Kiosk FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

By | December 13, 2015

Kiosk FAQ is intended to answer those questions that we are asked frequently, no surprise there.

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Example FAQ for Outdoor Kiosks

Why Outdoor kiosks cost so much

Outdoor kiosks are typically two, sometimes three times the cost of indoor kiosks. The reasons are varied but can best be summarized as follows:

Kiosk Design: An outdoor kiosk needs to be designed from the ground up as a watertight enclosure. It is generally not cost-effective to try to modify an indoor kiosk model to be outdoors compliant. The primary reason for this is that the kiosk needs to have all seams watertight and must be insulated on the inner walls to protect from heat and cold. Outdoor kiosks also need to be much more durable in construction as they will more often than not, be in unsupervised environments. After all is said and done, the outdoor enclosure (the cabinet only) is twice the cost of a comparable indoor unit.

Kiosk Display: The monitor must not be susceptible to .sunlight washout.. The effect is most commonly seen on ATM machines in the sunlight: you cannot read what.s on the screen due to direct or indirect sunlight. The solution is high backlighting and this can only be done on LCD monitors. LCD monitors in themselves are a bit more expensive than CRT monitors, although the cost differences are narrowing. High backlighting more than triples the cost of a LCD. For example, a 15. LCD with touch screen and with high backlighting and will cost about $2,000. The decision to use high backlighting is up to the customer but if they decline, we will want that in writing. Before you ask, we will not deliver outdoor kiosks without the LCD solution. We will never provide a CRT solution. The CRT approach has proven to yield unsatisfactory results and we want no part of that since an unsatisfactory monitor solution is virtually assured.

HVAC: The kiosk may well require a heater/air conditioner installed to maintain an acceptable temperature and humidity inside the kiosk. Depending on the environment, we may have to use various degrees of air treatment methods, which may add up to $3,200 to the cost of the kiosk. There are some areas in the country that may allow outdoor solutions without HVAC or your outdoor installation may be in-wall where you can take advantage of air conditioning in the building for your kiosk. The issue, however, is not only heat but also humidity. Protecting the electronics inside the kiosk is expensive.

UL Testing: Any kiosk that goes outdoors MUST pass the official UL tests for outdoor electronic enclosures. These UL tests ensure that the units are truly waterproof and more importantly, are shockproof in the rain and snow. Liability is the issue here. We will not build an outdoor unit without this testing, so don.t even ask us to do so. If you get an outdoor kiosk from KIOSK or our other sponsors, it will be UL tested. UL testing cost at one time was $1,500 to 3,500 for the first kiosk and $250 to $350 for every kiosk of identical design thereafter.

PC Hardware:  Because of heat generated by the components inside the kiosk (mostly by the LCD and the PC), we recommend the use of a very small form factor, low heat generating PC. This adds to the PC cost a bit but lowers the amount of heat that must be removed by the air treatment/conditioner system. Bigger PCs generate more heat and more heat means more expensive and capable air treatment/conditioning which costs more, etc., etc.

Kiosk installation:  This is an extra and un-calculated cost of outdoor kiosks. Typically, outdoor kiosks need to be bolted to the ground, which implies that they have a level cement slab on which to be mounted. There must be power and whatever other connectivity you will need, delivered to the kiosk (frequently underground and through the cement slab). The power cables and connections must also be watertight and in agreement with local electrical standards which vary from state to state. The site preparation for this could be costly and time-consuming, as you will have building permits, specific guidance from the state or local government, specific subcontractors that must be used and related costs and delays to complete this.

Author: Staff Writer

Craig Keefner -- With over 40 years in the industry and technology, Craig is widely considered to be an expert in the field. Major early career kiosk projects include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others. Craig helped start kioskmarketplace and formed the KMA. Note the point of view here is not necessarily the stance of the Kiosk Association or