Phone Kiosk or Mobile Kiosk?

By | August 2, 2021
McDonalds Mobile Hack

Mobile Kiosk or Phone Kiosk

mobile kiosk or phone kiosk

mobile kiosk or handheld kiosk

The phrase Mobile kiosk gets used a lot of different ways by a lot of different people. Years ago when tablets came out and got popular people referred to them sometimes as mobile kiosks. Google Glasses had a brief but spectacular fling as a mobile kiosk. Nowadays we think the key term here is “mobile” and even that word suffers from multiple definitions.  Typically we like to use it in a “portable” context.  It has the ability to be relocated very easily.  But there is also the phone kiosk which very often shortens to mobile. We have tablet kiosks as well. Nowadays actually you can have both! Let’s take a look at them all.

    • Phone Kiosks and Mobile Carts – RMU or remote merchandising units are often termed “mobile kiosks” though they also go by “Mobile Carts”. You can see one of them at Gearboss — there are a ton of these “mobile kiosks” out there and they are proliferating.  Major provider here might be someone like Ikoniq. You can see Walmart Phone Kiosks or Costco Phone Kiosks easy enough. Airport phone kiosks by carriers like Verizon and AT&T are standard fare.
    • Portable Kiosks – Carnival Cruise Lines has “mobile kiosks” for check-in.  Actually battery-powered, usually with casters (aka wheels) and when the ship departs or docks the “mobile kiosk” is rolled out on the dock to the entrance for the gangplank that cruise passengers embark or disembark.  Big ticketing events see those too which are “bursty” requirements.  We did a ton of these at KIOSK Information Systems
    • Tablet Kiosk or AIO Kiosk – If you go to some clinics you might run into a tablet (or is that an AIO?) being used for check-in.  Windows, Android and IoS even though iPads don’t have a very long lifecycle.  Phreesia is a good example. Charging dock at the front desk counter.  Take one, sit down, and do your check-in.  If you are looking for iPad tablet kiosks then KioskGroup is first stop. For basic iPad kiosks you should look at Lilitab.
    • Then there are very robust iterations of mobile kiosks where the wheels are literally wheels. These kiosks also get called “Trailer Kiosk” or “Portable Kiosk”. Not that far removed from one of the many Food Trucks parked in Javits parking lot for NRF
    • Proxy Phone Kiosk — Thanks to the pandemic we now have Contactless Mobile Kiosks where there is no need to touch the kiosk. You simply use your mobile phone as the “proxy kiosk” (yet another variant emerges…) See the demo by KIOSK or checkout KioTouch which we think sets the standard.

      Mobile Kiosk Trailer

      Click for full size image

    Worth noting too that the expanded use of mobile phones to review and order comes with the potential added benefit of user data often. 

    And so we have only covered customer interactive kiosks. If we look at employee mobile kiosk then we get a very large number of deployments that we can look at.

    • Chick-Fil-A for example uses Panasonic rugged tablets for line busting. Employees input the orders by walking up to the cars and asking.  Usually, the customers want something to do with chicken?
    • Industrial-grade mobile phones qualify as “mobile kiosk” right?  Here is Panasonic Quick Reference Guide 5-21
    • Warehouses and inventory — ever seen the backside of a Target or Walmart? We now have Armband Kiosks (they are a mobile kiosk) + industrial tablets and “handhelds” from people like Zebra.

    Here is a look at Panasonic Toughbook lineup for example

    panasonic toughbook

    panasonic toughbook


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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 for him include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others. Craig helped start kioskmarketplace before leaving. Note that the point of view here on kioskindustry is not necessarily the stance of the Kiosk Association or