KioWare has added a new video conference kiosk product called KioCall that works with KioWare for Windows to add video conferencing to a kiosk.
Video conferencing (via externally run applications) has been available in the past but never has it been so simple to implement and cost effective to run.
KioWare has also released a new version of KioWare for Windows (version 8.9) with support for KioCall, and the addition of a few new supported devices.
From Jim Kruper President of KioWare, “KioCall is a game changer for adding video conferencing capabilities to your kiosk. With KioCall, video conferencing is reliable and robust while also extremely inexpensive and requires trivial effort to add to your device.”
KioWare kiosk software secures your application or website on Windows or Android devices, restricting user access to approved behaviors and protecting user and network data.
KioWare is fully customizable and offers solutions ranging from browser lockdown to full server-based kiosk management. From simple out of the box configurations to more complex integrations, KioWare is trusted by developers, IT professionals, marketers, Fortune 100 corporations, and small business owners. The KioWare team is based in York, Pennsylvania, with an office located in Reading, UK. Choose the best KioWare product for your self-service project and download a fully functioning free trial at KioWare.com.
Just two years into the state’s experiment in the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, Colorado businesses are on track see more than $1.3 billion in revenue from the sale of weed and related products. That’s a whopping 30 percent higher than the $1 billion those businesses took in last year.
Those results are similar to what’s being seen in Washington, the second state to go 420-friendly. Washington reached the $1 billion mark in July 2016, just 12 months after the first legal sale of recreational pot.
And that growth is sure to continue, especially as more and more states hop aboard the cannabis train.
But as with any business, a growing customer base brings with it an opportunity to serve those customers with technology. Cannabis and kiosks are proving to be a perfect match.
Growing like a weed
With the results of November’s election, the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been entirely legalized in eight states, with medical marijuana legal in 28 states.
While the approach of the incoming administration in regards to legalized marijuana remains to be seen, it’s likely that the movement has passed the point of no return.
Still, there are some sticky issues associated with the sale of marijuana. First and foremost is that despite it being legal at the state level, federal law still considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug, putting it on the same level with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
Because federal law prohibits financial institutions from processing payments from the sale of a Schedule 1 drug, for the most part the cannabis industry is an all-cash affair. Credit and debit card transactions just aren’t allowed.
Unfortunately, conducting business on an all-cash basis is fraught with risk. First and foremost is that having large amounts of cash on the premises makes a marijuana business a prime target for a robbery.
In June 2016, for example, a security guard at a suburban Denver dispensary was shot and killed during a robbery attempt. The killing of the guard, former Marine Travis Mason, was the first known on-the-job death at a licensed marijuana business in Colorado.
The same month, a medical marijuana dispensary owner in the Los Angeles area survived a shootout with two would-be robbers wearing masks and armored vests. The owner escaped unharmed, although the robbers were wounded when the owner fired his own weapon.
In addition to the outside threat, dispensary owners also face the potential of internal theft. Despite the amount of money flowing into the pot industry, dispensary workers start at or near the minimum wage. Handling thousands of dollars a day while taking home $10-12 an hour is likely to prove to be an overwhelming temptation for some seeking to supplement their income.
And that’s where the kiosk industry can help.
Fresno, Calif.-based Cannabis Cash Solutions, for example, is providing cash-handling kiosks for marijuana dispensaries that eliminate the need for employees to handle money. In addition, the devices store the cash in a secure vault until pickup by a manager or an armored car service
“What we’re doing with the kiosks is taking the money straight from the customer’s hands and putting it right into the vaults in our kiosks,” said Cannabis Cash Solutions CEO Andrew Savala. “The marijuana business doesn’t touch the cash at all.”
With Cannabis Cash Solutions kiosks, customers come up to the dispensary counter and interact with the dispensary’s “budtender,” who explains the different product choices available. Once the customer has made their choice the budtender directs them to the counter-mounted kiosk, where they insert their cash payment into a bill acceptor and receive their change. The kiosk recycles the cash inserted for use as change, minimizing the need for replenishing the change fund.
“Customers are still able to have that one-one-one interaction with the budtender,” Savala said. “The budtender can still spend as much time with them as they need answering the customer’s questions, they just don’t handle the cash.”
