Emerging Tech Brief — VR news and AR news

We track VR and AR and here is some of the recent news.VR news

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger has no interest in using VR headsets at the company’s theme parks. This is a response to rival theme parks, like Six Flags and SeaWorld, integrating VR headsets to rides. Instead, Iger is open to using AR technology on rides and attractions. Disney’s CEO also said that he makes a weekly trip to the company’s engineering lab, where he wears a head-worn device that enables him to hold a light saber and duel with a storm trooper. This could be a reference to Disney’s partnership with VR startup Magic Leap. — LAT

Facebook could be working on an AR product. The social media giant assembled a roster of tech veterans last year to lead its hardware group, Building 8. Business Insider has learned that the team has been working on augmented reality, cameras and brain scanning technology. Although Facebook has no experience in selling hardware, the moves indicate they may be ready to take on the new and ambitious effort.— BI

According to research from Frank N. Magid Associates, 89% of VR headset buyers said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the product. When asked about their willingness to recommend a VR product to family and friends, 81% said they would. 90% of buyers found their device easy or very easy to use and 85% believed their headset purchase was a good value. In terms of the content being viewed on the headset, 72% said they watch non-gaming content on their headset, which outpaced 63% of users who play games on their headset. — DEALERSCOPE

Gorillaz have released a VR music video in anticipation of their new album, Humanz. Directed by Jamie Hewlett, “Saturnz Barz,” is a six-minute VR short film that follows the British virtual band on a journey through space. Viewers can also hear snippets of yet-to-be-released tracks from the album, set to release April 28. The video can be viewed through YouTube’s VR app. — UPLOADVR

Some museums in the U.S. are adding VR exhibits to attract more visitors. For instance, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has added theBlu, a VR experience that lets visitors explore the virtual ocean. Wevr, the VR company behind the exhibit, loaned the computers and equipment to the museum. “We think that out of home venues such as museums are a terrific space for the public to have their first experience in virtual reality,” Wevr CEO Neville Spiteri told Marketplace. — MARKETPLACE

NCAA March Madness will be available for viewing in VR. Starting with the “Sweet 16” game series, Samsung Gear VR users can download the NCAA March Madness Live VR app to watch the tournament in VR. The app is available for free from the Oculus store, but will cost $2.99 to watch one game, or $7.99 to watch six games. The VR coverage includes arena sounds, multiple court side cameras and VR-specific commentary. — NEW ATLAS

Apple has introduced Clips, a new iOS app that allows users to add filters, text and graphics to photos and video. Some have speculated that the app could serve as a launchpad for the tech giant to test new AR features. Clips works very similar to mashup between iMovie and Snapchat, allowing users to add filters, basic text and contextual elements to video. Unlike Snapchat, users can edit videos of up to 60 minutes. Video clips can be exported to share via iMessage or to social media platforms. The app will be available for free and will be released in April. — THE VERGE

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce used VR at SXSW to recruit candidates to work at tech firms in the city. Hundreds of potential employees experienced the sights and sounds of Atlanta through a VR headset. “Virtual reality is a great way to actually transport somebody from the other side of the country to your headquarters here to see what it’s like to work here,” said Dave Beck, co-founder of Atlanta-based VR firm Foundry 45,  who was recruiting candidates at the conference. — WABE 90.1

Apollo Box is opening up its AR product visualization technology to all brands interested in selling through its platform. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup believes AR can encourage online shopping. Since testing its beta of the product, Apollo Box has sold 1,105 items involving the use of AR. Only 65 products are available for sale on the marketplace through AR, but company co-founder Will Li believes that number will grow. “We believe more brands will work with us after this public launch, and we hope to reach 25 percent of our growing inventory in the next six months,” he told TechCrunch. — TECHCRUNCH

VR is finally getting to be good. I saw some stunning VR on the road, but it’s not enough. In talking with Mark Cuban he said something deep: until we stop getting only mind-blowing demos and games it won’t really go mainstream (he says someday soon we’ll use it to watch boring stuff, not just the amazing games and demo reel stuff that so far has mostly shipped). I say it won’t do that until phones can do six-degrees of freedom VR. Then you’ll see people use it for a wide variety of things, most important being personal media viewing. I’m advising a new company, Inception VR, that is aimed at exactly what Cuban is talking about.

 Watch for car companies to start figuring out they have important pieces (brand, stores, and SLAM maps) for mixed reality glasses too. Lots of deals will happen over the next year or two on that front.

