Meridian 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.
DSE 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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
SSG 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.
The kiosk industry is growing, but the road to self-service success is littered with the remnants of those projects that didn’t quite make the grade.
By Richard Slawsky contributor
Good news for the health of the kiosk industry continues to roll in. A research report issued in early March by Transparency Market Research projects the global kiosk market will expand at a combined annual growth rate of 10.9 percent over the next seven years, topping $30.8 billion by 2024.
A report issued just a few days later Stratistics MRC is even rosier, predicting that the market will reach $88.34 billion by 2022. Another report, from IndustryARC, predicts that growing competition at the retail level will boost demand significantly.
Despite those predictions, though, not every self-service kiosk deployment is going to be a success. Some operators seem to be determined to wrest failure from the jaws of success, either through a lack of clarity on what function the kiosk is supposed to perform or not viewing the deployment from the standpoint of the end user.
So to help those considering an investment in self-service kiosk technology, here are a few suggestions about what NOT to do when planning a deployment:
Tip #1 – Don’t forget to include ALL stakeholders. Obtaining input from stakeholders in the project may seem cumbersome in the beginning but is advantageous in the long run, says Janet Webster, president of Washington, D.C-based consulting firm Creative Solutions Consulting. Invite all key groups within the organization to offer their input.
“You will be surprised at just how many areas are affected during kiosk deployments,” Webster said. “It’s better to let the groups know up front instead of having an issue later.”
Getting input from stakeholders might have helped the Mayo Clinic avoid a spectacular fail when the Rochester, Minn.-based health care facility deployed health information kiosks in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., in 2011.
“You could go and look up information, let’s say on psoriasis or heart disease or whatever, and the kiosk would print out information for you,” said Francie Mendelsohn, president of Washington, D.C.-based kiosk consulting firm Summit Research Associates.
Unfortunately, while the idea was good, the execution was lacking. Instead of offering a one-page summary of various health issues in a reader-friendly format, the kiosks dispensed what amounted to a medical-school textbook entry on whatever disease the user chose.
“Let’s say you wanted something about one of the signs of impending heart problems,” Mendelsohn said. “You got maybe 20 pages in at best eight-point font. It was just unusable from a customer point of view. They had the opportunity to allow people to sign up for their newsletters and to promote the sale of their publications while offering information, but they just went about it all wrong.”
Tip #2 – Don’t skimp on components
Trying to get by with consumer-grade components in a commercial deployment is a recipe for disaster. Using cheap components may save money up front, but it’s likely to cost much more over time in maintenance, lost sales and the eventual replacement of those components.
In addition, multiple breakdowns are likely to foster distrust of the kiosks even when they are operational. If customers approach the kiosk and it’s out of order they may come back a second time, but if the device is out of order the next time, they’re likely never to return.
Jamie Richter, regional sales manager at commercial touchscreen provider Elo, encountered such a situation with a large deployment.
“A kiosk fixture company chose to use consumer-grade flat panel TVs inside a kiosk to save money,” Richter said. “After running 24/7 the panels overheated and started smoking within the kiosk enclosure,” Richter said. “The fixture company had to not only remove all of the panels inside the kiosks, but also replace them with new panels. The cost to retrofit over 500 kiosks already in field was tremendous and a painful lesson about using consumer-grade equipment for commercial applications.”
Tip #3 – Don’t forget to look at the deployment from the eyes of the end user
Although a deployment may look good on paper from the deployer’s point of view, it’s easy to forget that part of the goal of using self-service technology is to create a great user-experience.
Furniture maker IKEA has long used kiosks that allow shoppers to sign up for their loyalty programs, and those devices generally garnered positive reviews. Unfortunately, the company stumbled in their venture into self-checkout kiosks.
While most IKEA stores featured both self-service and cashier-operated checkout lanes, during the deployment the company only opened the cashier lanes on peak shopping days. On other days, no cashiers were available, and shoppers were directed to the self-checkout kiosks.
The scanners quickly became a source of frustration. “A lot of the stuff you buy at IKEA comes in big boxes, so you can’t just pick it up and pass it across the scanner,” Mendelsohn said. “They did have these handheld devices that were tethered to the kiosks, but the tether wasn’t very long, and if you didn’t approach correctly the scanner couldn’t read the code.”
In addition, there were no instructions on how to use the handheld scanners, leaving shoppers guessing about what to do.
“Because this was so frustrating, a lot of people, myself included, just picked up the merchandise or wheeled the cart to another one and eventually checked out,” Mendelsohn said.
