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McGill Pioneers Use of Java in DaimlerChrysler’s Interactive Kiosks
Detroit: January 11, 2002 – McGill, the developer of DaimlerChrysler’s interactive product kiosks, has expanded the use of Java beyond the Internet. The Chrysler Group’s Vehicle Information Center (VIC) and Multi-Purpose Kiosk (MPK) are used as sales support and vehicle marketing tools by thousands of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers in North America. 16 of these state-of-the-art kiosks can be found at the North American International Auto show in Detroit this weekend. These kiosks now use Java as their programming language.
Java helps McGill deliver its vision of a central database that ensures uniform brand communication across all points of consumer contact. As Java is platform-independent, centrally located data can be imported to kiosks, the Internet, dealer training materials, and wireless equipment in a consistent way. This is done using McGill’s proprietary SpectrumTM technology. Lead Java Architect Alex De Armero says, "Spectrum TM is a product built for easy customization and is maintenance free". The VIC and MPK kiosks use the same engine, based on Java 1.3.1, and have multimedia capabilities and XML plus non-standard database components specifically built by DaimlerChrysler. The engine is able to deliver over one billion vehicle configurations including model, packages, engines, transmissions, options, accessories, exterior colors and seats, plus the configured price. The target presentation interface can be customized to be a standalone Java application (like VIC and MPK), to be a web Java-based application or use bridges to communicate with other technologies.
The application is 100% data-driven, which creates dramatic cost savings for DaimlerChrysler in the updating of information, and speeds the delivery of updates to the market.
The kiosks, which feature a touch screen, over 10,000 graphics, and the option to configure by brand, have also had new features added based on customer feedback. According to McGill Chairman and Founder Rob Whent, “Even though our VIC and MPK kiosks were the standard for electronic in-dealership customer presentation, we were still looking for ways to improve the product. Innovations like this ensure that our applications deliver the best results possible.”
About the Kiosks:
DaimlerChrysler and McGill’s VIC and MPK are an army of kiosks that provide information about DaimlerChrysler products to consumers. The kiosks allow customers to look up and print information about vehicles.
Bill Hines, DaimlerChrysler’s Kiosk Communications Specialist says, “VIC provides our consumers, and our employees the ability to see all of the products…they can go to VIC and configure a vehicle, obtain an MSRP price, and they can see MOPAR options that go on that vehicle. They can even see concept cars that we show at the auto shows.”
While the two applications are similar, the VIC kiosk is used in dealerships, and MPK is deployed at special events, such as auto shows, Jeep Jamborees, Chrysler Showcases, and the like. MPK adds such features as a dealer locator, tracking functionality, and a means for customers to request further product information.
Less than a year after its debut last fall, over 3,500 DaimlerChrysler dealerships have purchased the VIC kiosk. Other dealerships have purchased the VIC software only. The kiosk, built by VPI (Visual Productions Inc.) contains an IBM NetVista PC with Pentium 3, and a DVD–ROM drive which also allows dealership personnel to run DaimlerChrysler Academy training courses, developed by McGill and Pentamark USA.
Since 1987, McGill has been an award-winning provider of Outsourced Professional Interactive Services.
McGill has built their reputation by working as trusted partners with world-renowned agencies who view interactive technology as a means to add value to their client proposition. Through a collaborative process, McGill delivers effective e-learning, e-sales support, e-marketing and e-commerce solutions.
McGill’s unique offering is threefold: they begin by developing Client-Focused Strategies that are then applied to a User-Focused Architecture, and implemented by means of a High-Performance Delivery system. The results of this approach are Enlightened Digital Solutions that deliver measurable results and exceed all expectations.
Visit McGill at www.mcgill.com or contact Greg Sullivan for more information: [email protected], (800) 335-0028, ext: 136.