[Editor note – A total of 3.6 million vending machines will be online by 2020. CPI is the leader. Reference.]
And Denver-based ordering and payment platform provider Jane LLC has deployed its kiosks in Oregon, Nevada and Colorado, with plans to expand to California, Alaska and several other states. With Jane’s kiosks, customers can make their choice from a list of products displayed on the device’s touchscreen and pay at the kiosk. The customer then takes the receipt to the pickup counter to receive their purchase.
“We have been received with open arms in some locations, where others shut the door, priding themselves on the theory of ‘one-on-one customer experience, that’s our specialty and we don’t want to lose that.’,” said Karla Guarino, VP of Marketing/Operations with Jane LLC. “Every state has different rules and regulations which all have to be worked through. It’s an ongoing process, but an exciting one!”
Jane also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. With the app, customers place an order via their mobile device and enter their order number at the kiosks when they arrive at the dispensary. Those customers are also issued a receipt to be taken to the counter.
Jane’s devices also include EMV compliant card readers that are ready to accept transactions in anticipation of the eventual legalization of credit and debit card transactions for marijuana.
“We have been working very closely with our banking partner to ensure our processes are 100% compliant and ready to accept transactions at any time,” Guarino said.
On the horizon
San Francisco-based cannabis investor network The ArcView Group predicts legal sales to top $22.8 billion by 2020, meaning the opportunities for kiosk deployments are only going to continue to expand, both in the United States and around the world. In addition, the expected growth is driving the development of new solutions for the industry.
Several companies have introduced kiosks that actually dispense marijuana, verifying customers via biometrics. Most of those efforts have struggled, though.
Tempe, Ariz.-based American Green recalled all of its Zazzz cannabis vending machines in December 2015 in response to feedback from dispensary vendors and customers, and is retooling its automated vending program.
And Los Angeles-based vending kiosk provider Medbox rebranded itself as Notis Global in February 2016, shifting its focus to cultivation, production and consulting.
Still, the technology that would be required to dispense packages of marijuana is already being used to dispense other products. There may come a time when marijuana vending kiosks are as commonplace as those renting DVDs.
“I was reading an article recently about a company deploying kiosks to dispense packages of tea,” Estaitieh said. “If a kiosk can dispense tea it could easily dispense marijuana.”
The current struggle for acceptance of those types of kiosks may be due to the fact that they have been primarily located in dispensaries. If a customer is already in a dispensary, they may be inclined to simply go to the counter and talk with a bud tender.
Depending on traffic, though, there may be a day when customers will prefer to use a kiosk for convenience. And as medical marijuana becomes more accepted around the country, pharmacies may look at those types of kiosks as a way to compete with dispensaries.
There also may be opportunities for marijuana-dispensing kiosks outside the United States as other countries seek to cash in on changing attitudes. Jamaica, for example, is in talks on a plan to install cannabis kiosks at airports and seaports as part of a plan to boost government revenues.
Jamaica decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2015 and has legalized the use of medical marijuana, part of a plan to market the Caribbean nation as a destination for “wellness tourism” and the accompanying flow of cash.
“The thought is that if you are coming out of the airport, there is a kiosk that you can go to,” Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) Chairman Hyacinth Lightbourne told the Jamaican publication The Gleaner.
“It would primarily be for people who have a prescription and, in effect, you’re doing it for medicinal purposes with a permit from the Ministry of Health,” Lightbourne said. “If they don’t have a prescription, then they can do what we call ‘self-declare,’ and this will allow them [to purchase] two ounces while they are here.”
Despite this progress, most financial services providers still see compliance as a hurdle. Only about 300 of the more than 11,000 banks currently operating in the U.S. work with legal pot vendors.
“Paradoxically, most of the institutions nationwide that offer business to marijuana suppliers are small and very unhealthy; most are the ones desperate for income,” said Lamine Zarrad, founder and CEO of Tokken, a Denver-based blockchain startup.
Tokken sees the marijuana industry’s situation as comparable to other industries, and thus it can apply solutions that other markets use. Tokken uses bitcoin blockchain to peg marijuana transaction information to its blockchain so that banks and regulators have an immutable, time-stamped record. Information about each transaction is hashed and input on the bitcoin blockchain. In this way consumers, businesses, banks, regulators and law enforcement agencies can view the system and ensure there’s no tampering, Zarrad said.