Eventually, the negative feedback from customers grew so great that in 2012 the company yanked all of the kiosks from its U.S. stores.
Tip #4 – Don’t overlook the value proposition
Don’t forget to clearly define the purpose of the kiosk, the value of offering a kiosk solution and the operational impact.
Greeting card maker American Greetings was one of the earliest entrants into the self-service kiosk market, deploying thousands of CreataCard greeting card kiosks in thousands of retail locations in the early 1990s.
The kiosk featured a selection of greeting card templates and a pen plotter, allowing users to choose their own design and personalize it with names and sayings. Once the user made his selection, a number of colored pens created the card.
What the company apparently didn’t consider, though, was how a kiosk that could take up to 10 minutes to print a greeting card at a price more expensive than off-the-shelf cards improved the lives of shoppers. Another point of dissatisfaction was the limited number of templates available compared with the number of card styles on the rack.
The final nail in the coffin, though, was the fact that the kiosks didn’t require payment until after the cards were completed.
“They ended up becoming what I would call a kiosk babysitter,” Mendelsohn said.
“They’d have them in stores and people would say, ‘Johnny, go make a card while Mommy shops,” and come back in ten minutes,” she said. “It was quite an interesting thing for a kid to sit there and watch, but at the end of the day, they didn’t buy the card. Of course, the company lost a tremendous amount of money.”
Note: Janet Webster and Francie Mendelsohn are both principals with DigitalBusiness.us which is the premier kiosk and self-service consultancy. Other principals include Peter Snyder, Karla Guarino, Benjamin Wheeler and Craig Keefner.
Here are spme excellent questions provided by Janet Webster with Creative Solutions Consulting.
Questions to consider when planning a kiosk deployment
Why are you offering this self-service solution?
Reduce operational costs?
Improve customer satisfaction/engagement?
Expand access points?
Be more competitive?
Don’t presume you know what the customers want/need; validate your rationale for offering a kiosk. Ask your customers what they want, need, and expect of your business and provide examples of planned kiosk offerings to ensure you’re on the right track (multiple focus groups will help clearly define customer expectations).
What is the advertising/marketing strategy?
How will you let customers and employees know this new kiosk is “coming soon, and “now available?
How will customers provide feedback?
Don’t presume they will use it just because it’s there!
What are the success metrics and how will you collect the data?
Define the baseline and timing for metrics
Revenue vs. Performance? What is the impact of a “down” kiosk?
What if it doesn’t work?
How will you notify the customers and employees?
How will you replace the new kiosk services to ensure customer satisfaction?
Chicago, March 9, 2017 – Cooling Units Ideal for Kiosk and OEM
Kiosk components require specific temperature ranges for reliable, optimal performance. Although any TECA air conditioner can be installed in a kiosk, TECA now offers a complete line of thermoelectric air conditioners designed specifically for kiosk and OEM applications. The product line spans from 155-1,270 BTU/hr and is suitable for indoor or outdoor kiosks. Each cooler has a unique internal-mount design. There is no extrusion into the ambient environment.
These enclosure coolers are ideal solutions for situations where either physical space or aesthetic considerations will not allow protrusion of thermal equipment. For cold environments, heat/cool designs are available.
Customization is available. Thermoelectric cooling is a reliable and maintenance free way to protect electronics and equipment.
Editor Note: KioWare has news to share – KioCall is now supported by KioWare for Android! That means you can use an Android tablet and enclosure and KioWare for Android plus KioCall – and create a video conferencing kiosk for an extremely affordable/low cost. (Note: KioWare for Windows supports KioCall, as well).
Quote from KioWare and Laura Miller –
“By bringing video conferencing to secure Android devices, KioWare for Android with KioCall lowers the barrier to entry for any business that wants to offer video conferencing without spending thousands on a kiosk, enclosure, development, & call system. It’s a game changer in efficiency and accessibility in video conferencing.” [read the companion article on emergence of telehealth by Laura]
Press Release – Monday, March 6, 2017
KioWare® has released a new video conferencing product for use with kiosks running KioWare for Android. Version 3.11 of KioWare for Android is also now available, supporting the new KioCall™ remote video conferencing app.
KioCall is a new video conferencing product specifically for use on kiosks running KioWare kiosk software. The new version of KioWare for Android now supports KioCall, enabling easy to configure & deploy kiosk to kiosk – or kiosk to call center – video conferencing. Video conferencing kiosks can add value as a virtual receptionist, remote customer service/sales contact, techical support, doctor/medical contact, and more.
