At our offices in downtown Ottawa, we have a problem where our door requires a biometric thumbprint scan in order to get in so we have to rely on people knocking to receive guests and deliveries. This doesn’t work so well when everyone in the office has headphones on and we can’t hear anyone knocking. The great thing is that we all have BlackBerry PlayBooks at our desk and the video chat system can act as a visual notification so you can not only know when someone is at the door, but you can see who is there too.
To get started, I purchased a Defender Series Case by Otterbox for the BlackBerry PlayBook. I then drilled a couple holes in the case and mounted it on the wall. The PlayBook gets a WiFi signal from inside our office and it’s strong enough to initiate video chats. I’ll need a little note that explains how to activate the PlayBook if it’s in sleep mode, as well as a brief explanation of the Intercom system.
This is just the beginning and sort of a pilot run for the project. I’ll need to find a permanent power solution for the PlayBook and drill a power cord through the wall. Also, I’d like something a little more secure for the PlayBook. There’s a security camera that monitors the floor as well as the PlayBook, so anyone in the building would be caught on camera, but ideally there’s a better way to secure the PlayBook from theft. I’m thinking of cementing the case shut once the power solution is in place. It’s nearly impossible to rip off the wall and cementing the case shut would ensure it can’t be removed.
Another phase of the project will involve actually creating a receptionist app for the PlayBook. Ideally, it will act a little like ReceptionMSSNGR but with a video component. Anyone want to develop it with me? We can sell it to enterprise too.
If anyone has suggestions on how this project can be improved, please leave a comment. RIM, you should really be doing something like this at the your offices. Get rid of all your receptionists and replace them with PlayBooks. Apologies to any receptionists I’ve offended.