Disney has developed software that allows users to interact with real objects while immersed in VR. The company’s research team released a video demonstration showing someone immersed in VR accurately catching a real ball thrown at him. While the VR headset wearer cannot see the real ball, he is responding to a virtual ball being tracked to the physical object. The new system relies on a high-speed motion capture camera called OptiTrack Flex 13, which was previously used by a quadriplegic to drive a race car using subtle head movements. — NEW ATLAS

Some Lowe’s stores are testing out an AR app that helps shoppers find products on your list faster. The app is powered by Google Tango, an indoor-mapping technology that uses special cameras to sense depth in 3D space. This technology can measure objects, map a room and see virtual objects in the real world with AR. The app guides shoppers throughout the store with text and image overlays on their smartphones. Currently, only the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro works with Google Tango, but more Tango-enabled devices are on the way. — CNET

A new AR experience from Pottery Barn allows shoppers to see how a product looks in their home before they buy. The retailer teamed up with Google to create 3D Room View. The app allows shoppers to pick items from an online catalog and use their smartphone cameras to overlay the product into their home. The app is also powered by Google Tango and is only available on Tango-enabled devices. — SF CHRONICLE

SVVR 2017: Silicon Valley VR Expo: March 29-31st

Universal Music Group has signed a deal with MelodyVR to create and distribute content with UMG’s roster of artists. The companies will share revenue generated from the content, as it will exclusively be available on MelodyVR’s upcoming app. The VR company will have the rights to the content for an unspecified amount of time before it is opened up to both parties to distribute and monetize on their own channels. The company has also struck a similar deal with Warner Music Group. MelodyVR specializes in creating VR live-music experiences. — BILLBOARD

AccuWeather’s new VR experience lets viewers see forecasts in virtual reality. The app, available for the Samsung Gear VR, provides immersive weather news, innovative forecasts and 360-degree video of severe weather events. New videos will be added to the app weekly. The app is now available through the Oculus Store. — ENGADGET ​

The Washington Post will begin regularly using augmented reality to add another dimension to its reporting. The Post previously used AR to augment its reporting in 2015 to illustrate the lead-up to Freddie Gray’s arrest and death in Baltimore, but at the time readers needed to download a dedicated app to access the content. The newspaper’s new AR campaign will involve capabilities that have since been built into the Post’s two content-providing apps. The paper will launch one AR experience this spring for a series by art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott. At this point, the plan is for the post to dole out an additional AR story once time per quarter. Joey Marburger, the newspaper’s director of product, says, “We’re still very skeptical about AR as well, but… everyone’s got an AR device in their pocket. That’s potential scale there.” – DIGIDAY

 

Six Flags New England is adding virtual reality to its Mind Eraser roller coaster, calling it “the world’s first mixed reality experience on a VR coaster.” A ride on the existing Mind Eraser coaster now offers the option of an additional “Galactic Attack” experience, which riders can access via Gear VR headsets. The headsets offer pass-through camera functionality, meaning riders can see their VR content as well as their actual surroundings. – MASSLIVE
General Electric found that augmented reality improves worker performance. AR smart glasses are being introduced in manufacturing, warehousing and field service environments, which can be used to overlay information for training purposes. In a study, GE found that a technician wiring a wind turbine’s control box using an AR headset for instructions was 34% more productive than one using a paper-based manual. GE also found warehouse workers receiving a new picklist order through AR completed the task 46% faster than those using the standard process. The company believes that AR technology will be instrumental in closing the skill gap that is responsible for the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers. — HBR

Oculus has cut prices on the Rift and the Touch Controller. Under the reduced pricing, the Rift and Touch combination is available for $598, amounting to $100 off each piece of VR hardware. The discount also applies to each device if purchased separately. Brendan Iribe, head of the Oculus group, has denied that the price cut is a response to slow sales: “VR is a whole new platform and medium, it’s the first time people are putting a computer on their head. We are cutting the price to bring VR to more people, and that’s always been our goal.” Earlier this week, Oculus announced eight new game titles. (HTC has announced it will not be matching Oculus’ price cut for their Vive headset.). – USAT

Google will make more VR content available through its Chrome browser via an update featuring WebVR technology. As part of a blog post Google published yesterday, the company announced that Chrome will now support WebVR tech, which enables online VRexperiences and is backed by many tech industry giants, like Firefox, Samsung, and Facebook. The add to Chrome boosts WebVR’s profile and greatly expands the platform VRdesigners have to display their creations. Those with access to a Daydream-ready smartphone or a Daydream View headset will find it is “as easy to step inside Air Force One as it is to access your favorite webpage,” according to Google. – MASHABLE

