VIBA: Leveraging Automation, AI & Ml To Streamline Visitor Experience Through Interactive Pod & Gamut Of Options For Added Safety & Security

Sridhar Reddy Velmajala,  Founder & CEOIn today's era of digitalization and advanced technology, the potential of Artificial Intelligence and robotics has reached its pinnacle. Today, automation is redefining the way of living and is impacting every aspect of humanity. Over time, workspace automation has been gaining momentum in the workplace, especially in the manufacturing and IT sectors, through automating business processes, improving consistency, and transforming business. While firms across the globe have started embracing workspace automation at their workplace, India is still following conventional workplace practices and has a long way to go.

To ease workplace operations and enhance efficiency, Viba, a Hyderabad-based AI and cloud product-based firm, has developed its cloud-based touchless attendance management system to provide a seamless visitor and attendance management experience at the workplace. The firm was founded by Sridhar Reddy Velmajala in 2021. Sridhar is an accomplished professional with more than 15 years of experience in UI/UX Design and Development and has worked for many reputed organizations, such as EBAY, PAYPAL, HOMEDEPOT, Kaplan, Walt Disney World, AIG, TIAA, Cognizant, and Capgemini in the past.

Idea Behind Inception
During the pandemic, Sridhar found a gap in the market, especially in the educational, IT, and manufacturing sectors, in terms of safety and security measures. There is no proper mechanism or procedure to find out what went wrong in case of any mishap during the check-in or attendance process. Even there is no way to authenticate the phone numbers provided by visitors at the firms. Organizations in India are still using logbooks to maintain the visitors’ records. Similarly, educational institutes are using RFID cards and thumbprints to record attendances, which are very much prone to hacking and spamming.Through its attendance management system, Viba expects to streamline the customer experience while providing a gamut of options for added safety and security.

Check-in Experience through AIML Automation
Coming to the operation, Viba helps streamline the check-in experience for different users, such as employees, students, and visitors, at their workplaces and educational institutes. The operation of the system starts with greeting the user. The Viba system then collects their information and authenticates that information. Then it makes sure the data is captured by the system through AI and ML before sending it to the right department. For instance, if a person comes for an interview, the Viba system will first capture the user information. If the user has come for the interview, Viba will send the information to the HR department. Similarly, if the user has come for a meeting, Viba will send the information to the administration department. The whole process is completely automated. The admin team can set up the workflow of their Viba system through the workflow management system in the admin app.

The Viba system has various AIML features, such as facial recognition, master detection, two-way communication, ring the bell, visitor badge, emergency alerts, notifications, and so on. Based on current needs, the Viba team also has added a temperature check feature to tackle the uncertainty of the pandemic. Two way communication mostly takes place between the visitor and administration department or HR department or anyone set by the admin in the workflows. Similarly, there will be a badge dispenser to dispense the visitor badge after a visitor checks in. The badge will provide various information, such as the visitor's purpose, whom he/she is meeting, time of check-in, and so on. Viba has introduced the temperature check feature based on the current health and security needs. When a user comes in, Viba will check the user's temperature, and in case the temperature is high, it will send the notification to the admin team, and they can
connect with the user through video calling. It's up to the HR department to take a call on whether the user can be allowed to the premises or not.

Once the user enters the office, Viba first tries to detect the user's face and then his/ her body temperature. If the temperature is normal, it will continue with the rest of the flow. Otherwise, Viba connects the user to the HR department over a video call, where the HR will take a call whether the user is allowed or not. All these processes are captured and saved in the database, which can be seen by the HR department or the administration department based on the rights they are given. There are also different workflows based on the visitors, such as new and existing visitors. While there is a precustomized set of questions for first time visitors, Viba will identify if the visitor revisits and will just ask one additional question before allowing the user to check in.

In case the user is working from the office, Viba is providing a mobile app for the employees. Viba captures the user's location and based on the user's location, it sets up the workflow for either working from home or working from the office. All this information can be pulled out by the HR team at a later stage for evaluation or appraisal process. According to Sridhar Reddy Velmajala, Founder & CEO, Viba, “It doesn't matter whether it's an employee or visitor, Viba will try to find whoever goes and stands in front of the KIOSK. The simple logic is that the user is an employee, in case the data is already there in the system. Otherwise, he becomes a visitor. Similarly, for a first time visitor, the flow will be selected for a fresh visitor, and in case of a second time visitor, Viba will ask some additional questions and then sends the user to the required department”.

Through its attendance management system, Viba expects to streamline the customer experience while providing a gamut of options for added safety & security

Coming to the technologies involved, the Viba team uses Python for the AIML side and a native android machine library for the mobile app. The team has utilized React.js for the front-end and Node.js for the back-end. Viba is providing two kiosk model options to its clients. The first one is the basic model, where the client can use their tablet or buy from Viba. Viba will then deploy it at the client's location, which is a straightforward tablet with a small stand. The second model is more of a KIOSK model and has various features, such as the temperature check feature, check-in check-out indicators, and much more. Viba is selling these two models along with the software to its clients. The firm is using python and ML libraries for the KIOSK AIML and Node.js for the backend.

Seamless Onboarding Process
The onboarding process for the clients starts with the signup. Later, Viba collects their data, such as company data, super admin data, one or two admin data, email, phone number, and additional details about the company. Viba then enforces the admin data into the super admin module. While Viba has plans to automate the admin data enforcing process in the future, presently, the whole process of creating an admin account is done manually. Once the accounts have been created, the super admin will get an email, where he/she can set up the account by providing some additional data, such as company information, holiday information, employee information, business hours and timings, and so on.

The super admin can also add additional admins on top of it and can also set up custom workflows in the admin module to automate the whole check-in process. For example, the super admins can set up where the visitor needs to go once he/she has come for the interview, who to meet or how many hours he/she can spend at the office, and so on. The super admins can also set up the questions to be asked by Viba to the users. Once the account setup is done, Viba will deploy the KIOSK at the clients' place based on the model they have selected. From there, Viba starts identifying the user and selects the workflow accordingly. For example, if the user is a visitor, the flow will be selected as the visitor flow, and in the case of an employee, the flow will be selected as the employee flow.

Future roadmaps
Coming to future roadmaps, Viba has already entered the market and has deployed a few installations at educational institutes and places. In the next 18 months, the firm has plans to grab the market, especially in the educational and manufacturing sectors while deploying the maximum number of visitors. The firm is also working on its Student attendance management system in parallel and is planning to release it to the market by mid-2024. With the help of the KIOSK, Viba is planning to completely automate the attendance management system in educational institutes. Even the teachers can access the attendance report of the individual student from the Viba mobile app.

Viba is also working on adding a control mechanism in the KIOSK that will be able to detect unexpected events, such as fire accidents or smoke, and send triggers to corresponding departments. Apart from these, the firm is also working on adding CCTV features to control unauthorized access. “Our ultimate goal is to see at least 80 to 90 percent of the educational institutions and manufacturing plants use our Viba application in the next three years to streamline safety and security and control the user check-in operations at workplaces", adds Sridhar.