Kiosk Kiosks – Explanation and Definition

By | December 13, 2020

Kiosk Kiosks

Purpose Statement 2021

Kiosk Kiosks - Bill Payment kiosk by Olea Kiosks is a good example of bill pay kiosk design.

Kiosk Kiosks – Bill Payment kiosk by Olea Kiosks is a good example of bill pay kiosk design.

For 2021 we have altered our primary signature website title to simply “Kiosk”.  Commonly used as a noun but also as a verb.  Being the informational kiosk portal for the kiosk manufacturing industry means we represent kiosk manufacturers, kiosk enclosures, kiosk software, kiosk devices along with remote monitoring, installation, service, consulting and regulatory factors (ADA and PCI primarily). Our mission is:

  1. Inform and educate.
  2. Provide the actual advantages but also the disadvantages for full context
  3. Advertising – we do not have or support any formal advertising
  4. Sponsor and member fees – these are used solely for the support of our industry education functions. We fund kiosks at tradeshows, regulatory memberships such as being a Participating Organization of the PCI SSC, and the web infrastructure.  We are not profit-oriented as an organization and have no employees.
  5. We are managed by kiosk manufacturers primarily

Define a Kiosk

This has been an ongoing question for many years.  It can be traced back to Turkey and kiosk structures in public areas used for notifications. Our group focuses on the modern iteration of the kiosk which is likely going to involve touchscreen technology, a computer and an enclosure.  It will typically transform a human process into a self-service process.

There are specific, fixed, functions that have evolved into their own classifications. Utilizing an ATM for example.  It is an ATM and referred to as such.  In principle, it is a kiosk but given its narrow function and purpose, it is an ATM.

Supermarket checkouts which are what we call a “hybrid POS” allowing for self-checkout is another “fixed” function. It includes modified operator POS devices and typically an attendant to assist (coupons, pricing questions, etc).

Will there be new “fixed” function terminals that are essentially kiosks in nature but termed something different?  It is certainly possible and some candidates might include the Bitcoin ATM Kiosk, which currently splices together multiple terms (Bitcoin, ATM and Kiosk).

What is a Kiosk?

A self-service kiosk or computer kiosk (some like electronic kiosk) is a standalone terminal which is used by customers and employees to provide a self-service channel for general transactions. They can be informational in nature (a wayfinding kiosk provides directions for example) or they can be transactional (e.g. Verizon bill pay kiosks).

What is the difference between Digital Signage and Interactive Displays?

One of our favorites. Digital signage is often used in conjunction with kiosks. In that sense they are a standalone “attractor”. You can find many kiosks with an overhead digital sign directing and informing as to the self-service function available.  Digital signage provides transportation information and schedules for example.

Given the complexity of establishing a true ROI or impact of the digital signage, those informational signs have evolved to include touchscreens and now become Interactive Displays. Many in the industry have “spliced” the term Interactive as a descriptor for digital signage but that is disingenuous to us in the interactive industry as interactive would seem to contradict the function signage. Customers and employees are not affected.

What are the markets?

The historical response to this has been Retail and Financial.  Not unlike how pioneers in the field like NCR are structured. Retail on one side and then ATMS and bank technology on the other. For awhile they also had a third wheel, Analytics.

Market drives come in all flavors. From vertical industries like healthcare to functions such as “Check In Kiosks” to demographics such as the Underbanked.

Current market drivers in modern days are:

  • Underserved and underbanked
  • Outdoor versus indoor (ticketing kiosks e.g.)
  • Millennials or Gen-whatevers with the longer buying cycle
  • Military is one
  • Entertainment, theaters and venues
  • Fast casual restaurants or QSR
  • Senior citizens
  • Healthcare
  • Local, state, educational and federal markets
  • Transportation is a big one

What are the companion markets covered?

  • Smart City with its information outdoor terminals and transportation projects
  • Point-Of-Sale POS is migrating from employee operated to customer operated
  • Vending has added computing features and interacts with touchscreens, mobile phones and more.
  • Lockers are being deployed in retail as off-premise delivery mechanisms
  • Parking meters are becoming more sophisticated and now include embedded processors and even touchscreens
  • Telemedicine or off-premise diagnosis and treatment

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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