KioWare for Android allows users to secure their Android device into a purposed device or kiosk for customer, employee, or public access. KioWare creates a kiosk environment, setting a start page, custom toolbar, attract mode, and restricting access to only the applications and/or websites allowed. The new KioCall video conferencing app, when used on KioWare for Windows or KioWare for Android, allows kiosk users to initiate or receive video chats with another kiosk, desktop user, or group. Features include queue calling (first available attendant), screen sharing, group calling, and user to user calling.
Version 3.11 of of KioWare for Android (Lite, Basic, & Full with Kiosk Management) has added support for KioCall video conferencing. Using KioWare for Android on a user kiosk and the KioCall application on a receiving PC, users can add video customer service to any kiosk project. Via KioWare’s config tool, a call button can easily be added to the kiosk. This allows kiosk users to call a preset user or group and request customer service. With KioCall, video conferencing is reliable and robust while also extremely inexpensive and requires trivial effort to add to your device.
KioCall works with all KioWare for Windows & KioWare for Android products. KioCall also works for calling independently of KioWare. KioCall is available via an annual subscription with pre-purchased minute plans based on anticipated usage. View the website for details.
KioWare for Android Version 3.11 also adds a number of performance improvements.
This version improves the interaction between “Prevent Screen Sleep” & “Screen Schedule” settings
Camera image capturing is now an available option from HTML file input
When configuring KioWare for Android, options now exist to overwrite the existing settings rather than choosing to merge them into existing settings
Call 717.843.4790 for more information about using video conferencing on your kiosks using KioCall.
Support must be current to upgrade.
For a full description of features added for this and other version of the KioWare product line, view version history.
The Emergence of Telehealth Teleconferencing: Benefits, Uses, and Concerns
Author: Laura Boniello Miller
Date: March 2017
Dealing with illness & the health care system is rarely easy. New technologies can help people to more easily manage their care. Due to shake ups in insurance and an aging population, healthcare providers are utilizing new technologies to reduce costs and provide more efficient access to medical services, care, & information. Teleconferencing is one such technology that is used to improve care and patient outcomes.
Telehealth Technology Provides Access to Healthcare
Doctors may wish to care for people who do not have access to more metropolitan & research oriented institutions & facilities. Individuals in rural areas deserve the same care that people in more densely populated areas take for granted. Skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, and nursing homes often serve patients who need more assistance or expertise than is currently available to them.
The Kioskmarketplace Innovation Awards to be presented at the ICX Summit, Jun. 5-7 in Dallas, Texas announced the winners and Olea Kiosks was judged the best of class in three different categories.
“We are blown away and grateful for the recognition,” said Frank Olea, CEO and third-generation leader of the Los Angeles-based self-service manufacturer. “We work very hard to engineer, manufacture and deliver the best kiosks in the world, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Kiosk Marketplace and its expert readers have honored us in this way.”
The three categories included Telecom with JCDecaux cellphone-charging unit for airports, their Monte Carlo for Gaming loyalty, and the Verona in the healthcare segment.
“I’m so grateful for my team,” Olea said. “Everyone plays a role in this. Our sales people always have their ears to the ground, listening for trends and market needs. Our engineers are brilliant in overcoming any challenge we throw at them. Our designers know that it’s not enough for a kiosk to work great, it also has to look great. The staff in our factory who make each kiosk by hand are more committed to quality than any crew I’ve ever worked with.”
Nice research report from UPS covering shoppers and what it is seeing for data.
While e-commerce offers new, unparalleled opportunities for accelerated growth, most retailers also are facing unprecedented challenges, and their very survival is in question. They must keep pace with ever-evolving technology and customer expectations. And omnichannel retailers are being pushed by shoppers to deliver a compelling, seamless experience across all channels. The lines of distinction between brick-and-mortar and digital experiences are forever blurred.
Excellence across all channels is considered table stakes, and organizations are struggling with how best to accomplish these objectives while remaining profitable. With change at a rampant pace, there is no longer a universal set of answers for how a retailer sets priorities and thrives. However, this much is clear: It is more essential than ever to understand the actions and motivations of today’s increasingly savvy, tech-driven shopper.
That is exactly what this study offers — insights on today’s well-connected, in-control shopper. Retailers of all sizes are experiencing tensions within their organization about prioritizing the changes needed to remain competitive. The insights offered here are designed to help them determine the best path forward as they navigate the intricacies of a market that’s never been more challenging.