How the Convergence of Digital Signage and Kiosk Software Delivers Interactivity and Increased Engagement
By Martin Kurze, Business Development Manager, Provisio – www.provisio.com and the article is republished with permission from Kiosk Solutions Magazine
Some years ago digital signage and kiosk software would’ve been completely different applications with different scopes. Back then it was all quite easy,the world of slideshows and that of user applications were well defined and existed side by side nearly without overlap. This is quite interesting as a lot of features and conditions for the operation of both types of software running the hardware are similar. The reason for the two individual types is simply historical.
These days, digital signage software and Kiosk applications are more or less two sides of the same coin. And a new type of software has now conquered the market: interactive digital signage, which merges features of both classic digital signage software and Kiosk systems. This allows a very flexible usage of one piece of software under different circumstances – you don’t have to use more than one product to cover the whole spectrum of applications for customer or employee information andinteractive communication.
Large retailers have recently started to implement new types of Kiosk systems in their stores to support omnichannel marketing. Kiosks like this need the full range of information and interactive functionality. They do not only extend the offline stores to the online store, they give additional information to locally 38 KIOSK solutions offered goods at the same time. So what are the most important features of the software that will support this type of omnichannel usage?
Old school digital signage software didn’t need to take care of security on their player hardware. Without any kind of interaction, and no chance of physical access this point was out of scope. It was the domain of Kiosk software to do the lockdown of terminals and take care of limiting access to predefined software and web resources. Interactive digital signage, of course, needs these kinds of security features to allow secure access to online shops and databases.
Mixed content management
As a result of this convergence, a new kind of content management system is needed to combine information and interactive software within one user interface for terminal users. It’s not only a question of timetables to schedule digital signage content anymore, you have to take care of different kinds of navigation and time-dependent display conditions. In addition to this, integrated browser controls open up a flexible way to access content from web sources as part of the displayed content. Allowing interaction between browser content and traditional digital signage content is one of the main goals of interactive digital signage.
Touch interaction or other human interface devices are common local triggers to navigate digital signage content. And additional triggers are becoming commonplace: face recognition, weather condition, NFC or QR code readers, proximity sensors – can all be used to initiate navigation on interactive digital signage systems. With this you can extend the usage of digital signage to a completely new range of use cases.
Systems like this are usually spread all over the country without local IT specialists to maintain and monitor them. So, to provide a positive user experience it’s necessary to ensure high availability and quick support in the case of errors. A powerful remote monitoring and administration system is needed to allow this at an affordable price, and if a solution like this is part of the interactive solution, there’s no gap between monitoring hardware, software and content for the highest benefit.
A new approach
As we see kiosk and digital signage software converging into a new class of software the sum of all these features, in a single software suite, offers the best tools to start new interactive projects to engage with staff and customers. If you plan employee self-service terminals, customer information screens, multimedia education systems or whatever it might be, it’s worth having a look at this new kind of software first.
PROVISIO is a charter member of Kiosk Industry Association and provides all types of kiosk software, secure desktop and remote content management & monitoring alerts.