PYMNTS.COM – Kiosks Going International

Published March 28 on Pymnts.com

Excerpt:

peerless-av kioskThere are other reasons, too.

For instance, kiosks can increase consumer spending, no matter the market, according to various reports and QSR-focused kiosk research from PYMNTS. The increase in consumer spending when ordering through self-service kiosks is 30 percentLéa French Street Food in Illinois, for example, found that kiosks encouraged customers to customize their orders. As a result, the restaurant noticed orders at the kiosk had much higher check sizes than counter orders. For example, kiosk orders had an average check size of $17.17, while counter orders had an average check size of $9.79.

When it comes to the future of kiosks, one market that certainly will lead the way is China, which by nearly all accounts is ahead of every other country when it comes to forms of unattended retail, including retail kiosks.

As Bloomberg has noted, kiosks have gained significant attention – that is, capital – from major retail and technology players. “Names from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to Walmart Inc. and Sequoia have poured more than $1.7 billion into startups such as Mr. Fresh and Xingbianli (Gorilla Convenience) that for now offer little more than tricked-out vending machines or kiosks,” the news provider said. The appeal of kiosks? Much of it has to do with serving the masses of office workers in cities such as Shanghai, the report said.

ADA Accessibility and Self-Service For All

Touchscreen-based self-service technology is changing the way we do business, but one of the key challenges to widespread adoption is finding a way to make that technology useable by everyone.

Self-Service For All – ADA Kiosk

By Richard Slawsky contributor

ADA KioskInteractive touchscreens are quickly becoming a key player in the kiosk world. Businesses ranging from fast-casual restaurants to health care facilities and mall makeup stores are finding uses for touchscreen-based kiosks, offering services ranging from food ordering to patient check-in to complexion matching.

kiosk research
Combination of several reports (including Frost & Sullivan, Gartner, and IHL) + our own KI analysis. Hybrid POS checkouts and ATMs are not included unlike most reports..

The latest of the many reports forecasting the growth of the kiosk industry predicts the market will increase at a 9.7 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $88.3 billion by 2022 from $46.1 billion in 2015. Drivers of that growth include increased customer’s interest towards self service, development in the retail and entertainment industries and innovations in touchscreen display and glass technology. The retail industry holds the lion’s share of the market, with about 40 percent of the overall revenue.

The growth of touchscreen-based self service hasn’t been without its challenges, though. Foremost among them has been the issue of making that technology available to all users, including those with disabilities. Another has been the expanded form factors such as tablets on the low end and large 85-inch touchscreens on the high side.  That’s a shift from the mostly 17-inch and 19-inch screens that dominate the ATM, airline and POS self-checkout precursor worlds.

The compliance conundrum

navbar kiosk
Example of navbar on outdoor ticketing kiosk. Click for full size image. Courtesy Olea Kiosks

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 19 percent of the country’s population, or about 57 million people, have some form of disability. Those include 8.1 million people who have difficulty seeing, including 2 million who were blind or unable to see. In addition, about 7.6 million people have impaired hearing. Roughly 30.6 million have problems walking or climbing stairs, or use a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker, and 19.9 million people had challenges lifting and grasping. This includes difficulty lifting an object or grasping a pencil (or pressing buttons on a touchscreen interface).

To ensure those with disabilities can enjoy the same rights as everyone, in 1990 Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law was designed to afford protections against discrimination similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.

For a business that incorporates kiosks into its operations, that generally means that a kiosk needs to be useable by all of its customers, no matter what their physical challenges may be. In many cases meeting that standard is easier said than done.

Click for full size

“ADA concerns are pretty much the same concerns that one would have for any type of a consumer self-service interactive solution,” said Ron Bowers, senior vice president of business development at Grafton, Wisconsin-based kiosk vendor Frank Mayer & Associates. “Some individual deployments are only adhering to the accessibility-by-wheelchair aspect.”. “Some individual deployments are only adhering to the accessibility-by-wheelchair aspect.”

Unfortunately, those basic accommodations can result in a business overlooking more than 35 million potential customers.

It’s worth noting that a large percentage of customers in wheelchairs also suffer from physical impairment.

Some of the biggest challenges kiosk deployers face is the degree of interpretation that must be applied to some of the regulations.  How many accessible units and what level of accessibility constitutes acceptable access?  Another is new regulations and retrofitting existing units can be problematic, said Craig Keefner, manager for Olea Kiosks.

“Complicating retrofits can be the issue of recertifying for UL,” Keefner said. “One change to the overall machine can require the new configuration to be recertified. If Walmart has to change all of its self-checkouts, that’s a big change.”

To help add clarity to exactly what kiosk deployers must do to be ADA compliant, in mid-September the Architectural and Transportation Barriers and Compliance Board released a final rule for electronic and information technologies used by federal agencies as well as guidelines for customer premises equipment and telecommunications equipment, including kiosks. The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.

A sample of the guidelines for kiosks outlined in the Access Board rule

  • In general, devices with a display screen shall be speech-output enabled for full and independent use by individuals with vision impairments.
  • Speech output shall be provided for all information displayed on-screen.
  • Where speech output is required, braille instructions for initiating the speech mode of operation shall be provided.
  • Devices that deliver sound, including required speech output, shall provide volume control and output amplification.
  • At least one mode of operation shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

The final rule is listed in the Federal Register. Covered organizations must meet compliance standards by Jan. 18, 2018.

Although much of the language in the final rule will likely keep lawyers busy for years to come, there are some guidelines that are easy to interpret. In general, the rules say that the technology with a display screen shall be speech-output enabled for full and independent use by individuals with vision impairments. Input controls shall be operable by touch and tactilely discernible without activation.

Running the risk

Missing out on revenue from millions of customers with disabilities is just one of the pitfalls of not complying with ADA regulations, or at least making every effort to make sense of the standards.

For violations that occurred after April 28, 2014, the maximum civil penalty for a first violation of ADA regulations is $75,000. For a subsequent violation, the maximum civil penalty is $150,000.

In addition, self-service kiosks are increasingly a target for ADA lawsuits. In March 2017, for example, the American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against fast casual restaurant chain Eatsa on behalf of a blind customer. Under Eatsa’s business model, customers order from tablet-based kiosks and pick up their food from a cubicle when it’s ready.

Customer Michael Godino claims he was unable to use a self-order kiosk in an Eatsa to place an order because the kiosks weren’t accessible for blind customers.

“Because the self-service mobile applications, touchscreen tablets, and visually-marked cubbies Eatsa utilizes rely on exclusively visual displays and do not provide any form of audio output or tactile input, Eatsa’s design is entirely inaccessible to blind customers,” according to the lawsuit.

click for full size image

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses open to ADA lawsuits. A proposed class action suit against mall operator Simon Property Group claims a Proactiv skincare products kiosk, located in the Simon-run Miami Mall in Florida, discriminates against blind and visually impaired individuals. The lawsuit argues the Proactiv automated retail kiosk, which uses a touchscreen display, doesn’t offer a way for blind consumers to purchase its products.

“Sighted customers can independently browse, select, and pay for Proactiv brand skincare products at the Miami Mall Proactiv kiosk. However, blind customers are denied the opportunity to participate in this retail service,” the complaint reads. “Moreover, [the defendant] has failed to provide an alternative channel for blind customers to enjoy the retail service provided through the Proactiv kiosk, such as the training of qualified readers to assist visually impaired and blind customers.”

There are about 1,000 Proactiv kiosks in malls in the United States, Canada and Japan.

And just in case a business operator thinks having a staff member on hand to assist disabled customers with using self-service technology, chances are that’s not enough to keep from running afoul of the ADA.

More: consider for wall mount units the ADA requirement for  blind & partially sighted to be able to detect protuberances from walls with their canes. Click for full size

“It depends on the application and if the assistant is as available as the kiosk to provide services,” said Adam Aronson, CEO of San Rafael, Calif.-based Lilitab Tablet Kiosks. Lilitab designs, engineers and markets a range of tablet kiosk products. “If the cashier typically has longer lines than the kiosk, that’s not the same service level,” Aronson said.

While lawsuits against kiosk deployers related to ADA compliance are always a concern, other dangers include the negative publicity from being perceived as a business that is insensitive to the needs of disabled customers. Just a few months ago cable news was filled images of U.S. Capital Police forcibly removing disabled demonstrators from a protest over the Senate’s now-defunct health care bill. Nobody wants their business to be featured in similar reporting.

Of course, things are rarely simple when it comes to government regulations and the ADA is no different. Complicating the landscape is HR 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017,” currently making its way through Congress. According to the Center for American Progress the bill, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), would require anyone seeking to file a lawsuit against a business for ADA violations to first provide written notice to that business, outlining the provisions of the law that apply to the violation. Business owners would then have 60 days to acknowledge the violation and another 120 days to at least make “substantial progress” towards rectifying it.

Opponents of the bill claim it would gut enforcement of the ADA by allowing businesses to stall the correction of violation for months or years, while those in favor say it would prevent the “drive-by lawsuits” that end up forcing business owners to pay settlements to lawyers who make a career out of filing ADA suits. The ADA bars the awarding of monetary damages in successful lawsuits, but does allow the awarding of “a reasonable attorney’s fee.”

Meeting the challenge

In an effort to sort through the confusion over ADA guidelines, kiosk deployers are taking their own steps to accommodate disabled users.

The easiest steps to take are those that offer access to individuals in wheelchairs or who are otherwise vertically challenged. That includes offering at least one kiosk with an adjustable height or a lower point of access.

VFO project by KioWare and URway. Click for full story.

“Swiveling mounts or adjustable height mounts may assist in accessibility – but they don’t solve the problem just by being available,” said Laura Miller, director of marketing with York, Pa.-based KioWare Kiosk Software.

“The physical placement of the kiosk is just as important as the presence of accessibility features and testing is needed even with the purchase of an accessible kiosk,” she said. “If the path to the kiosk is too narrow to approach head on, for instance, it becomes moot that the kiosk itself is accessible because getting to the kiosk is too challenging or the space too constricted. Vertical and horizontal reach must be considered.”

Ticketing unit for Universal with ADA. Photo courtesy Olea Kiosks. Click for full size.

As mentioned earlier, though, making the kiosk available to those in a wheelchair isn’t enough.

“No longer can you get away with a kiosk just being ‘reachable’,” said Frank Olea, CEO of Cerritos, Calif.-based Olea Kiosks. “Most companies will say their product is ADA compliant, but they fail to mention they’ve only covered a very small spectrum of individuals with disabilities. Sure, someone in a wheelchair can reach the screen, but serving people with disabilities goes far beyond that.”

As demonstrated by the Eatsa scenario, one of the biggest challenges in deploying interactive self-service technology is accommodating visually impaired users. A touchscreen relies heavily on users being able to see the screen, so deployers need to find ways to communicate that information in other ways.

“Without access to speech feedback for on screen contents and a method for determining what item the user is activating, a person who is blind or visually impaired cannot effectively make use of a touchscreen or tablet based kiosk,” said staff at the American Foundation for the Blind.

“For those with low vision, small or ornate fonts are difficult, if not impossible, to read,” AFB officials said. “Low contrast between the foreground and background can also make on-screen and print-labeled items difficult to read.”

