UK, the kiosk runs on the Commend Symphony platform – a cloud-based intercom system built around the principles of “privacy and security.” The kiosk also has a cloud-based marketing engine which powers the on-screen display.
The two contact-free calling buttons located beneath the screen is where IN2 Access and BBC Bircher come into the picture. Former Solutions Manager at Commend UK, Rory Martin, spoke with Derek to identify a potential solution using the award-winning CleanSwitch – winner of the 2018 Red Dot Design Award.
CleanSwitch offers contact-free activation up to 50cm away using microwave technology. The switch is commonly used in settings with stringent hygiene requirements, such as medical facilities or restaurants. It’s also commonly used in high traffic areas such as public toilets. CleanSwitch allows users to wave their hand in front of the panel to open or unlock automatic doors. It is available in white or black housing, and over a dozen icons are available to customise the faceplate. Additionally, CleanSwitch can be specified with or without programmable optical LED feedback – giving visual feedback to the user that the switch has been activated.
IN2 Access supplied samples of CleanSwitch in white, no icons, with optical feedback for testing. This was fixed inside the lower portion of the kiosk mounted behind the opaque glass. One CleanSwitch was programmed to show blue, the other programmed green. The switches were repurposed to work with kiosk-specific functions. After samples were received, the Commend UK Solutions Manager responded that testing “went fantastically” and by early 2021, the new kiosk design was approved and signed off for production. IN2 Access is now the UK supply partner of the CleanSwitch to Commend UK with production of the OD22 smart kiosk being shipped globally.
“Taking on the expertise of so many others and bringing it together has been an extremely rewarding experience on the road to developing this product,” Rory Martin said. “The outcome is a multi-functional smart kiosk that can handle the first elements of a customer inquiry by providing dynamic information on the 22" screen. However, if human interaction is required, then the user is able to simply wave in-front of one of the illuminated contact-free buttons and the smart kiosk will initiate a call to an operator that can provide further assistance with communicative audio and video.”
Derek Foreman adds, “IN2 Access is happy to provide support for innovative projects such as Commend UK’s OD22 kiosk. With over 25 years’ expertise in the access control and automated gate industry, we’re confident in providing the kind of service and support needed to make these types of projects a success and take pride in UK innovation.”
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For details about BBC Bircher products in the UK, contact IN2 Access & Control Ltd., official distribution partner for UK and Ireland: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 1691 655150 or visit www.in2access.co.uk.
All photos courtesy of Commend UK Ltd., BBC Bircher Smart Access, and IN2 Access & Control Ltd.