Using the KioPay Point of Sale kiosk application and the Franklin Bill Payment kiosk by Olea, retailers can now deploy a fully integrated cash accepting kiosk for order processing and fulfillment. Learn more…
Queueing theory is the study of waiting in lines. Actual and perceived wait time can be positively impacted with the implementation of kiosks, effectively improving customer satisfaction, decreasing wait time, and increasing the number of transactions. Learn more…
Interactive kiosks are not a new concept. In fact, companies have been deploying them for more than 35 years. Kiosks have long been a tool used primarily by large organisations with multiple locations, large staffs and extensive budgets. As technology has evolved, new markets and opportunities continue to emerge, creating a broader definition of what a kiosk looks like, what it can do and who it can help. This evolution varies by geographic location and mature markets look significantly different when compared to nascent markets.
Like many nascent technological tools from this generation, kiosks have seen a complete re-imagining from their original form. The changes that have occurred have shifted the landscape of the kiosk industry significantly. Like much of the technology of the past 50 years, kiosks continue to become less expensive and more accessible, appealing to a broader group of organisations and potential deployers.
Kiosks are built using computing devices. Those computing devices have significantly dropped in price since their inception, with initial costs exceeding £5,200 and sizes that required large metal enclosures to protect from theft or damage. Those enclosures could also be costly and difficult to build. Add on the cost of developing a custom software application or a custom website, plus software to secure that application or website (now known as kiosk software), and the initial cost of one kiosk was quite prohibitive for most organisations.
Even as an emerging technology, scalability made traditional kiosks more cost effective. Once an enclosure was designed, building additional enclosures to the same specifications became less expensive. Similarly, the computer hardware and kiosk software became less expensive when purchased in quantity. More significantly, once an application was developed, the cost of that was negligible and benefited significantly by scaling.
Large corporations with multiple locations were able to leverage this scalability and deploy kiosks to improve customer experiences, increase sales, create brand awareness, decrease wait times and optimize staffing. Medium and small businesses continued to see little opportunity to utilize kiosks in a cost effective and affordable manner.
Then things changed. With the evolution of the computer and the creation of the tablet, both PCs and mobile devices have become more affordable to purchase and easier to enclose. As a result in the decreased size of PCs, the creation of the touch screen and the invention of the tablet, enclosure sizes can be reduced and at a lower cost. Out of the box enclosures can be purchased as a single unit or in cost saving quantities, without paying for a custom solution.
Software has also become more accessible as every business has the opportunity to create a website using an out-of-the-box content management system, easy to create online stores and low cost application development. Leveraging existing collateral, businesses can easily and inexpensively deploy one or multiple kiosks for a fraction of the cost of early kiosks.
If, as one might expect, larger organisations are a mature kiosk market (see ‘maturity’ in the above diagram) particularly in developed economies, the potential growth of that area is limited. Fortunately for the UK, in particular, there is an as yet untapped market for kiosk growth. Small and medium sized businesses make up 99.9 per cent of the UK’s private sector.
In particular, small business, sized at 49 employees or less, comprise 99.3 per cent of all private sector business in the UK.
The increased accessibility of kiosks benefits these small and medium-sized companies the most, allowing them to gain access to the technology without paying premium costs. Robust systems with external devices for payment processing can be purchased, configured and deployed for only a fraction of previous prices, opening the door for those who need one or two devices to take advantage of the technology. The fact that the majority of small and mediumsized businesses now operate their own websites mean that an application already exists, and can be easily modified for public facing deployment on an interactive kiosk.
In established economic environments, the opportunity for growth in the kiosk market is primarily in this area. There are also many countries that may have the technology, but have not seen a coordinating economic growth. As a result, those countries are also in the high growth potential portion of the chart, rather than the mature or declining area.
While kiosks in general might be considered a mature market in certain economies, (the UK & US for example), tablet kiosks are a high growth market in every economy. Enterprise tablet adoption in general is still in a high growth phase and predictions show that the number could reach a billion worldwide by 2017. Penetration rates in developing economies will lag significantly, so tablet kiosks are at the high growth phase in established economies and are likely in the introduction stage for less established economies.