In addition, glare on the screen and on any print-labeled areas of the machine can cause readability barriers for people with low vision, the AFB said.

“What I advise people to do is to recreate a version of the kiosk software that can be used by people with visual problems,” said Mike James, CEO of Washington D.C.-based Kiosk Group Inc.

“Information can be presented in large text and contrasting colors for people who are marginally blind, and to have a system for audio feedback for those who are completely blind,” James said. Those prompts can be used in conjunction with Braille keyboards to assist with navigation.

Storm Nav-Pad. Click for full size image

Accommodating users with hand mobility issues is a concern as well. An ‘Automated Passport Solution’ Olea built for deployment in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport incorporates the Nav-Pad, a keypad designed by London-based Storm Interface that provides accessibility to a kiosk’s functions for those with physical or sensory impairments. The APS kiosk shortens the clearance process for international travelers by collecting biographical and passport information from passengers before they are seen by a customs officer.

audio nav ada device
Audio navigation device. Click for full size. Courtesy Storm Interface

The Nav-Pad, developed in partnership with the Trace Research & Development Center, was originally designed for use in military and industrial applications where the user might be wearing heavy gloves. One of the pioneers in the space, Storm Interface also offers the Audio-Nav Keypad, an assistive USB device offering menu navigation by means of audio direction.

The work continues

As ADA compliance becomes a bigger and bigger issue for hardware manufacturers, software developers and kiosk deployers, a variety of industry groups are working to develop solutions that can meet the needs of disabled users.

The Kiosk Industry Association, for example, has formed an ADA working group  and committee expressly for ADA to try and standardize guidelines for the industry. A big initiative for the association is meeting with the US Access Board directly to help communicate industry information and context to the standards body directly.

Other organizations with ADA initiatives include the Electronic Transactions Association, which has also formed a working group. The ETA represents more than 500 companies worldwide involved in electronic transaction processing products and services, working to influence, monitor and shape the payments industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information.

“The purpose of the group is to promote compliance and the development and deployment of products and services to help ensure access to the payment system,” said Meghan Cieslak, ETA’s director of communications. “The group is comprised of industry experts, start-ups, as well as ISOs and VARs – all focused on helping disabled Americans access the payment system.”

The Kiosk Industry Association is consulting with the ETA on access initiatives and has also enlisted the assistance of the ATM Industry Association which already has a formal ADA document via EFTA for their members.

It’s also critical for deployers to think about accessibility from the very beginning of a kiosk project. A paper co-authored by Peter Jarvis and Nicky Shaw, both from Storm Interface, along with Robin Spinks from the U.K.’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) included the following recommendations:

“Accessibility is most effectively achieved when adopted as a primary system specification,” the group wrote.

“It is most successfully implemented if considered during the concept design process,” they wrote. “Accessibility should be a primary objective during the origination of hardware solutions, application software and content to be delivered.”

In addition, consideration should also be given to the environment in which the system will be installed, they wrote, and that terminals located in public or unsupervised environments will need to survive regular cleaning and sanitization procedures using sprayed liquid disinfectants and other cleaning agents.

Along with providing hardware designed for accessibility, the application or website on the kiosk must be built with more than a cursory nod toward compliance in order to have these other components “work” in a successful and accessible deployment. The kiosk system software can utilize accessibility features and the hardware can provide sound, include keyboards and be height adjustable, but if the application isn’t built with accessibility in mind, or modified to make sure accessibility features are fully integrated, usability and accessibility will suffer for it.

These concerns, and others, are driving the various partnerships on ADA issues.

“It was pretty much a no-brainer for us to go ahead and work together on standardizing,” Keefner said.

“I’ve been really passionate about it and I’ve talked to kiosk manufacturers about binding together to create standards on kiosk design so people who walk up to a kiosk know where to find the audio jack, know where to find the braille keyboard or whatever,” said Kiosk Group’s Mike James. “Those features could be the same for every project.”

Unfortunately, despite the additional clarification on access rules it’s likely that in the short term it’s likely that many compliance issues are likely to be hashed out in court.

“It seems that there are a few people out there who have made it their job to litigate any non-ADA-compliant situations that arise,” Miller said. “This is not exclusive to kiosks, but they have not been completely spared, and while it seems relatively obscure at this point, those individuals looking for violations will likely eventually hit on the existence of kiosks as fodder for their litigious pursuits.”

Resources for kiosks and ADA compliance

ADA Committee and ADA Working Group for Kiosk Association

ADA White Paper on Kiosk Industry

Access Board final rule for information and communication technology

Trace Research and Development

National Council on Disability Report

Interactive Accessibility   – accessibility consulting firm

Digital Business kiosk consultants

COMMENTS

Richard and Craig

I wanted to congratulate you both on an excellent and  informative article. Thank you for helping to bring the importance of ADA and ACAA mandates to the attention of the Kiosk Industry and to those agencies deploying and operating ICT in public environments. Thanks also for recognizing Storm Interface in the text of the article and for including some of those images showing deployed installations. We are constantly working to improve and add to the range of accessibility and assistive technology products available to kiosk designers. There are some exciting new developments in process which will help to deliver the “multi-modal” methods of system interface that are widely predicted to be the next big step in system accessibility. The priority will be to ensure our partners in the kiosk industry are kept aware of and fully supported in the deployment of Assistive Technology Products (ATP).

Hopefully your article will receive the recognition it deserves and I will have an opportunity to work with you both to maintain awareness of accessibility issues within the kiosk industry.

Best Regards

Peter Jarvis
Senior Executive VP

Cashless Stores Backlash – AP News

Associated Press story published on Oil City News 5/12/2019

Editors note: There should be a way to accept cash without the usual liabilities and the usual ways. Cash for credit conversion machines for example.

By ALEXANDRA OLSON and KEN SWEET AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — Hembert Figueroa just wanted a taco.

So he was surprised to learn the dollar bills in his pocket were no good at Dos Toros Taqueria in Manhattan, one of a small but growing number of establishments across the U.S. where customers can only pay by card or smartphone.

Cash-free stores are generating a backlash among some activists and liberal-leaning policymakers who say the practice discriminates against people like Figueroa, who either lack bank accounts or rely on cash for many transactions.

Figueroa, an ironworker, had to stand to the side, holding his taco, until a sympathetic cashier helped him find another customer willing to pay for his meal with a card in exchange for cash.

“I had money and I couldn’t pay,” he said.

Read complete story published on Oil City News 5/12/2019

Kiosk Hacking – Tips To Harden Your Kiosk

Breaking into unattended and semi-attended devices should be harder than it is.

Recently McDonalds kiosks were hacked but by users simply using the software installed against itself.

One big rule — employ a lot of QA on your unit and have people try to break. Developers always think they have covered all the contingencies but almost never do.  They defend against what they know, not what happens in the real world.

Great video from LOL ComediaHa illustrating the over-confident developer thinking he has it all figured out, only to find out otherwise…

 

We also published a nice feature on Cyber Security and the implications which you should read. We quote:

Think the risk is overblown? A recent story on ZDNet detailed how a third-party worker inserted a USB drive into a computer on a cargo ship, inadvertently planting a virus in the ship’s administrative systems.

Here is much more advice from Andrew Savala of Redswimmer

It recently came out that a McDonalds kiosk in Australia was hacked. The following video shows two young men tricking the kiosk into giving them free food.

McDonald’s kiosk hack

Kiosk hacking has become common place in the news. In addition to the McDonald’s kiosk hack, HR kiosks have recently been hacked and there have also been incidents with smart city kiosks being hacked.

Self-service kiosks are everywhere from street corners to grocery stores and hackers are gunning for your customer’s data. Payment kiosks in particular are attractive targets because cardholder data is easy to monetize.

In this article I’m going to cover several techniques for hardening your kiosks security. Many of these kiosk hardening techniques involves functional changes to your kiosk application, so you’ll need to get your developers involved.

Prevent PIN theft

It’s frighteningly easy to steal someone’s PIN number using an iPhone and a thermal camera.

Flir makes one such thermal mobile camera that can be used to easily determine the PIN number someone entered.

The following video demonstrates this technique and explains how metal PIN pads, like those commonly found on ATMs, can be used to prevent PIN theft.

Shows how PIN theft works with thermal mobile camera and an iPhone
Password protect the BIOS

The BIOS firmware comes pre-installed on a personal computer‘s system board, and it is the first software to run when powered on.

Wikipedia

The BIOS is the first screen that appears when your computer boots and determines the boot order, among other things. From a security standpoint this is of particular concern because we don’t want a hacker to be able to reconfigure the computer to boot from a USB drive, or other media, instead of the kiosk’s hard drive.

Booting from another media would allow the attacker to run malware instead of the kiosk’s operating system. Fortunately, protecting the BIOS is simply a matter of configuring a password so the BIOS settings cannot be modified.

Here’s a tutorial video of how-to password protect your BIOS.

Tutorial video of how-to password protect your BIOS

Restrict keyboard input

The operating system has many keyboard shortcuts that will allow an attacker to exit out of your kiosk application and access the desktop.

There are many such hotkeys (i.e. Ctrl-Alt-Del in Windows) and we want to restrict the keyboard input to prevent a hacker from exiting your kiosk application.

Avoid the use of a physical keyboard when possible and instead opt for an onscreen keyboard with the system keys removed.

As an added layer of security, you can use a keyboard filter driver to filter out system hotkeys.

Prevent the mouse right-click

Right clicking the mouse will prompt the user with a series of options. Some of which could be used to close or compromise your kiosk application. This is particularly true if your kiosk is running a web browser.

Limiting the user to only clicking the left mouse button will help mitigate this risk.

The easiest way to achieve this is by having your kiosk application filter or ignore the right mouse click.

Block physical access to USB ports

By allowing a hacker access to the USB ports they can potentially load malware to hijack your kiosk.

The following video explains how BadUSB works and suggests some techniques for protecting your USB ports on a laptop.

For a kiosk, all the USB ports should be made inaccessible through the use of a secure kiosk or tablet enclosure. Many secure enclosure options are available for both tablets and kiosks.

Explains how BadUSB works and suggests some techniques for protecting USB ports on a laptop.

Prevent access to the file system

It’s important to ensure that hackers cannot access the file system of your kiosk. There are multiple ways to get to the file system, particularly if your kiosk is running a web browser.

One method is by simply entering the file path into the web browser address bar like shown below. I now have access to browse the file system and access potentially sensitive information.

File system accessed through the address bar in Chrome

Other opportunities to access the file system include, but are not limited to, the print dialog and right clicking the mouse.

You’ll also want to monitor for popup windows and automatically close any dialog boxes.

Restrict access to external websites

If your kiosk is running a web browser then you’ll want to restrict the user to only viewing your website.

The most straightforward way of accomplishing this is through the use of a whitelist.

A whitelist list is an acceptable list of websites or web pages, depending on how granular you want to get, which the browser will allow to be displayed.

If the user attempts to navigate to a page not in the whitelist then the page will not be displayed.

Incorporate a watchdog

A watchdog refers to a service running in the background which ensures that your kiosk application is always running.

If your kiosk application crashes, uses up too much memory, or stops behaving for any reason, the watchdog will restart it.