Best Buy and Oculus are closing nearly half of their Oculus Rift pop-up demo stations, reportedly due to slow performance. The installations let interested shoppers try out high-end VR for free, but they reportedly went days without anyone requesting a demo, according to employees. They also said some locations would sell only a few headsets per week during the holidays, and interest quickly declined after that. An Oculus spokesperson said the closures were due to “seasonal change” and noted that other retail outlets like Microsoft stores still offer demonstrations. – VERGE




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American Council of the Blind sues Eatsa over kiosk and app access

The American Council of the Blind has sued Eatsa, a fast-food chain that uses automated self-service kiosks and ordering apps, over insufficient access, according to a press release. Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit legal center, filed

Source: www.fastcasual.com

Its pretty simple providing some access for the blind, doesn’t have to be every single machine. Somebody did not think this thru…




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Arapahoe County installs new dmv kiosk for license plate renewals

Getting in and out of the DMV in a matter of minutes sounds impossible, but Arapahoe County just installed new self-service kiosks for people who just need to renew their license plates.

Source: www.9news.com

Nice DMV kiosk installed in Colorado. Looks like Frank Mayer unit

dmv kiosk frank mayer
Click for full size image. Video story follow the link to 9news.



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Meridian announces fuseEV self-service charging station for electric cars

charging stationMeridian Kiosks, the leading pioneer in self-service solutions, announces a new, innovative EV charging solution. “It’s something that Meridian has wanted to develop for quite a few years now, so we’re excited to finally introduce this addition to our product line,” said Chris Gilder, Meridian CEO. Meridian will showcase their new product at DSE in Las Vegas on March 29th and March 30th. Meridian’s team will be exhibiting in Booth S25 in the Self-Service Pavilion.

On Wednesday, Meridian announced fuseEV, an interactive or non-interactive, self-service charging station for electric cars. Meridian combined its expertise in interactive digital signage with the company’s passion for eco-friendly solutions to create fuseEV. “The desire to provide this product stemmed from us looking to use EV vehicles as a company. While doing research we noticed the lack of infrastructure available for EV cars,” said Gilder. Electric vehicles are becoming more affordable and the miles per charge is increasing substantially. These new advances are creating a rise in electric cars on the road that will encourage production of electric vehicle charging stations, as the success of electric cars will be dependent on the availability of EV charging stations.

Complete press release




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QikServe unveils food order kiosk solution for hospitality sector

Multichannel ordering and payment leader targets growing trend for in-store self-service ordering

Edinburgh, UK – March 22, 2017 QikServe, the multichannel ordering and payment specialist, today announced that has rolled out a new solution for hospitality businesses that are looking to implement kiosk-based ordering and payment systems. The QikServe Kiosk Application is latest addition to QikServe’s suite of ordering and payment solutions, which also includes mobile, tablet and web-based applications.

The QikServe Kiosk Application gives operators a flexible, customizable platform for building their own self-service system. Operators combine brand logos, colors and images with QikServe’s intuitive user interface to deliver a unique self-service kiosk customer experience. Adding and updating product images, food and drink descriptions or relevant up-sell and cross-sell options, can all be easily managed by operators within the app.

In 2016, several restaurant giants made significant commitments to the implementation of self-order digital kiosk initiatives. Many hospitality operators view kiosks as the first step towards full mobile ordering, with no need to download an app or check in via mobile, customers are often more ready to engage via kiosks.

qik serve kiosk orderingThe QikServe Kiosk Application allows operators to capture guest data insights to intelligently optimize in-house operations, such as number of visits, most popular locations and kiosk positions, typical order spend, most ordered meals or successful upsells, peak self-service hours by day, week or month and more. This data can help operators optimize menus for greater spend and to provide enhanced experiences and services based on usage data.

“Kiosks offer hospitality operators more than just a new ordering option – they support operational efficiency by helping reduce queues and can provide eye-catching digital signage opportunities,” said Daniel Rodgers, CEO, QikServe. “Adding to our existing applications in mobile and web-based ordering our Kiosk Application provides operators with a fast, cost-effective way to implement self-service ordering using our purpose built screen flows and interface design that are designed to deliver great user experiences.”

QikServe’s Kiosk Application can be installed on any kiosk hardware running the widely used Universal Windows Platform, enabling secure, PCI-compliant payments via an integrated card-reading terminal that can be configured to accept payments types including Android Pay, Apple Pay, Chip and Pin, mag stripe and NFC Contactless.

