This Wednesday, Las Vegas startup WinTech announced $1.7 million in funding for its first product, the ALICE virtual receptionist.
ALICE, which stands for “a live, interactive customer experience,” is a flatscreen computer on a desktop, wall, or kiosk that goes in your business’s lobby. When someone walks in, ALICE detects motion and automatically plays a welcome message, prompting you to choose which employee you’re meeting with. Alternatively, ALICE can automatically connect to an employee (like a live receptionist) and start a video chat, so the guest is greeted by a real person.
CTO Mike Yoder sees this as an improvement for offices with no receptionist, which use unwelcoming options like a bell to ring or a telephone with a list of extensions.
“That’s a bad user experience for visitors coming to a building,” says Yoder. “We see this as bringing more professionalism and face-to-face interactions – greeting visitors as they come in – for those companies who have lost that.”
For companies with multiple locations, ALICE allows one live receptionist to monitor multiple lobbies, getting a notification every time someone walks in. Since launching in January 2012, WinTech has recruited over 50 companies to make their receptionist virtual.
The investors for this round of funding were not disclosed. WinTech will use the $1.7 million to expand sales and distribution, and launch a mobile version of ALICE at SXSW in early March. You can find them there at the #VegasTech booth.