In Windows the watchdog should be a Windows Service that automatically runs at startup. The watchdog will be implemented differently depending on your operating system, but the underlying objective is the same.

Wrapping Up

Anytime you’re deploying a kiosk, protecting customer data should be a top concern.

Payment kiosks in particular are attractive targets for hackers because cardholder data is easy to monetize. But payment kiosks aren’t the only kiosks at risk.

In order to implement the techniques in this article you’re going to have to modify your kiosk application. It’s time to get your developers involved so you can start protecting your customers and your reputation.

 

In The Wild – Not So Great Kiosk Experience

We are constantly using kiosks and oftentimes we find kiosk implementations are less than best case to put it kindly.


Kiosk Experience 1

This is an email I received from a very experienced kiosk analyst at a Senior Living retirement facility

I used a new kiosk system last week to get a Visitor’s Pass at a big retirement facility where several canasta buddies live and where we were going to be playing that afternoon.. The touch screen was problematic but eventually I got signed up. I was told that once you registered, every subsequent visit would be much easier – you would just enter your phone number and the system would print out your visitor’s pass. Except when I entered my phone number, it said it wasn’t recognized and that I’d have to register all over again.
The people behind the desk said that if you registered at one kiosk (there are 2) you would also have to register at the other one. I was flabbergasted.
I told them that I used to evaluate these systems for a living and this was the STUPIDEST SYSTEM I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED. 
Have you ever encountered a system so dumb?

Kiosk Experience 2

Kiosk ExperienceThe next experience took place at a Chili’s and involved the Ziosk. I’m not of a big fan of touching units like these because I am a germaphobe and there isn’t any cleaning supplies or schedule indicated (unlike grocery stores I go into and get carts).
We had a gift card with $20 on it and decided to use it up and went to Chili’s. I had the Rib Eye steak (which reminded me of trip I once took to Abuja) but the steak was fine.
We went to pay and I grabbed the waitress and asked if she would bring the check and take care of us. Gift cards always introduce extra variable into process and I knew how long it would take to complete. I figured 5 minutes in time to catch the news I wanted to see.
Start the clock. It’s 6:00pm.
She asked me if I wanted to use Ziosk and I said not really and she asked if I was sure and I said ok.
The bill came to $37 and the Ziosk took my gift card just fine though I had to swipe it on the likely dirty card swipe three times. It said Fine and I added a $7 tip, said ok and 30 secs later it started to print my receipt out.
I was surprised since I figured there was another $24 to account for.
For a brief moment I considered just walking out and considering it done and maybe I had more on the card than I thought. People like to think they have more money than they have as a rule.
But the print got stuck halfway thru and the red light started flashing. About 4 minutes later the waitress showed up and she said she’d take care of it. I mentioned I was pretty sure I only had $21 on the gift card. She flipped the Ziosk over and opened it up where the printer was and left it on the table.
A few minutes later she came back with receipt for $37. Meanwhile the manager stopped by and wanted to make sure there was no confusion.
My wife looked at her watch and said she had cash so we got that out and waiting for the waitress to return and we just counted out the balance and then added the tip and gave her the money.
Time: 6:20

Kiosk Experience 3

And then there is technical failure. Below is a McDonalds screen on the outdoor ordering kiosk. I believe this was in Los Angeles California. You can see the burnout spots. When an LCD overheats in the sun it goes isotropic. If it happens enough it cannot recover and those pixels die. This monitor is literally fried in those zones.

mcdonalds outdoor kiosk screen


Kiosk Experience 4 “Not So Bad?”

And then there was Australia this week and McDonalds kiosk hack.
In the video, they order 10 burgers for $1 each using the kiosks. Then, they remove the meat from the ten burgers, which discounts each of the burgers by $1.10—leaving enough surplus to cover the cost of a regularly priced burger at McDonald’s.

Travel and Tourism Kiosks – 4 Ways Digital Kiosks Are Simplifying

As the seasons change, the weather gets warmer, and the school year comes to a close yet again, another vacation season is just around the corner. And according to a recent travel survey by AAA, nearly 100 million Americans are planning to participate this year.

The travel and tourism industry, which brought in more than $100 billion in the U.S. alone during the summer of 2017, continues to grow and flourish as Americans continue to make vacationing a priority. However, as the industry and the influx of travelers continues to grow, so does the demand for assistance, information, and other services during their stay—making the need for self-service solutions greater than ever before.

Designed with simplification in mind, self-service digital kiosks can help provide travelers with the information and services they need to allow them to enjoy their hard earned time away. After all, that’s what vacationing is all about, right?

Here are four ways digital kiosks are doing just that:

Car Rental

While not all vacations require a flight, for those that do, travelers’ first stop after they land at their destination is typically at the car rental counter. Designed to reduce long wait times and help kickstart vacations on a positive note, car rental kiosks allow drivers to check-in, select, pay for, and upgrade their rental car selection—all from the kiosk. Drivers receive a printed receipt to take to the counter to retrieve their keys, and then they’re directed to go pick up their car—it’s quick and easy.

Check-In

As the next logical step, travelers typically stop by their hotel to unload their luggage and get settled in. Similarly to the car rental check-in process, travelers can use hotel check-in kiosks to check-in and pay for their room and also retrieve their room key card. The check-in process can be completely unattended, allowing travelers to quickly check-in no matter if they arrive during the busiest time of the day or late into the evening. While check-in kiosks certainly simplify the hotel check-in process, they can also indirectly improve customer service. Employees who were typically tasked with handling check-in can be made more readily available to answer questions and provide assistance as it is needed.

Interactive Digital Signage & Wayfinding

Once travel and arrival logistics are taken care of, vacation can officially begin! However, whether it’s a traveler’s first or fifteenth time visiting a destination, there’s always something new to discover. From shops and restaurants to attractions, tours, and events, interactive digital signage and wayfinding kiosks can help travelers plan their days. With different categories, interactive information, map integrations, calling features, and print-on-demand capabilities, they can help users navigate their destination while also encouraging them to explore the surrounding area.

Visitor Feedback

While the conclusion of a vacation is often the hardest part of the trip for travelers, it’s also an opportunity to reflect back on their experience and to think about what they enjoyed and what they would have changed. Digital kiosks, placed in a hotel lobby or other central location provide a platform on which visitors can respond to surveys, and leave feedback, prior to making their departure. They aren’t limited to use in hotels, though. Restaurants, tours, and attractions of all kinds can implement visitor survey kiosks to help them make improvements and ensure that their visitors are having positive experiences.

From the first steps off the plane or out of the car, to the last steps out of the hotel, self-service kiosks are simplifying different aspects of the travel and tourism industry all across the board.

To learn more about Meridian’s travel and tourism-focused kiosks, visit www.meridiankiosks.com.

Bill Payment Mistakes – Avoid These 12 mistakes

bill payment mistakes

The road to creating a payment kiosk is fraught with pitfalls that can wreak havoc on your bottom line if you’re not careful.

In this article I’m going to cover the 12 most common pitfalls I’ve seen companies fall into when building their first payment kiosk.

It was hard to limit the article to only the top 12, but top 100 would have been too lengthy a read.

I’m not going to get too technical here, as this article is geared more towards project managers than developers.

Here are the top 12 mistakes in no particular order…

1. Not budgeting for ongoing maintenance

The typical annual reoccurring cost for ongoing maintenance on a kiosk application is roughly 20% of the initial price tag.  This is not including the hardware warranty of service level agreements (labor for fixing broken parts).

If you spend $100,000 to develop the kiosk application, figure you should budget at least $20,000 annually for ongoing maintenance.

This might strike you as high, but as the developers out there will attest, technology moves fast, and you don’t want to fall far behind.

Servers need upgrading, frameworks need updating, bugs need fixing and there’s always new features to be added.

2. Kiosk is sluggish or unresponsive

A sluggish kiosk can result from a spotty internet connection or poor design.

The illusion of responsiveness matters.  For example, when the user is completing their order the kiosk should display an animation to show that it’s processing the customer’s request.

If the UI completely freezes, the customer will worry that the machine locked up.

On the other hand, if there’s an animation conveying the kiosk is busy processing the customer’s request, the customer will assume the kiosk is still responsive and not to worry.

3. Poorly handling internet outages

Internet outages are inevitable, so you better plan for them.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your kiosk needs to function in “offline mode.” At a minimum you should display a screen to indicating to the customer that your kiosk is out of order and helpful advice on how to solve their problem.

For example, “The kiosk is out of order, please pick up the red phone in the lobby and dial #0 for assistance.”

When possible, you should process transactions in offline mode and store them in a local database. Then sync them up with the server when internet connectivity is restored.

4. Too much text on the screen

Your kiosk is not a giant tablet or smart phone, so don’t treat it like one. Each screen should clearly and concisely communicate what you want the customer to do.

It’s better to have more screens that clearly guide the customer through the process, than a few cluttered and confusing screens. This is an amateur kiosk mistake.

Below is a good example from Redbox on how much text is appropriate.

5. Using the wrong enclosure (or none at all!)

The PC or tablet is the brains of your kiosk and it must be protected by a secure enclosure. Exposed USB ports are a hacker’s wet dream because they make it easy to install malware.

Several turnkey enclosure options are available for tablets and kiosks. Here are a few options…

Tablet Enclosures

Full Kiosk Enclosures

6. Not monitoring for downtime

Do your kiosks have regular downtime and you don’t even know it?  Are your customers opting for the cashier without your knowledge?

The answer may be YES if your system experiences regular downtime. Worst of all, you might not know the extent of the damage until your customers are thoroughly pissed off.

Kiosk downtime can cost you more than you think and it’s easy to monitor your kiosks in real-time so you can address issues quickly.

A couple good options which offer both monitoring and remote access include…

7. Unengaging kiosk attract screen

The kiosk attract screen is the first thing your customer sees when they approach your kiosk.

The kiosk attract screen should entice customers to engage with your kiosk.  Many times, this is not the case because the attract screen is poorly designed.

Below is a good example of a kiosk attract screen from McDonald’s.

A well-designed kiosk attract screen should incorporate the following:

  • Clearly communicate your kiosk’s purpose
  • Convey the benefit of using your kiosk
  • Use short, large and easily readable text
  • Incorporate eye-catching photography
  • Be relevant to your customer demographic

8. Waiting until too late to consider payment devices

This is one of the biggest problem’s companies encounter where they really paint themselves into a corner.

I regular get questions like, “how do I integrate payment device X into my Android app?”

Payment device manufacturers typically only support one or two operating systems (Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.). In many cases the payment device manufacturer doesn’t make an SDK for Android, so you’re left with doing a very low-level hardware integration, or scrapping the entire kiosk app and starting over in a supported operating system.

I’m not trashing Android; my point is to consider early in your project if the payment device you need supports the operating system you want to use.

iOS and Android in particular, will have a limited selection when it comes to payment devices. Whereas Windows and Linux will have the broadest number of options.

This is one of those mistakes that can completely wreck your budget and timeline.

9. Failing to understand EMV and PCI Compliance

What’s the difference between EMV compliance vs PCI compliance?  The short answer is they’re both guidelines for protecting cardholder data for the purpose preventing fraud, but they focus on different elements of the credit card transaction.