About QikServe

QikServe’s patented technology allows hospitality operators to provide the ability to order and pay for food and drinks directly from any device. Using QikServe, guests can use mobile devices to order exactly what they want, when they want it. QikServe is available as a standalone, customer-branded app or can be fully integrated into hospitality operators’ existing mobile apps and POS platforms. It makes use of technologies such as in-store beacons or QR codes to alert customers to download and use the app. Once logged into the application, guests can open their check, add to their order, customize meals or room-service orders and pay for them from within the app.  With Gold Partner status in Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), QikServe is fully integrated into Oracle Hospitality’s Point of Sale (POS) platform; therefore customers who use Oracle’s POS solution can quickly deploy a fully-branded mobile order and payment service for their diners. www.qikserve.com

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Images and video available at: http://www.qikserve.com/index.php/press/

 Media contact:

Danny Sullivan

+44 772 497 4255

danny@sullivancomms.eu




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DSE & Kiosk Industry – Let’s Get On With the Show!

DSE ShowDSE is right around the corner. Here’s a glimpse of what’s happening in the self-service arena.

By Richard Slawsky contributor

Although next week’s Digital Signage Expo doesn’t include kiosks in its name, self-service devices will play a prominent role in the show.

DSE, produced by Exponation LLC, is co-located with the Digital Content Show, and will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 28-31, with access to the Exhibit Hall March 29-30. The show is the world’s largest and oldest conference and trade show dedicated to showcasing digital display and interactive technology solutions. More than 200 exhibitors will be featuring technology and services ranging from the latest in displays, media players, software and networking devices to delivery methods, content and more. In addition, more than 75 conferences, seminars and roundtable discussions will held over the show’s four-day run.

Many of those exhibits and discussions will showcase self-service kiosks and associated technology.

“Kiosk technology fits perfectly with the direction of DSE,” said DSE show director Andrea Varrone. “We are seeing more and more adoption of self-service technology across all vertical markets, and in most cases this is the same buyer for digital signage technology.”

And along with some of the top names in the digital signage industry, many members of the Kiosk Industry Group will be in attendance as well. Here’s just a sampling of what will be on display.

Olea to showcase drive-thru kiosks

Olea Kiosks will be presenting publicly for the first time its new Detroit drive-thru kiosk, geared for the fast-food market.

“More than 70 percent of revenue for most QSRs comes from the drive-thru window, and with our Detroit, operators can expect even greater results,” said CEO Frank Olea.

“Our kiosk gets the customer’s order right every time, never is rude to a customer and always remembers to ask for the up-sell,” Olea said. “Some deployers of our previous drive-thru kiosk saw it drive a 15-percent revenue increase. What’s more, the Detroit has been engineered to be 30 percent more energy efficient while costing less than the unit it replaces.”

The company will also be showcasing its ticketing kiosk, Olea said.

ticketing kiosk
Click for full size

“We’re very proud of this unit,” Olea said. “The art deco aesthetic and reliable all-weather functionality have made it a hit at one of California’s most popular amusement parks, for example. We believe there is a strong future for ticketing kiosks, and this unit represents the leadership we’ve been able to bring to the segment.”

And finally, Olea will be demonstrating its Milan kiosks. Available with four different monitor sizes, each able to be mounted portrait or landscape, they excel at virtual reception, wayfinding, product information and more.

“The Elo touchscreens we integrate allow users to operate two applications at once,” Olea said. “For example, one part of the screen can show features of, say, a new lawn mower, while another part of the screen can show the user where to find it.”

Olea Kiosks will be headquartered at Booth 350 during the show.  For a video of the company capabilities click here.

Meridian eyes the EV charging market

Meridian is excited to be unveiling InterAct 2.0, our interactive digital signage solution,” said Stephanie Mewherter, marketing manager with the Aberdeen, N.C.-based manufacturer of kiosks, digital signage and related software. “InterAct 2.0 boasts a sleek, refined UI with integrated real-time weather information and additional levels of customization that were not available in version 1.0.”

The company will also be showing the most recent addition to its product lineup, EV Charging Stations. In conjunction with an expected increase in EV sales, the global EV Charger market is forecast to grow from more than 1 million units in 2014 to more than 12.7 million units in 2020, according to a new EV Charging Infrastructure report by IHS Inc. That promises to open an entirely new placement opportunity for kiosks and digital signage.

Meridian’s EV Charging Station includes a 240V, 32-Amp Level 2 EVSE with a 25-foot charging cable and a sleek, interactive or non-interactive touch screen. The company will be located at Booth S25 on the show floor.

Alveni to show some appetizing solutions

Austin, Texas-based kiosk solutions provider Alveni is showing its new ergonomic digital signage/kiosk, code named “Yuum,” a versatile product that can accommodate touchscreens ranging from 32” to 55” in either landscape or portrait mode. Options for Yuum include a credit card/chip reader, pin pad, 80mm printer and a barcode reader.

The kiosks are ideal for wayfinding, human resources applications, surveys, ticket or coupon printing and much more, according to Alveni’s website.