The entry of Mobile Device Management into the picture also changes the landscape, with kiosk usage being broader and expanding into new market opportunities. One such example is the Purposed Device. A Purposed Device is a more mobile kiosk – something retailers, sales reps, or employees can carry around, but still use in a specific, secured manner both with regard to kiosk software and kiosk hardware (mobile, transportable enclosures with card reader attachment and stationary docking stations). Purposed Devices, like tablet kiosks, are still nascent with regard to market penetration.
Like cars and phones, kiosks look very different from what they were 25 or 35 years ago. With continued iterations to incorporate new technologies, kiosks can become even more efficient, cost effective, mobile and useful. They can continue to evolve in saturated areas and expand into high growth markets. Kiosks have never been as affordable, scalable and accessible as they are today and they are most certainly still growing in market penetration.
DENVER, CO – 6/29/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) —Kiosk Industry Group, the Kiosk association and vendor trade
association, officially announces appointment of five new members to the Strategic Advisory Board. The new members include Olea Kiosks, KioWare, Kiosk Information Systems, PROVISIO, and Turnkey Kiosks. They join Crane Payment Innovations, OptConnect, CTS (Connected Technology Solutions) and ARCA. Honorary members include Peter B. Snyder. Together they provide strategic guidance to the Group in direction and focus in all types of transactional and informational self service solutions.
“These new board members represent the growing excitement and momentum that self-service automation is delivering to customers and employees.” said Craig Keefner, manager for the Kiosk Industry Group. “Whether for customers or employees, automation is becoming a crucial differentiator for companies looking to expand their customer channels”.
The new advisory board members are:
Olea Kiosks, represented by Traci Martin, Director of Sales and Marketing. Traci has over 20 years in the industry. Frank Olea is CEO. Olea Kiosks is one of North America’s largest kiosk manufacturers providing custom kiosks and standard kiosks. Olea has been in the kiosk business for over 20 years and is known for unparalleled design. Olea has been in business over 40 years.
KioWare is represented by James Kruper, president and CEO, and Laura Miller Director of Marketing. Jim has over 20 years of experience with kiosk software, remote monitoring and content management/display systems. KioWare is one of largest kiosk software companies in the world and offers a free fully functioning demo of all of their kiosk software products (Windows & Android).
Kiosk Information Systems, represented by Cheryl Madeson, Director of Marketing. Tom Weaver is CEO and President. KIOSK Information Systems began as KIS over 20 years ago and is the largest kiosk manufacturing company in the world. Along with custom and standard kiosks, KIOSK designs and manufacturers Locker and Vending systems and has a full software development team with a complete software portfolio suite which includes remote monitoring. KIS and Rick Malone were aa charter sponsor of the original Kiosk Association in 2001 (aka Bay Hill Bunch which included IBM, Compaq, Crane, Elotouch and Kodak).
PROVISIO is represented by Heinz Horstmann. The Chief Manager is Christoph Niehus at their headquarters in Germany. Heinz has over 20 years in the internet terminal kiosk software industry. The industry leading interactive kiosk software product Sitekiosk has more installed terminals than anyone in the world. SK provides lockdown as well as Content Management for Digital Signs (Windows and Android).
Turnkey Kiosks is represented by Gary Strachan. Gary has 35+ years in the industry having spent many with IBM. Turnkey Kiosks largest focus is cost-effective transactional bill payment kiosk systems along with custom kiosks for a variety of functions. TurnKey offers a complete one-stop shop that has in-house consulting, CAD design and engineering, Custom Sheet Metal, Custom Cables for a variety of functions. TurnKey prides itself in taking a very hands-on approach with our customers to make sure our solutions exceed customer expectations.
Bitcoin ATM’s, custom POS, Retail and Utility Payments. TurnKey Kiosks is a one-stop shop for consulting, software, hardware, installation, service and maintenance.
About the Kiosk Industry Group
The Kiosk Industry Group is based in Denver Colorado and serves as the kiosk association and qualified marketing network for the kiosk industry. With over 300 participating listed companies Kiosk Industry Group is the largest kiosk-focused association in the world. For more information on these companies and the kiosk association please log onto http://kioskindustry.org. For more information contact Craig Keefner at firstname.lastname@example.org