“To clarify it even further and more simply, PCI is about making sure the card data doesn’t get stolen and is secure in the first place and EMV is making sure if the data IS stolen that the content is rendered useless.”

CPI

10. Not considering technical debt

Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.

 Wikipedia

Technical debt is a broad term, but I’m going to use it in the context of the framework you use to develop your kiosk application (.NET, Electron, React Native, Swift, etc.).

Your code base will need regular maintenance, so make sure to select a popular framework which you can actually find developers to maintain.

Your developer may love coding in Flutter, but can you easily find a replacement in a pinch if your current developer were to quit?

The ugly truth is, whatever framework you choose today will seem old and outdated 2 years from now. You might as well choose a framework that’s popular and trending upwards.

11. Improperly storing customer data

A security breach is always a possibility. To minimize the risk, it’s best to ask ourselves, “What’s the worst thing a hacker could get if this kiosk got hacked?”

By not storing any cardholder or other sensitive data on the kiosk it goes a long way towards minimizing the damage if your kiosk were to get hacked.

Modern EMV devices will completely separate your kiosk application from the card holder data so you don’t even have the opportunity to store or transmit cardholder data.

12. Not offering concierge service for your first MVP kiosk

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept from Lean Startup that stresses the impact of learning in new product development. Eric Ries, defined an MVP as that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. This validated learning comes in the form of whether your customers will actually purchase your product.

Agile Alliance

The kiosk MVP is a whole series unto itself. Long story short, get a basic version of your kiosk out in the real-world as soon as possible and start collecting real customer feedback.

In order to maximize the value of customer feedback, place a real-life human being near your kiosks to assist customers and see how they interact with your MVP kiosk.

As a developer, it’s easy to get ivory tower syndrome and think customers will know exactly how to use your kiosk. When in reality, this is likely the first time they’ve ever encountered your kiosk and it’s probably not as “user friendly” as you think.

You’ll learn a lot by listening to your first customers and be able to quickly incorporate their feedback to provide a superior self-service experience.

Wrapping Up

Self-service payment kiosks are a powerful tool for boosting sales, reducing customer wait times and combating a rising minimum wage, but it’s also a double-edged sword.

Due to the disconnected nature of self-service, it’s easy to lose touch with your customers and their needs.

This is why the concierge service for your first MVP kiosk is so critical.

By being forward thinking and following these tips, you will avoid some of the most common and costly pitfalls companies make on their first payment kiosk.

Andrew Savala
Andrew Savala
CEO at RedSwimmer Inc.
Andrew Savala is the CEO of RedSwimmer, with a background in designing and deploying complex payment kiosk systems.Andrew offers high-value, strategic consulting services to companies looking to develop their payment kiosks.

Kiosk Magazine – FMA Magazine Spring 2019

FMA Magazine Spring 2019 Issue Released

The Impulse Buy – The Psychology Behind Retail

  • How Interactive Can Change the Cannabis Dispensary Industry
  • Usability and Accessibility: Guidelines Brands Must Consider When Developing a Kiosk Program
  • The Psychology Behind Retail Marketing
  • On the Road with FMA

Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences.

 

More on Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.

Photo Kiosks – Generation Next Acquires Print Mates™

Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. Acquires Print Mates™, Expanding Company’s Unattended Retail Portfolio

photo kiosk printmates
Click photo kiosk image to expand to larger view

SAN DIEGO, CA, April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NEWMEDIAWIRE – Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: VEND) announced today that it has reached terms to acquire the assets of Print Mates, LLC, a small team of entrepreneurs, software engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk.

Nick Yates, CEO of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, said that the Print Mates assets will be held by a wholly owned subsidiary of Generation Next which will operate separately with its own facilities, staff, and resources. “It is extremely important to us that Print Mates, or any acquisition, is mature enough and has the right team, product and supply chain to operate independently, as a wholly-owned but separate subsidiary. For us, anything less would have been a non-starter,” Yates said, noting that the nationwide rollout of the company’s flagship unattended franchising concept, Reis & Irvy’s, has both his and Generation Next’s “undivided attention.”

“Print Mates™ is a turn-key subsidiary for us.  The team, facilities, manufacturing and product fulfillment; everything is in place. The Print Mates™ Kiosk perfectly complements our product portfolio, and is ready to ship. The timing of the acquisition was designed to allow us to be first to market with a complementary unattended retail concept that is even more autonomous than our flagship Reis & Irvy’s kiosks, requiring only about 30 minutes per month in human maintenance,” Yates said. “The ultimate goal however is to own and operate thousands of these replicating the Redbox/Coinstar model and the team at Print Mates has already established relationships and tests with the country’s largest retail, convenience and grocery chains.

Generation Next is assuming the liabilities of Print Mates, LLC in exchange for the assets. There is no cash consideration being paid by Generation Next to Print Mates or any of its members. The assets acquired include five patent applications, complete engineering documents for the kiosk, customer contracts, supplier agreements, intellectual property, and proprietary software. A contract with a Canadian licensee with a commitment to purchase $7,000,000 of Print Mates Kiosks over a 5-year term is part of the assets acquired by Generation Next. The liabilities assumed by Generation Next net of kiosk inventory value are approximately $300,000.

An Unfulfilled Demand in a Billion Dollar Industry

Due in large part to consumers’ adoption of the smartphone, at least 1.5 trillion photos are estimated to have been captured in 2018. Predictions to 2022 continue to show a compounded annual growth (CAGR) in that figure of greater than 10 percent, so that by 2022 the number of photos captured annually will grow to over 2.3 trillion.  Print Mates™ is an innovative new way to monetize consumers’ craze for the phone camera.

Print Mates™ unattended kiosks are designed to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone into your hand,” while creating a low-to-no maintenance, extremely high margin business opportunity in unattended retail for entrepreneurs and retailers.  Recent consumer research reports show that consumers in every age group – from tweens to Millennials; from Generation X to Baby Boomers – still desire to preserve their most cherished memories in high-quality photo prints. But until now, professional-quality, third party services that turned digital photos into prints were either too inconvenient, too slow, or too expensive for today’s consumer.

Print Mates™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, convenience stores, hotels, airports, and more.     The Print Mates™ Kiosks put reliable and quality photo printing at customers’ fingertips while allowing independent operators and business owners to earn a very high margin from each sale. Customers love using the Print Mates™ Kiosk because they can instantly, easily and cost-effectively print high-quality photos directly from their smartphones or through their favorite social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Dropbox, and Flickr) photo sharing, or cloud storage accounts in six different sizes of prints in just seconds.

Consumers can also conveniently order decor and other photo products, gifts and accessories ranging from frames, picture books, posters, jumbo-sized prints, and fridge magnets to beautiful canvas and wood prints and have them conveniently shipped to their home with just a few taps. A soon-to-be-released software update will also add an option for passport photos, a product many retailers are asked for daily.

“The team at Print Mates is solving another problem with a simple, unattended retail kiosk solution,” Yates said. “We all have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos stuck in our cell phones and stored on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. The only reason most of us don’t print them is because we don’t have a convenient way to do so, staring us in the face,” Yates continued. “Print Mates kiosks can be placed in any number of location categories, from grocery chains to hotels and big box retailers, just to name a few.  And the kiosks earn extremely high margins on each sale with some products on the kiosks’ menu selling for as much as $125 dollars. The team at Print Mates has secured agreements to test the kiosks in some of the largest grocery, convenience and big box retail chains across the U.S., representing tens of thousands of potential locations, and our plan is to provide Generation Next, our shareholders, and our franchisees the exclusive opportunity to own, operate and share in the revenue provided by this extraordinary product,” Yates concluded.

Print Mates™ location partners will be supported by a unique marketing program that leverages Google Business to drive consumers in real time directly to their machines whenever they need to quickly and conveniently print their photos.  If a customer types “photo printing” in to the google search engine, it will point them to the closest Print Mates retailer. The strategy will be paired with a national regional marketing program to create awareness of the Print Mates™ brand.

Item 404 of Regulation S-K requires disclosure of any transaction over $120,000 in which the Company is a participant and any related person has a direct or indirect material interest. “Related persons” include directors, nominees, executive officers, five percent shareholders and their immediate family members. The present acquisition of the assets of Print Mates, LLC is a related party transaction as the sole member of Print Mates, LLC, Franklyn Yates, is an immediate family member (Brother) of Nicholas Yates, the CEO and Chairman of Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. The transaction has been duly authorized by the Board of Directors of the Company who have been informed of the related party interest.

Generation NEXT Website: www.gennextbrands.com

About Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc.

Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc., based in San Diego, California, is a publicly traded company on the OTC Markets trading under the symbol OTCBB: VEND. Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. is parent company to Reis and Irvy’s Inc, 19 Degrees Corporate Service LLC and Print Mates.www.gennextbrands.com

About Print Mates

Print Mates™ was formed by a team of entrepreneurs, engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk – and creating a golden opportunity for retailers in the process.

Print Mates’™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, hotels, airports and more.

The company began a nationwide expansion in 2019 by offering retailers, business owners and forward-thinking retailers across the country an opportunity to own a piece of an emerging multi billion-dollar industry.

Print Mates™ Kiosks and ever-expanding product line of photographic decor, gifts, prints and accessories are proudly Made in the USA.www.printmates.com

About Reis & Irvy’s, Inc.

Reis & Irvy’s, Inc. is a subsidiary franchise concept of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (VEND). Launched in early 2016, the revolutionary Reis & Irvy’s Vending Robot serves seven different flavors of frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbets and gelatos, a choice of up to six custom toppings, and to customers within 60 seconds or less at the point of sale. The unique franchise opportunity has since established itself as a high-demand product and currently showcases a franchise network both domestically as well as internationally. www.reisandirvys.com

Peerless-AV Announces SmartMount Line of Motorized Carts and Stands

Peerless-AV is excited to announce its family of new SmartMount® Motorized Height Adjustable Carts and Stands. Ideal for education settings, these products were designed to aid educators in the classroom and enforce a collaborative environment for students. 

image.png

SmartMount® Motorized Height Adjustable Flat Panel Cart (SR598ML3E)

  • Display height can be adjusted up to 25.6″ (650mm) with the touch of a button
  • Maneuvers easily on 4″ (102mm) swivel casters, two locking
  • Pre-assembled base and casters provides rigidity, stability, and quick assembly
  • Textured black powder coat finish helps hide fingerprints and dust
  • Display adaptor fits from 200 x 200 to 800 x 600mm mounting patterns
  • Safety limit switch automatically reverses direction and stops when a collision is detected in an upward, downward or lateral force
  • Easy setup and storage with optional rear shelf providing room for a mini PC and power strip, along with hidden power cord organization
  • Fastest assembly in the market to streamline deployment times
  • Corded handset never needs batteries and is never lost
  • UL962 and UL1678 listed, ADA compliant
image.png

SmartMount® Motorized Height Adjustable Tabletop Cart (SR598ML3T)