Alveni will be located at Booth S20 during the show.

Kiosks & touchscreens from URway

URway Holdings will be highlighting its EuroTouch Kiosks brand at DSE along with Elo Aio Touchscreens.

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based URway Holdings is a group of dynamic companies−OneSource Interactive, EuroTouch Kiosks, URway Kiosks & PicsWare−specializing in unique interactive self-service kiosks, interactive and passive digital displays, digital directory and wayfinding displays, mobile and tablet solutions, managed digital services and strategic consulting.

EuroTouch Kiosks offers some of the world’s most contemporary and highest-quality kiosks and dynamic signage products in the industry, including a comprehensive series of indoor and outdoor kiosk and dynamic signage products for the most design-conscious clients and from the most elegant environments to the most demanding environments.

URway Holdings will be showcasing its products at Booth S12

It’s in the cards for Evolis

French company Evolis plans to show its range of four new card personalization modules at DSE, catering to the growing need for unattended card issuance for use in markets including banking, retail, education and transit. Of those, its KC200 and KC200B models will fit the most compact kiosks, while the KM500B and KM2000B models will meet the need for higher autonomy and continuous availability.

The modules offer cost-effective solutions to enable instant issuance of personalized plastic cards into any type of self-service kiosks. Plastic cards are used around the globe for ID badges, payment cards, transit passes, access badges, loyalty cards, student ID cards, national ID cards and more.

Visit Evolis at Booth S19, or click here for an advanced glimpse of their products.

OptConnect makes the connection

One of the major trends that has occurred in kiosks and digital signage over the past few years is that those devices have become thinner and smaller. The shrinking of those devices has created an increasing need for a tiny cellular router.

Kaysville, Utah-based OptConnect addresses this need with OptConnect neo, an ultra compact yet fully capable router that easily fits in the palm of your hand. About the size of a pack of gum, the plug-and-play neo eliminates the need for kiosk manufacturers to engineer and certify their own cellular hardware or to develop software drivers to keep USB modems working. In addition, neo’s self-monitoring logic automatically restores the cellular connection if it is interrupted, ensuring devices remain online.

OptConnect will be demonstrating its products at Booth S13 on the show floor.

In case that’s not enough

And if these exhibitors weren’t enough to keep attendees busy, making its second appearance at DSE is the Self-Service Pavilion, which debuted in 2016 as an acknowledgement to the rising adoption of self-service kiosks, tablets and other freestanding interactive displays and the convergence of kiosk and digital signage technology.

The Kiosk Industry Group was a driving  force in getting the SSP established, and it would not have been possible without the support and direction of industry leaders such as Olea Kiosks and others.

One of the original “designers” of the pavilion is Craig Keefner who manages the Kiosk Industry Group. Craig worked with Andrea Varrone of DSE on configuration and pricing. “Self-service, transactional and interactive are the complementary technology partners for digital signs. It was a chance to expand the show audience while creating a new ‘Kiosk Show’ within it,” said Craig. “Our hope is that in the future we can help support a Kiosk Council for DSE that comprises the experts in the industry. We have meetings at DSE to discuss that very effort”.

“The Self Service Pavilion was implemented after the show organizers realized how quickly self-service kiosks, tablets and other freestanding interactive displays were being adopted by the digital signage market,” said Meridian’s Mewherter. “The Self-Service Pavilion is a “one-stop-shop” to see all of the latest and greatest self-service solutions on the market today.”

Self Service Technology was an obvious product category to include in the DSE universe, said DSE’s Varrone.

“We created a small version of this for 2016, and expanded it for 2017 which now includes around 25 exhibitors,” Varrone said. “We are expanding the Self-Service Pavilion in 2018 even further. I see this as a huge growth area for our typical attendees (End Users in verticals like QSR and Retail).”

Along with the continuing addition of self-service technology to the show, Varrone expects DSE to continue expanding going forward, offering more and more growth and innovation.

“We are seeing many more attendees from verticals that were not as strong in previous years such as Higher Education, Corporate Communication and Transportation,” Varrone said. “We are also seeing new players coming into the market as providers of technology, such as traditional sign giants now making the transition to digital.”

Click here for a list of DSE exhibitors and here for a map of the show floor.

Kiosk Industry Members at DSE exhibiting include:

 




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Whitepaper – ADA, POS Terminal & Walmart

ADA KioskWhitepaper on ADA, POS Terminal and Walmart

Recently Walmart had a ruling in California go against it in the case of improper ADA access for its self-checkout terminals.  Here is part of the argument which settled the case.  Walmart settled the case but we of course were interested in why.

