COMPUTING - KIOSK
A while back Self Service Kiosks were looked down upon; however, only recently they started to gain momentum and solve various problems in day to day business activities. Recently there has been successful deployed in various sectors. A successful kiosk deployment not only replaces a service more efficiently but also meets the demand for a service that is not currently happening.
Types of Kiosk
Self-Service Kiosks are mainly used for providing a service such as taking payment from customers, print certified documents, issue licenses/ID cards, or perform a booking or a reservation. They are used in the following industries:
- Healthcare - Check in for appointments, updates on test reports.
- Government - Citizens can print government ID cards directly at the Kiosk.
- Corporate - Visitor registration facility (printing badges), facility for staff to update details for HR purposes.
- Industrial - Digital job cards, recording task data, reporting issues and project reports.
- Banking - Deposits and withdrawal machines are considered forms of Self Service kiosks.
- Retail and showrooms - Pay your mobile bill, buy a top up card, or perform account updates.
- Universities - Vast number of services that students perform such as request transcript, letter of attendance, student card replacement, etc…
- Schools - Registration kiosks to allow visitors to register themselves before entering the school, against a pre-defined visitor/check list.
- Events - Badge printing to fast track delegates with pre-registered tickets using barcode scanner. Barcode scanner and badge printer are integrated into the kiosk.
Information Kiosks provides information to the users of the system. Information will be clear and concise, detailed where necessary with no need to reply on an advisor. User experience is important on information kiosks. Depending on the project all kiosks deployed can show the same information if required, however location aware kiosks can show relevant information at the scheduled times. They are used in the following industries:
- Health care - Patient kiosk which holds information about general health and the ability to print a selection of documents.
- Government - Tourist kiosk or landmark information kiosk that gives information to the visitor about the location/services with the ability to print.
- Corporate - Provide staff to print letters of identification, payslips etc
- Retail and showrooms - Provide a catalogue of products and services offered by the business.
- Schools - Display school awards, latest information, ability to print documents, school reports etc
- Events - Numerous uses including exhibitor list, or if allocated to an individual exhibitor it can display products/services, gather user details
Internet kiosks are predominantly found in public waiting areas such as airports, train stations, libraries, museums to name a few. They are used to provide free or paid internet service at that location.
In case of a power cut or breakdown, the kiosk would automatically restart and login to the last known functional state. If that doesn't work or if it's a hardware malfunction, it would alert the responsible technical person through text or email.
These kiosks are comfortable to use, more attractive than normal PC, supports anti-vandalism and operates without manual intervention.
A good kiosk deployment would allow the user to receive internet by having one of the following:
- Providing user mobile number and email where it can be used for marketing purposes in return for free internet.
- Pay with cash notes, or coins to receive the internet service. The kiosk automatically understands the note and the hourly rate, giving the user access to the internet. The kiosk is locked immediately after it times out.
As the name suggests these kiosks are used for helping people to know where exactly they are within the location, and what is nearby and how to get there.
Each kiosk is geo-fenced and is aware of its current location and all the locations around it. The map data is centrally controlled, and any updates are automatically uploaded to all kiosks at the same time.
The added advantage is that these kiosks can be programmed to interact with boarding passes, shop receipts and other objects to make it easy for the user to navigate to the desired location.
Kiosk maps can be one of three types:
- 2D wayfinding: Shows the top view of a building showing the different locations layered out on the map.
- 2.5D wayfinding: Along with the bird's eye view it gives a depth perspective to the 2D map. This is the most common method as it doesn't require 3D modeling, however , it can hold more data, visually clearer than 2D and can demonstrate interconnected multiple floors.
- 3D wayfinding: It demonstrates full 3D modeling of a building. This option gives the closest modeling of the real building. However, it is considered the most expensive.
They are found in many industries; however they are mostly in the following sectors:
- Airport Way finding Kiosk - Where passengers can find duty free shops, flight gates, business lounges, toilets, distance to them and the time it takes to get there.
- University indoor/outdoor way finding kiosks - Located inside the campus, allowing students to find a lecturers directory with their details and locations, room numbers, labs, etc… And outdoor units for large university campuses, giving students and visitors a way finding kiosk that can tell them where they are, surrounding buildings/accommodation and which buildings they can go to.
They are mainly used for advertisement purposes through Digital Signage systems or they can be interactive which means they can feature the benefit of being touch/interactive standing displays allowing users to engage with them.
Some of those features are listed below:
- NFC module provides the user the ability to send information about a specific ad from the screen to their mobile device.
- Wi-Fi Hotspot module that allow the standing display to be used as a hotspot providing internet to the users standing around it thus attracting users to stick around and watch the content being shown on the display.
- Audience Measurement tool which allows the system to give the administrator a function to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement/information shown on the screen by recording the behavior of users passing in front of the Kiosk. Information such as their gender and age, and statistical data such as how many times did they look at the screen, how many minutes did they look at the screen, when is the most active times of the day etc
- Interactive Audience Measurement does all the same functions as the audience measurement tool, in addition to the additional functionality to tailor the content being shown on the screen depending on the audience currently standing in front of the display. So for instance if the audience standing in front of the screen are young males, an ad promoting a product to young males will be shown on the screen. This call can be done by a combination between the interactive totem and a digital signage system that supports audience measurement.