  • Display height can be adjusted up to 25.6″ (650mm) with the touch of a button, making this solution ADA compliant
  • Safety limit switch automatically reverses direction and stops when a collision is detected in an upward, downward, or lateral force
  • Universal display adaptor fits mounting patterns from 200 x 200mm to 800 x 600mm
  • Open frame display adaptor helps prevent display input interference
  • Rear enclosure provides storage for mini PCs, such as Shuttle, Dell OptiPlex Micro, HP 260 G2, Lenovo M600 Tiny or Intel NUC, and includes mounting locations for external WiFi antennas
  • Includes Peerless-AV® PVP1100-CPL6 6 outlet Power Strip with 15ft cord and 2160 joule rating (15A, 120V, 1800W, EMI/RFI noise filtering)
  • Corrugated cable pathways route and protect cabling during display movement and positioning
  • Textured black powder coat finish helps hide fingerprints and dust
  • Cord wrap included for managing surge protector cord
  • Corded handset never needs batteries and is never lost

 

image.png

SmartMount® Motorized Height Adjustable Stand/Wall Mount (SS598ML3)

  • Pre-assembled base provides rigidity, stability and quick assembly
  • Solution can rest on the floor or be bolted directly to the floor or wall
  • Display adaptor fits from 200 x 200 to 800 x 600mm mounting patterns
  • Clean aesthetic with rear wall plate allowing for mounting of surge protector or mini PC and bottom shelf storage
  • Safety limit switch automatically reverses direction and stops when a collision is detected in an upward, downward or lateral force
  • Display height can be adjusted up to 25.6″ (650mm) with the touch of a button
  • Textured black powder coat finish helps hide finger prints and dust
  • Corded handset never needs batteries and is never lost

Send me some information

 

More Peerless Information

Self-Service Kiosk Benefits Grow

Reprinted with permission from Meridian blog

As Kiosks and the Self-Service Industry Continue to Grow, So Do the Benefits They Offer

Regardless of where you live, the places you visit frequently, or which media sources you tune into, there’s no denying that the kiosk and self-service solutions industry as a whole is rapidly expanding into new industries across the globe.

According to the 2019 Kiosk Marketplace Census Report, self-service kiosk sales grew more than 17.6 percent over the last calendar year, totaling a whopping $9.22 billion dollars in 2018. This isn’t the first year the industry has experienced significant growth like this, though. In fact, according to the report, the tremendous growth of the self-service industry in 2018 only slightly surpassed the growth that the industry saw in 2017.                                                                                                                                                      What’s causing all of this growth? The recently released report features more than 50 pages of charts, graphs, and insights from a variety of industry players and experts, all of which attribute the industry’s growth to a plethora of different factors. However, the promise of an improved overall customer perception and an increase in revenue as a result of reduced wait times, improved customer service, and sales and advertising support are among the most prominent.

Improved Customer Perception

Cited at the top reason for deploying a kiosk, the majority of businesses implement kiosks with the customer in mind. With the ability to streamline processes, expand inventory offerings, improve accessibility, and expand a business’ reach, kiosks can be used to improve a customer’s experience, as a result, their overall perception of the company.

Reduced Wait Times

Of those surveyed, reducing waiting lines was the #1 most important characteristic of self-service kiosks. Designed to streamline and automate processes that traditionally would have traditionally required a user to wait in line to enlist the help of an employee, self-service kiosks allow users to complete simple tasks on their own. While self-service kiosks directly expedite processes for those who choose to use them, they also indirectly benefit those who opt for a more traditional face-to-face experience with an employee by reducing the amount of individuals waiting in their lines.

Upgraded Customer Service

As tasks that would have previously been assigned to a sales associate—like the checkout process—are reassigned to a kiosk, businesses are able to reposition some employees to more customer-centric roles. This shift allows questions and concerns to be addressed in a more timely manner—effectively improving the quality of customer service offered as well as the level of customer satisfaction.

Sales and Advertising Support

With the ability to promote and sell products and services on-screen through a website integration, endless aisle, or advertisements, self-service kiosks are an effective way to drive awareness and sales in-store without pulling sales associates away from their other roles. Similarly, businesses can generate additional revenue by selling advertising space on the kiosk’s attract loop for complementary products, businesses, and services.

Kiosks and the self-service industry as a whole have boasted incredible growth over the course of the past decade, and that growth shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. In fact, as consumer perceptions and revenue growth continues to positively progress, one can expect to see the industry remain on its upward trend.

To learn more about our self-service solutions and the benefits they can offer, visit www.meridiankiosks.com or give us a call at 866-454-6757.

Digital Wayfinding – Qwick Media Announces QwickWay

April 10, 2019

QwickWayTM is your leading digital 3D Interactive Wayfinding

digital wayfinding qwickway by qwickmedia
Click for full size image

The most cost effective, versatile, rapid 3D wayfinding
with outstanding details and simplicity.

• Simplistic in design and use
• Easily manageable in real time
• A part of the complete integrated package or a stand
alone product.
• Applicable in endless isle in stores for retail.
The mapping and wayfinding system includes eleva-
tors, escalators, stairways, and walkways between
buildings. Getting directions between floors is easy.

Digital Wayfinding

• Interactive Navigation
• Rerouting for detour
• Directory interface
• ADA compliant
• Content management
• Multilingual
Contact us
• 3D experience interface
• Build-in Wayfinding Algorithm
• Interactive keyboard for search
• Pop-up descriptions
• Analytics

To learn more about QwickWayTM – your leading digital 3D Interactive Wayfinding contact Qwick Media, Inc.

More Information

Qwick Media Inc.
Telephone: 778.370.1715  1.855.370.1715
E-Mail: [email protected]
Address: 8331 Eastlake Drive, Building 2A, Suite 104, Burnaby, B. C. V5A 4W2
www.qwickmedia.com

Endless Aisle Kiosk – California Closets Kiosk Conquers Showroom Space

April 8th from Retail Touchpoints – features Elotouch 46″ endless aisle

  • Written by  Adam Blair

Endless Aisle Kiosk - California Closets Kiosk Conquers Showroom Space Challenges

CaliforniaClosets techtable verticalCalifornia Closets has been on a mission to create a consistent look for its 150 showrooms located across the country. For most of the retailer’s 41 years of operation, its stores have sported very different looks, in part because approximately two thirds of the locations are franchises rather than corporate-owned stores.

The company’s other big brick-and-mortar challenge has been finding enough square footage in its stores to show off multiple examples of the retailer’s creative, customized closet designs. California Closets offers designs for every room in the house, with a wide range of functionalities, materials and finishes — far more variations than could be shown even in a football-field sized showroom. Larger showrooms can house as many as 10 displays, but the retailer creates customized storage spaces for bedrooms, pantries and garages, so there’s a constant fight for space.

Full Text Endless Aisle Article

April 8th from Retail Touchpoints – features Elotouch 46″ endless aisle

Amazon Go stores will start accepting cash

Full article Wednesday April 10 from CNBC

Amazon exec tells employees that Go stores will start accepting cash to address ‘discrimination’ concerns

  
KEY POINTS
  • Amazon’s Steve Kessel, who runs physical stores, said last month that the company plans to add “additional payment mechanisms” to its Go stores.
  • A spokesperson confirmed Kessel’s comment but didn’t provide a time frame for the change.
  • The move comes as a growing number of cities and states are enacting laws that require stores to accept cash.

McDonalds Kiosk Free Burger Hack from Australia

Two friends in Australia appear to have cracked the McDonald’s kiosk system, allowing them to score a free burger. A YouTube video shows the pals taking advantage of a burger discount by tricking the machine.

In the video, they order 10 burgers for $1 each using the kiosks. Then, they remove the meat from the ten burgers, which discounts each of the burgers by $1.10—leaving enough surplus to cover the cost of a regularly priced burger at McDonald’s.

Read full post on Delish

More on McDonalds Kiosks

CTS Launches Software for Check-In Workflow

Healthcare Software for Patient Check-In

Menomonee Falls, WI: Connected Technology Solutions (CTS) launched a workflow automation software product for kiosk users across all industries this week. Kwerk is the name of the new software, capable of quick, secure self-service without onsite servers. The software streamlines administrative processes by allowing users to check-in, update demographics, sign forms and make payments – ideal for businesses in healthcare, hospitality, security and transportation.

The software is fully customizable and can be branded to be consistent with any client’s brand standards. Capabilities of the software include: document and resources management, payment collection, real time data updates and API integration. Installing Kwerk can traditionally be done completely remotely, reducing employers’ on-site expenses.

Currently, Kwerk is integrated with AthenaHealth and Indian Health Services, with more integrations and deployments to be released in the fall of 2019. Ben Heise, Director of New Product Development at CTS, offered “Patient self-service is just the beginning. Kwerk was designed and is implemented to facilitate workflows from all industries. By providing
a cloud-based workflow solution on Chrome, Kwerk can be quickly implemented and launched to minimize the implementation take time and maximize ROI.”  Heise and the team at CTS intend to take a proactive approach for identifying more applications for Kwerk, as applications for the software seem limitless.

About Connected Technology Solutions: Connected Technology Solutions (CTS) is the thought leader in branded user experiences including point of purchase kiosks, digital signage, interactive displays and retail fixtures, with an extensive roster of clients in the healthcare, retail, hospitality, transportation industries and more. Recognized for its outstanding creative talent and innovative engineering, the Wisconsin-based company has won numerous prestigious awards for its customized software and hardware design, implementation, and customer service and support since its founding in 2002. CTS is the parent company of CTS Healthcare Services and Mighty Touch. For more information, visit connectedts.com.

CyberSecurity Kiosks Help Companies

Reprinted from Olea Kiosks

Portable media remains one of the key ways hackers infect a company’s network

Anyone who’s ever dropped of their child at a daycare is familiar with the scenario. If one child has a virus, it’s only a matter of time until all the other kids pick it up as well.

It’s the same with digital storage devices. Introducing USB drives, media cards or data disks into company computers can be just as risky as having your child spend the day with a sick kid.

Sure, it’s likely there’s no bad intent. It may simply be to copy a few files to work on over the weekend, or just to bring some favorite tunes into the office to help make the day more enjoyable. But portable drives are like those sick kids at the daycare.  The worst-case scenario involves the spread of a nasty virus that can end up costing a parent (or a company) thousands of dollars to fight.

The bigger the corporation, the greater the risk. In addition to a greater number of employees who may use portable drives, larger corporations are likely to use contractors to perform maintenance on equipment that may provide an access point to internal networks.

Think the risk is overblown? A recent story on ZDNet detailed how a third-party worker inserted a USB drive into a computer on a cargo ship, inadvertently planting a virus in the ship’s administrative systems. The systems of another cargo ship were infected for more than two years, thanks to a virus that was introduced to its power management systems via a USB drive used in a software update. Luckily, nether incident affected the ships while they were at sea.

In another story that would be laughable if it wasn’t true, Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau handed out 250 USB drives to winners of a quiz on cybersecurity. The bonus? At least 54 of the drives were infected by a virus that had made its way from the computer of an employee of the hardware manufacturer.

Olea California Cyber-Security Malware Scanning Kiosk

And in yet another situation, reported on KrebsOnSecurity.com, the American Dental Association admitted that it may have inadvertently mailed malware-laced USB drives to thousands of dental offices around the country.