POS terminals allow customers to input sensitive and private information in a secure manner such as their Personal Information Number (PIN); submit debit or credit card data by swiping a payment card; verify, authorize or cancel a transaction; submit a signature; provide the consumer with the option to select to receive cash-back from their account; select an amount of cash back to be provided; and perform other affiliated tasks which involve inputting, correcting, cancelling or entering information that is personal or affects access to personal information and finances.

POS terminals at most stores are mounted at inaccessible heights so that customers who use wheelchairs or scooters have to struggle to process their payment securely or cannot see the display screens or independently use the terminals. For years store owners have known (or not) of the discriminatory impact of its inaccessible POS terminals for its customers with mobility disabilities, yet continues to provide only, -inaccessible devices in many of its stores. A reliable accessible mounting solution for POS terminals are now readily available that provides secure, independent and equal access.

As a result of the height and positioning of POS terminals at typical stores, -to successfully complete a transaction, many customers in wheelchairs and scooters are forced to struggle with inaccessible equipment during the purchase/check-out process.

Customers with disabilities must stretch and strain just to try and see the information displayed on these screens and enter the necessary PIN or sign for a credit card transaction. Often, customers with disabilities cannot see all the information that is displayed. At times, customers with disabilities cannot enter their PIN or sign their signatures without great difficulty if at all. Conducting debit and credit card transactions requires many of these customers to request assistance from cashiers to input information
and/or provide signatures on their behalf.

Some customers with disabilities who do not wish to reveal private information to cashiers or have cashiers sign on their behalf are completely precluded from using the POS terminals at checkout stands at stores. These customers are required to either use cash, which they may not wish to do for a variety of reasons, or leave the store without purchasing any items.

ada kiosk regulations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES:

Title III of the ADA entitles disabled individuals to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. §12182(a).  LINK)

Title III prohibits public accommodations from excluding an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, from participating in or benefiting from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or
accommodations of the entity or otherwise discriminating against a person on the basis of disability. 42
U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A)(i).  LINK)

Title III prohibits public accommodations from affording an individual or class of individuals with a disability, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, with the opportunity to participate in or benefit from a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is not equal to that afforded other individuals. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A)(ii). LINK)

Title III prohibits public accommodations from providing an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is different or separate from that provided to other individuals. 42 U.S.C. §12182(b)(1)(A)(iii). LINK)

Title III provides that goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations shall be afforded to an individual with a disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(l)(B).  LINK)

Title III provides that an individual with a disability shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in such programs or activities that are not separate or different. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(C). LINK)

Title III defines discrimination to include the failure of a public accommodation to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations to individuals with disabilities; to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied
services, segregated or otherwise treated differently that other individuals because of the absences of auxiliary aids and services; and to remove architectural barriers that are structural in nature, in existing facilities where such removal is readily achievable. 42 U.S.C. §12182(b)(2)(A)(ii)-(iv).  LINK)

Title III further defines discrimination as a public accommodation’s failure to design and construct
facilities that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities (later than 30 months
after July 26, 1990) and, with respect to a facility or part thereof that is altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of an establishment in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or part thereof, a failure to make alterations in such a manner that, to the maximum extent feasible the altered portions of the facility are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1)-(2).  LINK)

A place of public accommodation. See 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(E).  Link)

Merchants who violate Title III of the ADA by failing to make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that POS terminals are accessible to customers with mobility disabilities can face fines and an Accessibility TITLE III lawsuit.

Merchants who violate Title III of the ADA by failing to remove barriers to its POS terminals should have removal of such barriers to become readily achievable. A person who sues is likely entitled to injunctive relief. 42 U.S.C. § 12888. LINK)

IF IN CALIFORNIA:

A permanent injunction pursuant to the ADA and the Unruh Act requiring a merchant to institute and implement policies and procedures that ensure that individuals in wheelchairs or scooters have on discriminatory, full and equal independent access to POS terminals so that they may use credit or debit cards to conduct non-cash transactions when purchasing retail goods.

More Information

FactSheet_AB1521




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Application – Leftover foreign currency? There’s a cash recycling kiosk for that

Application Showcase – Leftover Cash and Coin recycling

Anyone who’s ever traveled outside the United States has been in a similar situation. They still have a few Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or Japanese yen in their pocket, but nowhere to spend them.

In many cases, the value of the currency would barely cover the exchange fees, so those extra coins and bills usually end up at the bottom of the sock drawer or given to the kids as mementos to show off to their friends.

A new kiosk project is offering another option for that leftover currency. The project, being pilot-tested by Los Angeles-based Leftovercash, allows those world travelers to exchange leftover coins and bills for gift cards and/or donate the equivalent amount in U.S. currency to the company’s charitable partner, The Giving Spirit. The charity assembles and distributes care packages to homeless men women, children, and families living on the streets of Los Angeles.

