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Palmer Digital Group completes voice AI pilot program 

National QSR chain will roll out PDG’s outdoor digital menu boards with voice AI technology to all drive-thrus beginning early next year

Palmer Digital Group, a full-service supplier and installer of custom indoor and outdoor digital kiosks, display enclosures, and drive-thru digital menu boards, has successfully completed a pilot program with a major QSR that confirms interoperability between its outdoor digital menu board systems (PDG QSRDMB155) and third-party Voice AI technology built into its network infrastructure. The eight-month pilot program was tested at six of the QSR’s flagship stores, and the new Voice AI-enabled systems will begin deploying to stores early in 2024. Deployments are expected to continue into 2025.

PDG has recently adjusted design characteristics to ensure protection and reliable operability for the new Voice AI technology across the entire PDG ODMB product line. This includes a camera enclosure with swivel to track customers as they order, special speaker and mic enclosures, and electronic component enclosures, all of which protect against weather-related intrusions, vandalism and other damage. PDG’s ODMB series offers single, double, and triple display configurations, with display sizes of 46, 49, and 55in.

AI can provide a range of benefits for restaurant owners, from gaining insights into customer behaviours to automating tasks and improving efficiency. This customer was particularly interested in how Voice AI technology could bring additional layers of confidence to the customer, and shorten conversational flows to expedite the ordering process and reduce the time of each customer journey.

“We worked closely with our customer’s preferred software vendor to ensure that our combined solution would help drive-thrus improve speed of service,” said Chuck Lewis, vice president, Palmer Digital Group. “Our ODMB’s are achieving this through bright high-quality displays that provide plenty of real estate for menu item presentation, and adding this Voice AI option further accelerates the ordering process through simple voice prompts that keep the conversation moving forward step by step. This same technology will make it easier for our customer to track orders and ensure they are being prepared as quickly as possible.”

Lewis added that PDG is also working with two large property developers to design custom AI-enabled outdoor touchscreen kiosks at large premium outlet malls. In this case, AI will be used to gather demographics for suggestive selling based primarily on age and gender. “The camera will play an important role here in gathering demographics once the customer initiates the Voice AI application through a query,” he said. “We worked very closely with this customer as well as our QSR customer to understanding the exact hardware and network infrastructure needed to support their AI visions.”