The drives contained information about updated codes that dental offices use to track procedures for billing and insurance purposes. Unfortunately, the drives also contained a program that attempted tries to open a Web page used by hackers to infect visitors with malware, ultimately giving criminals full control of the infected Windows computer. The ADA told Krebs the drives were manufactured in China by a subcontractor of one of its vendor, and that about 37,000 of the devices had been sent to dental offices.

With the risks involved in using portable drives, what can a company do to protect itself?

Stop problems at the front door

Organizations in a variety of industries require secure networks that serve critical infrastructure, mission critical processes, or are otherwise vital to business operations. Critical networks monitor and control physical equipment and processes, often found in industries that manage critical infrastructure, such as energy, oil & gas, water and utilities, but also in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and government defense networks. Critical networks are also found in air and road traffic control, shipping systems, as well as other industries.

These networks are often targeted by professional hackers, and in some cases even by government supported actors. These sophisticated hackers frequently use zero-day attacks which cannot be detected by traditional signature-based security tools. In addition, malware continues to grow both in volume and in complexity, with new variants increasingly evading even more advanced security systems such as malware sandboxes. In 2018, we saw Shamoon malware used to attack energy facilities around the globe and the Triton cyber attackshut down a number of industrial facilities.

To guard against outside attacks, networks are often air-gapped or somehow isolated from the rest of the organization’s infrastructure.

One way to ensure network security, of course, is to completely ban the use of outside drives with company equipment. Unfortunately, in many situations that’s just not practical. For example, operating systems and software need to be patched and critical system logs need to be collected. It may also be an outside firm making an on-site sales pitch using a presentation brought in on a CD or flash drive, or it could be an employee using their personal device to transfer files to work on over the weekend. It could be a doctor at the local hospital copying X-ray images to take back to their office.

And chances are that most of us have three or four flash drives sitting on their desk, purchased at the local drugstore, picked up as swag at an industry trade show or even found lying near a computer in a conference room. If we needed on in a hurry, we’d likely grab one of those without giving it a second thought.

Anyway, who wants to work in a cubicle farm where bringing in some Taylor Swift to pass the time is against the rules?

Securing the network against threats

With that in mind, how does the organization create a data transfer process to securely move files in and out of the critical network without exposing it to a risk of infection or the loss of sensitive information?

A more sensible way to address network security might be to allow the use of portable drives, but insist those drives be scanned before being used at the office. It’s sort of like signing up for daycare services but getting a full medical workup on all the other kids before trusting them with your own child.

Enter the Cybersecurity kiosk

One tool for accomplishing such a task is the California Cyber Security Kiosk, manufactured by Olea Kiosk. Olea created the California to help companies safeguard their infrastructure from malware threats on removable devices brought in by employees, contractors, vendors and others.

The California safeguards critical networks by providing the ability to detect malware, as well as control and sanitize file contents before entering or leaving a secure network. The kiosk can be deployed at strategic locations throughout your organization where employees or guests may be entering with USB drives or other portable media that could contain malicious files. A notice that portable drives need to be scanned before being brought on site can be included in employee training materials, while receptionists or other greeters can direct contractors or third-party vendors to scan any drive they plan to use while at work.

Using OPSWAT’s Metascan multi-scanning technology, Olea’s kiosk can scan USB drives, Blu-ray/CDs/DVDs, and other portable media using up to 30 fully-licensed antivirus engines. The kiosk offers an array of features including a 15-in-1 media reader, a receipt printer, a robust Dell CPU, two external USB ports and a UPS battery device that continues power during an electrical brownout.

The kiosk’s stylish design allows it to provide functionality while at the same time enhancing the look of employee entrances or office lobbies.

Nearly every day brings news of a data breach, ransomware attack or other virus issue that brings a company to its knees, and those threats continue to grow. The 2018 Global Threat Report indicates that more than 7 in 10 of all organizations in the US were affected by a data breach in some way over the past few years. Other studies peg the cost of a data breach at an average of $3.62 million.

Don’t be one of that 70 percent. If you need protection from the cybersecurity risks of using portable media, Olea Kiosks stands ready to help!

Contact Olea Kiosks today at 800.927.8063 for more information

 

Related Information

GLI Industry Advisory – Wagering Systems

“GLI-33 – Standards for Event Wagering Systems” Release for Industry Comment

gaming labs logoApril 3, 2019 – Gaming Laboratories International, LLC (GLI), is pleased to announce the release of the draft of “GLI-33 v1.1, Standards for Event Wagering Systems” for industry-wide comment.

GLI-33 v1.1 reflects a revision to the core event wagering standard to provide better clarity between technical requirements, which would be evaluated in the lab, and operational controls and procedures, which would be evaluated on-site post system install. Additionally, this revision enhances sections pertaining to operational controls and procedures, including periodic security testing to help regulators and operators create more efficient and alternative processes to monitor sports wagering operations. In general, the changes are largely designed to improve the clarity and consistency of requirements.

The draft of GLI-33 v1.1 is being provided to industry stakeholders for review and comment at this time. Stakeholders include wagering, gaming and lottery regulators, suppliers, test laboratories, operators, and industry trade associations. Written comments are encouraged and can be submitted to GLI by using the linked PDF copy of GLI-33 v1.1 provided below. The formal comment period begins with the issuance of this Advisory and concludes in 3 weeks, on April 26, 2019. Comments should be submitted to the “GLI Compliance” mailbox at [email protected] Please note that this public comment draft is not final-formatted.

To further facilitate industry review, an Executive Summary of the Changes from the prior GLI-33 v1.0 is linked above for reference. GLI will process the comments received from industry stakeholders and collaborate as-needed to address their interpretation, evaluation, and resolution in the context of the revision to this technical standard.

Each standard in the GLI Standard Series is a culmination of industry best-practices and is continually updated based on industry feedback. The GLI Standards are true “industry standards” in that they are created using a collaborative approach which involves thousands of gaming industry stakeholders. These standards are intended to assist regulators by creating baseline technical guidelines which they can adopt and/or utilize in the manner they see fit. In addition to assisting regulators, the standards are of tremendous value to suppliers who use the standards as a guide in their design and development process, saving both time and expense. GLI-33 and the rest of the GLI Standards Series are available for free download on the ‘GLI Standards’ tab found at www.gaminglabs.com.

GLI Industry Advisory – Standards for Kiosks Public Comment

“GLI-20 – Standards for Kiosks” Release for Industry Comment

gaming labs logoApril 3, 2019 – Gaming Laboratories International, LLC (GLI), is pleased to announce the release of the draft of “GLI-20 v2.0, Standards for Kiosks” for industry-wide comment.
GLI-20 v2.0 reflects a revision to the core kiosk standard to incorporate technical requirements reflective of the latest trends in kiosk technology, to better align with overlapping requirements in the GLI Family of Technical Standards and other industry standards, and to reflect best-in-industry practices. In general, the changes are largely designed to improve the clarity and consistency of requirements.
The draft of GLI-20 v2.0 is being provided to industry stakeholders for review and comment at this time. Stakeholders include wagering, gaming and lottery regulators, suppliers, test laboratories, operators, and industry trade associations. Written comments are encouraged and can be submitted to GLI by using the linked PDF copy of GLI-20 v2.0 provided below.
The formal comment period begins with the issuance of this Advisory and concludes in 3 weeks, on April 26, 2019.
Comments should be submitted to the “GLI Compliance” mailbox at [email protected].
Please note that this public comment draft is not final-formatted.  Here are the web links.
Here are those documents here
To further facilitate industry review, an Executive Summary of the Changes from the prior GLI-20 v1.5 is linked above for reference. GLI will process the comments received from industry stakeholders and collaborate as-needed to address their interpretation, evaluation, and resolution in the context of the revision to this technical standard.
Each standard in the GLI Standard Series is a culmination of industry best-practices and is continually updated based on industry feedback. The GLI Standards are true “industry standards” in that they are created using a collaborative approach which involves thousands of gaming industry stakeholders.
These standards are intended to assist regulators by creating baseline technical guidelines which they can adopt and/or utilize in the manner they see fit. In addition to assisting regulators, the standards are of tremendous value to suppliers who use the standards as a guide in their design and development process, saving both time and expense. GLI-20 and the rest of the GLI Standards Series are available for free download on the ‘GLI Standards’ tab found at www.gaminglabs.com.
More Information

W2 Self-Service Legislation Proposed in Nevada – Walmart Target?

In Nevada legislation has just been introduced to require certain businesses that use kiosks that replace employees to pay unemployment taxes on the kiosks.

We presume it’s targeted at Walmart and/or hybrid POS systems, but appears there is a lot of work to do to define what’s intended.

If you deploy kiosks in Nevada and are interested in representation of your interests KI can recommend companies ready to assist.

Timeline is typically 2 weeks in committee and then the hearings begin.

Summary: Requires employees that use certain self-service devices to pay a fee. (BDR 53-959)
Title: AN ACT relating to unemployment compensation; requiring an employer that uses certain self-service devices to pay a fee; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Introduction Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Fiscal Notes: Effect on Local Government: No.
Effect on the State: Yes.
Digest: show Existing law requires employers to pay quarterly unemployment contributions that are based on wages paid to employees to the Administrator of the Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation for deposit in the Unemployment Compensation Fund. (NRS 612.535) Section 1 of this bill requires employers that utilize certain self-service devices operated by a customer to enter prices and complete a purchase transaction to pay a quarterly fee to the Administrator for each device in an amount equal to the average unemployment contribution per employee.
Section 1 also requires the fees collected to be deposited in the Unemployment Compensation Administration Fund which is used to defray the cost of administering provisions relating to unemployment compensation. (See NRS 612.605)

 

W2 Self-Service

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/80th2019/Bill/6754/Overview

Related News

Lawmaker proposes unemployment insurance payments for self-serve kiosks

 

Craig is a  senior staff writer for Kiosk Industry Group Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He contributed to this article.