The project is the brainchild of Canadian-born Ferdinand Poon, who spent time as a CPA, an attorney and a Wall-Street equity analyst before hitting on the idea for the Leftovercash kiosk.

“I didn’t have any experience in the kiosk industry before embarking on the Leftovercash project,” Poon said. “I was looking for something that was a little more personally satisfying, and as someone who travels frequently this idea just struck me.”

Insert bills here

cash recycling kiosk
Click to see full size image

Poon initially worked with a college professor to develop the software, then contracted with Louisville, Colo.-based Kiosk Information Systems to build the prototype unit. The device is currently operating inside the Vicente Foods supermarket in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The Leftovercash kiosk accepts bills in the form of Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars, Japanese yen and Swiss francs as well as dollar-equivalent coins in those currencies. The unit features separate slots for bills and coins.

“We initially wanted to go with those currencies that were relatively stable, so there wouldn’t be an issue with fluctuating exchange rates,” Poon said. The company is considering adding Mexican pesos at some point in the future.

recycling kiosk
Click for full size image

To begin the exchange process, users enter their email address and zip code and are prompted to insert their bills and coins in the designated slots. Multiple types of currencies can be inserted in a single session. Once that’s done, they are presented with a total in U.S. dollars minus a $3.99 transaction fee. The user has the option of receiving a gift card and/or donating a portion to The Giving Spirit. Gift cards are exchanged in $10 denominations, with the user having the choice of donating the odd currency or inserting a debit or credit card to round up to the next $10 increment.

Donations are tax deductible, although Poon has found that most users don’t take advantage of that feature. At present, the gift cards can be used at the Vicente Foods where the kiosk is located, although it does have the capability to add gift cards and e-gift codes from other retailers such as Staples, Lowes and Overstock com.

Finding the fit

One of the questions Poon frequently fields is, “Why aren’t you locating Leftovercash kiosks in airports to capture those travelers as they come off international flights?” Although the question is a good one, Poon’s response is equally as good.

Anyone who’s ever tried to do business with their local airport authority knows doing so can be a costly affair in terms of rents and other fees. After all, a captive audience isn’t the only reason a cup of coffee at an airport restaurant costs $7 or more. The cost of placing a Leftovercash kiosk at the airport would likely either make it a money-loser or force Poon to raise transaction fees to a point where it simply wouldn’t be worthwhile

In addition, exchanging their currency for gift cards may not be top-of-mind for someone coming off a 6-hour flight and spending another hour going through customs and collecting their luggage.

“When you’re coming off an international flight, you’re probably not really interested in exchanging your currency and going shopping,” Poon said. “You just want to gather your bags and go home.”

On the other hand, nearly everyone would stop at the grocery store in the weeks following their international trip.
“With the grocery store, there’s a bit more immediacy to the process,” Poon said. “You can exchange your currency and use it right there in the store.”

And because locating a Leftovercash kiosk in a grocery store would likely result in additional sales for that store, a deployer would have leverage in negotiating payments for space, utilities and discounts off the face value of the gift cards.

For now, Poon is concentrating on tweaking the kiosk for maximum performance. Further out, his hope is to partner with an established kiosk company, a foreign exchange company, a travel-related company or other strategic investors on additional deployments.

“At the moment, we’re focusing on building a profitable kiosk,” Poon said.

Contact Leftover Cash for more information




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Self Service Group Launches Kiosk Financing and Services

SSG Kiosk Financing LogoSSG MSA, Inc. removes the barriers to Kiosk Implementation

March 16, 2017

SSG MSA, Inc., also known as the Self Service Group, provides partners with all that is needed to successfully introduce and support self-service solutions for their customers. This includes a comprehensive consultative process based on years of experience in the industry, ensuring that their clients receive fully functional and supported kiosk hardware and software, customized to their needs, with manageable payment options along with specialized support services.

The company’s suite of services includes personalized equipment financing, complete on-site installation and a comprehensive service and maintenance agreement. The Self Service Group was started by three industry veterans, Jim Brinton, CEO of Avanti Markets, Peter te Lintel Hekkert and Michael Masone, President and Vice President of Sales, respectively, at SlabbKiosks. Together, they have over 30 years of experience, having worked on thousands of kiosk projects for various industries; all of which included the design, manufacture and delivery of over 10,000 customized kiosk units, worldwide.

Having run a kiosk business for several years, it became obvious to us that there was a niche in the market that wasn’t being fulfilled,” commented Peter te Lintel Hekkert, one of the investors in the business and President of the well-known kiosk manufacturing company, SlabbKiosks. “Investment in the purchase of equipment might not be the best option for many companies, either due to their business model or because the kiosk solution they require is only needed for a specific period of time. SSG MSA, Inc. was created to provide a financially manageable all-in-one service, from hardware and software design and deployment to financing and maintenance of same.”

Businesses interested in learning more about the company’s services can visit www.selfservicegroup.com. The company provides comprehensive consultation with a fast and easy application process. Clients can choose from an extensive line of kiosk models or get customized solutions at an affordable, all-inclusive, monthly cost.

About SSG MSA, Inc.

SSG MSA, Inc. also know as the Self Service Group provides financing for kiosk hardware and software, including standard or customized solutions. The company also offers on-site installation as well as comprehensive service and maintenance agreements.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.selfservicegroup.com




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Albert J. Ellis Airport first digital library kiosk

digital library kioskJACKSONVILLE, Onslow County – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday for Albert J. Ellis Airport’s new digital library kiosk.

The kiosk is the first of its kind in the state. The idea for it came from the Onslow County Library. The kiosk allows passengers to scan through hundreds of books and then download them right to their phone, tablet or laptop for free.

“We want Albert J. Ellis Airport to stand out from other airports, but also, we want the library to extend its reach to the traveling public to visitors,” airport director Chris White said.

The kiosk costs about $15K. It was funded through a grant and donations to the Onslow County Library.




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Ford Introduces Automated Kiosk for Car Dropoff

FORD INTRODUCES AUTOMATED KIOSK TO SIMPLIFY SERVICE VISITS

Dropoff kiosk

Like an ATM for dealerships

Ford is testing an automated kiosk that allows customers to drop off and pick up their vehicles from the dealership at any time with the click of a button.

The Smart Service Kiosk, created with the help of Panasonic, launched at a Ford dealership in Michigan this January. After a test run of 90 days, Ford will consider expanding the service.

Click here for full article with pics

 

 Source: Ford



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Chrome expands business opportunities with Android Kiosk apps

See Google blog entry

Vidya Nagarajan

Over time, we’ve continued to create new and better ways to use Chrome devices. What started out as a secure, quick and shareable consumer laptop built on the Chrome browser has expanded to digital signage, now used in thousands of Toyota showrooms, small computing sticks called Chromebits, and kiosk devices that securely provide single use apps for both business employees and customers.

We’re continuing to invest in Chrome through recently launched hardware, more Chrome device management controls and the introduction of Android Kiosk apps on devices that support them. Many kiosk devices already rely on Android applications, so the addition of Android kiosk apps on Chrome is a natural expansion. It also broadens the possibilities for digital signs and kiosks on Chrome devices, providing the option of either a web or Android app approach.

Chrome version 57, coming soon, adds this support for Android kiosk apps as well as for kiosk application management. An app in Google Play can be pushed to a Chrome device and then be locked down so that the application is front and center.

That means an IT admin has the flexibility to install either Chrome Kiosk apps or Android Kiosk apps on managed devices through the Chrome Management console, which decreases deployment time and effort. Additionally, with Public Session Kiosks, an IT admin has the ability to install many more Chrome packaged apps and extensions in addition to hosted apps.

Kiosk app management

We’re also making it easier to manage Chrome devices with two additional developments.

First, we’re making it simple for you to sign up for a Chrome kiosk, doing away with complex domain registration and verification steps. Your name, email address and phone number is all you need to sign up and manage your devices. With this feature, we also provide two trial licenses so that you can get started immediately. Click here to learn more.

Second, we’re launching new Chrome Device Management (CDM) APIs for Kiosks. These APIs offer programmatic access to various Kiosk policies. IT admins can schedule a device reboot through the new APIs, for example, and integrate that functionality directly in a third party console. Additionally, we added a new stability API that allows Kiosk app developers to improve the reliability of the application and the system.

Many Chrome devices can take full advantage of these new features including the recently launched AOPEN Chromebox Mini and Chromebase Mini.

CrowdDJ Android app on Chromebase mini

Chromebase Mini is a full computing device with 10.1-inch touchscreen, which is ideal for customer-facing applications, even those that are Android-based. Australia-based Nightlife Music, for example, installs its crowdDJ Android app on these kiosk devices at dance clubs, gyms, hotels and other venues, letting customers control the beat. When paired with a display, the AOPEN Chromebox Mini also creates a compelling digital sign with Chrome and Android kiosk apps.

To learn more about the many new Chrome 57 features and see the AOPEN devices that can help build your business, come visit our booth at Next 2017this week or visit this page for additional information.




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