CSUN ADA Interview – AudioEye in Anaheim March 2019

#CSUNATC19 Audio: A Transformative Experience For Kiosk Access With AudioEye

audioeye ADASelf service options have been gaining momentum beyond the gas pump and the grocery lines. McDonald s, and others in the Food Service industry, have been exploring Cashierless payment alternatives such as those involving the use of Kiosks for general user transactions. AudioEye s Dan Sullivan, Vice President of Sales, and Mark Maker, CTO, discuss with Joe some of the challenges that can come with moving to these kinds of payment platforms and how AudioEye is leveraging their existing technology to meet those challenges. To learn more about where the company is going in the future, or to inquire about their web access solutions, visit the AudioEye website

Listen to the interview (19 minutes approximately)

Transcript

Direct from Anaheim, it’s blindbargains.com coverage of CSUN 2019, brought to you by AFB AccessWorld.
For the latest news and accessibility information on mainstream and access technology; Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offerings; access technology book reviews and mobile apps and how they can enhance entertainment, education, and employment, log onto AccessWorld, the American Foundation for the Blind’s free monthly online technology magazine, www.afb.org/aw.
Now, here’s Joe Steincamp.
JOE STEINCAMP: Welcome back to coverage from Anaheim. It is Joe Steincamp here, and I’m over at the AudioEye booth with Dan and Mark.
Dan, you know, you caught me as we were walking through, and I asked you where Jeff was. I feel weird. This is, like, the first year I’ve not interviewed Jeff from the company. But Jeff is alive and well, I understand?
DAN SULLIVAN: He’s holding the fort down while we’re all out here in Anaheim at CSUN this week.
JS: He – basically, he wanted San Diego, not LA. That’s what I’m getting; right?
DS: Well, somebody had to keep the lights on, so –
JS: Well, there you go. We couldn’t entice him with —
DS: — he’s keeping it all going.
JS: Couldn’t entice him with Disney World – or Disney Land; right? There we go.
DS: Disney Land; right?
JS: There you go. Don’t want to mix those two up. Not until Star Wars, you know comes open.
Gentlemen, you know, we’ve been talking a lot in the past about how things have worked on the web, but you have been really interested in kiosk and accessibility of those kinds of devices. Let’s just have a little dialogue about that, if you don’t mind.
DS: Yeah. Sure. And I think CSUN in 2019 is probably the perfect time to talk about this because it’s – in a number of these break outs and some of the legal summits that have been happening, it very clearly seems like the new frontier, or the next frontier, insofar as digital accessibility, will be in this growing and expanding world of self-service devices and kiosks, most notably in a lot of the fast food entities out there now –
JS: Uh-huh.
DS: — are really looking, with the advent of the increase of the minimum wage, trying to reduce labor costs and going to self-service interfaces. And, you know, frankly speaking, just like the web, where it is — there’s this hypersonic growth of complexity and change and technology being integrated, the topic space is really come a long way from some of those really basic simple kiosks 20 years ago, and touchscreen devices and things of that nature are all the rage now.
And you know, interesting enough, we kind of got dragged to this party a few years ago. We were actually approached by one of the larger, sort of, fast food restaurant chains out there that was giving some thought and some idea to deploying these kiosks and started asking about accessibility. And one of the things that we learned quite quickly is the traditional thought by the kiosk space about accessibility, or ADA relative to kiosks, was the height of the screen so an individual in a wheelchair could actually physically access the screen.
JS: Right.
DS: And when we started to ask questions like what do individuals with cognitive learning disabilities or visually impaired, how do those interfaces work for them, they were lost because traditionally, this whole thing began to emerge with ATMs 30 years ago, and the whole idea was put a microphone jack in and put Braille on the keypad, and you’re all set.
JS: And you had the operating system situation. So recently, Arby’s, who now owns Wendy’s, said that they’re going to spend 20 million dollars over the next two years to bring them up to speed because they felt like the POS, the point of sale system, was so old and so, needed that kind of idea. So in some cases, organizations are looking to upgrade the fleet, and it’s a perfect time for that.
DS: Yeah. You know, you bring up a good point. We’ve been looking — a lot of the entities out there that are deploying these, sort of, self-service kiosks. And you actually mentioned Wendy’s, and I have to tell you, Wendy’s is in the midst of a pretty significant deployment right now.
JS: Uh-huh.
DS: And they actually built and addressed a lot of those kiosks with accessibility in mind. And frankly speaking, you know, if I were to look out there, they’re sort of the gold standard on actually addressing accessibility on the whole, relative to those devices.
The bad news is there’s a lot of entities out there that haven’t really thought about that, and are now coming and – you know, I think one of the things that’s been really interesting is when we were approached, we quickly realized that the work and the infrastructure that we built for helping our customers with their websites –
JS: Yeah.
DS: — actually really uniquely transferred over to kiosk space. And we’ve been dabbling for the last couple of years, and I think we’ve really found a unique fit. And I think we’ve been able to – you know, we’ve been told by a number of the big kiosk players out there, when they look at our solution and what we can do and that type of an interface, that we really are transformative insofar as what we’re going to be able to do to help them with ADA. So really excited about that and – you know, Mark can probably talk a little bit more than I can about some of the technical aspects of it.
I was – you know, you mentioned Jeff, and Jeff is passionate about software and passionate about web infrastructures, and Mark is equally passionate about things like, you know, devices and things of that nature. It’s probably why they get along so well. Like, they could fit together really well. And when I brought this whole concept of kiosks to the table, it got both of them really equally excited because Mark got to play with boxes –
JS: — new toys.
DS: — of steel and new toys.
MARK MAKER: Exactly.
JS: New toys.
DS: And Jeff got to work with the interface and — so I think Mark was –
JS: So Dan was excited about ancillary Markets –
DS: Correct.
JS: — the rest of the team was like, you’re giving me the opportunity to go play with stuff.
MM: Exactly.
DS: I was excited about solving a big problem in the Marketplace.
JS: Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.
MM: Nice. It’s spectacular because these devices are really advanced these days. They are computing platforms that typically are used in full-blown operating systems. You know, it’s not as common anymore to have some proprietary OS. Sometimes, they’ll be based on Android or something of that nature. But more often than not, it’s some form of embedded Windows or full-featured OS that has browsing capabilities built into it, and it really just makes a lot of sense, in the next generation of kiosks, not to try and self-contain everything, but rather to have a persistent internet connection so that the content is always up to date on the devices. And being web-based, you can reuse the same assets that you would use in any other area of the business.
So it just makes sense to try and unify all these technologies together with the kiosk, and that makes it a perfect fit for the type of work that we do, given that it is internet connected, it is web-based content, the solutions that AudioEye provides are able to handle any kind of transformation necessary to make it ADA compliant. But it really kind of goes beyond that because we can then begin to innovate and say, well, what would be the best way for a user to engage with a particular screen in the menu?
JS: Yeah.
MM: Maybe for some screens, that’s a swipe gesture. Maybe for some, it’s, you know, more voice activation, or maybe it’s, you know, touching quadrants or corners or — all kinds of different things. And by having these devices that are more advanced, that are internet-connected, we can iterate quickly and, you know, bring to Market new features as they, you know, are ideated by end users. So it’s really exciting.
JS: First of all, I’m glad you didn’t say OS/2 Warp. And I’m also thrilled that you didn’t say Windows CE —
MM: Right.
JS: — because that would – those were some early POS –
MM: Absolutely.
JS: — that people held onto for a very long time, especially in the retail space.
And with that, does it work hand-in-hand situation – because some companies might be, look. You guys go do this. We don’t want to be a part of it. But some companies are very, very protective of their Market, and it involves a lot with user experience and, UEX and UY and design. So have you found that to be the case, where you’re running into both types of individuals that are passionate about what the experience is in this venue?
MM: Yeah. I mean, I do think that we’ve kind of seen the spectrum from that perspective. Not sure how, you know, in detail I can get with anything else –
JS: Right. Right. No. NDA’s holding. NDA’s holding.
MM: Right. Exactly. But yeah. I mean, you do kind of see some companies that are really more concerned with the, just, compliance aspect, whereas others are really about innovation and trying to provide the best experiences and, you know, we’re – as Dan was pointing out, a large driving force behind this effort is the changes in minimum wage, the need to automate, to be able to stay viable with, you know, the margins in the industry. So it does make sense that you would want to have the most intuitive interface, the easiest process for ordering, you know, and changing and, you know –
JS: Yeah. It’s a new frontier because nobody’s really jumped out ahead.
Dan, you mentioned a moment ago about Wendy’s and stuff. But there isn’t, like, a ubiquitous factor yet or something that a blind individual or somebody with deaf-blindness can go in and have an experience yet or point to a chain where they can have that experience yet?
DS: I mean, this is web accessibility all over again; right? I mean, really, what happened was, you know, as bandwidth expanded and as the complexity of web design, all the things that you could do in a web interface really took off in, you know, in the early 2000’s all the way up until this day, what ended up happening is the technologists got so excited about pushing the envelope forward that, you know, one of the communities it was probably most empowered by the whole advent of the internet was left behind; right? And then, at the end of the day, people would say, well, what about individuals with disabilities? What about accessibility? And everybody would have these blank stares and said, oh, yeah. We forgot; right? So –
JS: The bolt-on mentality. Right.
MM: There you go.
DS: So we’ve made a business of, really, being able to help those entities go back in as noninvasive and as nondisruptive a way as possible, to actually fix those issues, and we see the exact same thing took place in the kiosk space; right?
JS: Yeah. Yeah.
DS: Because in this massive, all hands on deck, push this thing forward, get it out, advance new features, new benefits, oh yeah. We forgot; right? So, you know, at the end of the day, that’s the way the Market’s going to work, and we’ve been able to find that there’s a really good business by being able to come in and, sort of, help people fix the messes that they created by not thinking about this as an issue. They generally are made aware of it by — not the way that they would have wanted to –
JS: Yeah.
DS: But at the end of the day, we feel as though that we can sort of, really – a valuable service in being able to help. And, you know, I think, you know, three or four of these kiosk places have used the same word in explaining our solution when they’ve seen it, in that they say that AudioEye’s approach to this is really elegant. And I think that’s one of those things that’s really made me happy is that it’s not disruptive, it does not change the use or anything in that nature of the interface, but it really enables and empowers a whole differentiated community to interact with those devices. We also see a really long tail to this. I mean, I think the things that you are going to be able to do with kiosks and the way in which, you know, we live on our mobile devices and connectivity and Apple Pay and Google Pay and some of the things that we can do, we can really help these entities elevate the whole concept of usability of these infrastructures, and it’s really exciting. So we’re pretty – we’re really pleased, and I’m just thrilled that, you know, after three years of working on this, I come to CSUN, and people are talking about it.
The U.S. Access Board put together a panel and a group committee that’s working on kiosk accessibility as the topic. So it’s an emerging trend, and we’re happy that we’ve been there for a few years and that the Market’s finally caught up to us.
JS: Okay. So he gave me an opening, so you can blame me; okay – for – because Dan set you up for this. The experience, Mark.
MM: Yes.
JS: The seamless experience. He said Apple Pay and Google Pay. What were some of the challenges of being able to work with a payment system that’s going to do a handoff to another device?
MM: Well, so, you know, we have some handoff systems in place that allow us to essentially use your mobile device as an input device –
JS: Uh-huh.
MM: — for these infrastructures. We have not, at this point, made a full payment transaction –
JS: Uh-huh.
MM: — between the two entities –
JS: Yeah. Yeah.
MM: — and I think that what we’re finding is that in all likelihood, a production implementation is going to be what the NFC built into the kiosk itself.
JS: Yeah.
MM: Just using –
JS: Because you’re asking end users to be –
MM: — the phone directly.
JS: — familiar with two audio sources at one time.
MM: Right.
JS: — so –
DS: Yeah. And a clear differentiation I probably didn’t say; right? I talk about the long tail that we see in this; right? So –
JS: No.
DS: We’re trying to make the case where people are coming to us and saying, help us with accessibility. And, you know, I think one of the challenges that we, as a – industry, have always had is, you know, just trying — making the business case for accessibility; right? So we’ve always tried to do that within the digital infrastructures.
Well, when you think about usability and you think of millennials and that they live on their phones and –
JS: Oh, gosh, this.
DS: — those types of things; right? Watches – you know, the things that we’re able to do with accessibility and usability into kiosks, we can actually take that underlying technology and we can extrapolate that to a whole bunch of other places that may not specifically be aligned with accessibility. But it’s really on the foundation that we pull for accessibility within those kiosks, of which payment, voice activation, all of those things are, sort of, the tentacles that we’re excited about. So when we’re in these meetings, we can actually say, well, let’s get the foundation of accessibility built, but I want to give you a preview of some of the things that we might be able to do.
JS: Yeah.
DS: And, you know, when a millennial is in line at a McDonalds at 2 o’clock in the morning and they got to wait forever, they could pull up their mobile device and be able to actually operate the kiosk remotely and be able to facilitate the payment and get out faster. They love that, you know, whether it’s McDonalds or Panera or Wendy’s. So those are the things that we see where not – this is where accessibility has an opportunity to transform the underlying, sort of technology that’s out there. We’re kind of excited about that, so I didn’t want to make that we’ve done that. We see that as a – we see that as –
JS: Yeah. No. I get that, and that’s changing all the time because, you know, you mentioned Google Pay, and that has changed a few times on what we’re going to call it – Android Pay, Google Pay —
MM: Right.
JS: — what have you, and those standards change all the time, especially as banking gets used to doing more of that thing outside of what would normally be their own form of payment operation.
MM: Right.
DS: Yeah. And, you know, you mentioned Jeff at the top of this call, and you’ve known Jeff and you know the passion he has for this space, and one of the things that we always talk about internally in our meetings at AudioEye is while we’re building 1.0, we’re also white boarding 2.0, and we’re visualizing 3.0; right? And we sometimes have to stop ourselves and say, let’s get the first cake baked fully; right? So we’re on 1.0 mode –
JS: Yeah.
DS: – but we can’t help ourselves. We’re still white boarding, thinking, and extrapolating what 2.0 and 3.0 look like, and we get excited about that, and that’s what motivates us. So payment systems and things of that nature, that’s like, 2.5. So I don’t want to get too far ahead of our skis there, but –
JS: Well, no. And that makes a lot of sense because from Mark’s perspective, he has such a wide range to consider now as far as that experience goes for UEX, user experience, because you’re talking about, in some cases, older phones.
MM: Right.
JS: Some things you might have in an iPhone Max that you wouldn’t have in an 8 that would – you wouldn’t have in a 6s.
MM: Right.
JS: And so some of those things do kind of boil down to who is my user, what do we support? Because, you know, I went to go buy my big Mac, but I found out that my phone wasn’t necessarily compatible. I mean, these are new things, like you were saying, it is a new Wild West.
MM: Absolutely, it is. And you know, the devices are obviously changing all the time, like you mentioned with the Google Pay standards and names changing and –
JS: Yeah.
MM: What I love about the core of the technology that we are deploying here is that it is really ubiquitous in – from an API perspective such that we really are able to just use standardized web technologies, and once we’ve paired devices, it really doesn’t matter if it’s a web browser on your laptop or it’s your smart phone or it’s some IOT device that we have custom built; right? I mean, it really doesn’t matter at that point, but it’s been boiled down to, you know, just standard, socket-based communication, and we’re able to provide literally any functionality that our engineers or our clients can dream up through that type of protocol.
So yes. There are certainly going to be some challenges when you get into the proprietary areas of, you know, payments and, you know, other sensitive information passing, but as Dan points out; right? This is the groundwork, this is the foundation and the 1.0.
JS: Yeah.
MM: That, you know, really enables us to start having those deeper conversations with the clients to come up with, well, what would be the ideal use case and scenario, and what is our path going to be to get there?
JS: And I think, for some of our listeners who aren’t familiar with this technology, it’s important to note that there’s a heavy aspect of security that’s involved, even with, say, a sandwich chain that maybe familiar with customization, you know, they’re headquarters, they have ID badges that have security codes and they rotate those out. And there’s a lot of corporate security around just, recipes and food, let alone, we even get back to the payment option. So there’s more to this than just flipping a switch or pressing a couple of buttons.
MM: Absolutely.
DS: And to that point; right? I mean, one of the other things that we’ve found is, yes. Social service makes a heck of a lot of sense within restaurant, and we’ve seen it an awful lot. But I got to tell you, I mean, whether you go to Home Depot or Wal-Mart, whether you go to a hospital, whether you go to – I mean, the places where these interfaces and these sort of digital interfaces and these kiosk infrastructures is – to Mark’s point – is becoming more and more ubiquitous, and it’s in a lot of different places, and it’s a growing trend. And we just see it as a great opportunity.
We’re going to be at the National Restaurant Association show coming up in Chicago in June. We’re going to have four kiosks on the floor with one of our partners, Howard Industries. We’re going to be able to, sort of, debut and show the world what this aspect of ADA compliance and accessibility within kiosks is, and we’re really excited about it, really thrilled that you gave us a venue to talk about this topic and get communicated to a wider audience that help is coming in that space.
We know the frustration that the community has with these devices. You know, we are not going to suffer by the paralysis of perfection. We’re going to make them better, we’re going to continuously work to get them better, and we’ll get there over a period of time.
JS: And I’m looking forward to the foodie post from the Restaurant Association by Dan, rating some of the great food that he’s going to have an opportunity to see there in Chicago, not that there wasn’t enough great food in Chicago as there was.
DS: There’s plenty of it, and we’ll find it.
MM: Yes.
JS: Not a problem.
Dan, Mark, thank you for your time. Where can people find this information or keep up with what’s going on?
DS: I think on our blog on audioeye.com and any of the information that we have on audioeye.com. We are rapidly getting ready for this event in June, so we’re preparing a lot of our content around kiosks. So you’ve been kind of let behind the curtain a little bit early here, but we thought that it was important, and CSUN’s a great venue for us to start talking about this.
JS: We always love exclusives. What are you talking about? I’m a content creator, brother. That’s how that works.
Thank you for your time, gentlemen. I really appreciate it.
MM: Have a great CSUN.
DS: Thanks Joe. Great to see you.
MM: Thanks, Joe.
JS: Thank you.
For CSUN 2019 in Anaheim, it’s Joe Steincamp. We got more. Just stay in the feed.
For more exclusive audio coverage, visit blindbargains.com or download the Blind Bargains app for your IOS or Android device. Blind Bargains audio coverage is presented by the A T Guys, online at atguys.com.
This has been another Blind Bargains audio podcast. Visit blindbargains.com for the latest deals, news, and exclusive content. This podcast may not be retransmitted, sold, or reproduced without the express written permission of A T Guys.
Copyright 2019.

 

Android Kiosk Software – KioWare for Android has a new release – version 3.18.

KioWare for Android new release 3.18

Android Kiosk SoftwareHere are some of the highlights:

  • Customization of kiosk behavior such as time-limited sessions
  • Custom URL before session end
  • Customized options for Navigation blocking
  • Also added to this release is support for the Wattbox IP Power Conditioner for power management. (Basic & Full)

We’ve updated KioWare Server to version 4.10.0 as well.

PR KioWare Android 3.18 Updated

AudioEye – New Sponsor specializing in Accessibility

AudioEye Now KMA Sponsor & Joins ADA Accessibility Committee

audioeye ADAWe want to thank AudioEye for becoming a sponsor of the Kiosk Manufacturer Association. AudioEye is also now a member of the KMA Accessibility Committee.

About AudioEye

AudioEye works with companies to ensure their digital content is accessible to users of all abilities.

Approximately 15-percent of the world’s population has some form of disability, whether visual, hearing, cognitive or motor. And if not coded correctly, digital content is simply inaccessible to this population.

 Committed to equal access for all, AudioEye has revolutionized the way in which businesses and organizations achieve and sustain digital inclusion … any time on any device. Its patented solution identifies and remediates accessibility issues with both automated and manual testing and engineering, and provides continuous monitoring to ensure digital content meets – or exceeds – legal compliance with ADA-related laws.

 To learn more about AudioEye, visit www.audioeye.com.

To read the AudioEye blog, visit www.audioeye.com/blog/

Click here to get started with the AudioEye solution.

To learn more about AudioEye solutions:

To learn more about digital accessibility:

Contact AudioEye

Privacy Exploit – Easy Lobby Visitor Kiosk Access Systems and Others

Read full article on ThreatPost

Student researchers working with IBM X-Force Red team find security holes in five leading visitor management systems.

Excerpt:

Visitor-management systems protect business against physical threats such as unwanted and unidentified guests. But many of these lobby-based perimeter checkpoints are opening up companies to a bevy of cyber-threats.

On Monday, IBM’s penetration testing team, X-Force Red, released a report that outlines 19 bugs found across five leading visitor-management systems. Vulnerabilities range from data leakage, complete program takeover and the ability for a visitor to press Windows’ hotkeys to break out of the kiosk environment. Affected are systems made by HID Global (EasyLobby Solo), Threshold (eVisitorPass), Envoy (Envoy Passport) and The Receptionist (The Receptionist).

Interestingly, the research was conducted by IBM summer interns (Hannah Robbins and Scott Brink) under the guidance of the X-Force Red research team.

“These are really interesting targets. By their very nature, they are exposed to the public that has no credentials,” said Daniel Crowley, IBM X-Force Red’s research director.

Crowley said researchers had three goals in testing the visitor-management systems. “One, was how easy is to get checked-in as a visitor without any sort of real identifying information. Secondly, we set out to see how easy is it to get other people’s information out of the system. And third, is there a way that an adversary can break out of the application, cause it to crash or get arbitrary code-execution to run on the targeted device and gain a foothold to attack the corporate network,” he said.

Researchers said they were able to accomplish all three.

Read full article on ThreatPost

Positions Available – Kiosk Industry Jobs Board

Kiosk Industry begins Jobs Board

March 28, 2019 — KI has now begun a public listing of positions available. If you are looking for a kiosk professional then send us the information and we will post, no charge. Or you can submit your own listing.

Mar 20, 2019 – harriscomputer.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com – 0
Senior Sales Executive

We are currently seeking a Senior Sales Executive to join our DynaTouch team and interact directly with existing customers and prospects to promote sales of complete Kiosk Solutions, while focusing on our Healthcare and Human Resources verticals.

Travel will be as needed (up to 50% travel time). The selected candidate will need to relocate or travel to our HQ location in San Antonio, Texas for the first 6-12 months of employment. Candidates willing to relocate on a permanent basis will be given a preference, however remote employees will be highly considered given they have strong qualifications.https://harriscomputer.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/1/job/Office—San-Antonio/Sales-Representative_R0005802

Sales Operations Director – Very Unique requirements, great role

Mar 26, 2019

We have a great client that is seeking to bring on a Senior Sales Operations Director – someone who can lead a company division to the next level. Their focus is Kiosk based ordering (think Fast food restaurants or order on-line groceries) to give 2 quick examples.

Currently a market leader on the hardware side, strong investments (M&A) on the software side are positioning them for even further growth. If you know anyone that would like to explore such a role, please have them reach out to me. Work remote (coupled with 50-75% travel). Total comp in the range of 250 – 300$K on plan (quartely bonus payout). Reports to the CEO of the company.

Hollace Rooney
[email protected]
978.496.3446
Atrilogy Solutions Group

Sales Director – US

Mar 28, 2019
Sales Director - US

Digital signage, wayfinding company in the UK interested in hiring sales director for US. Past customers include Simon Malls and others. Large format touchscreens as a rule.
https://www.acquiredigital.com/

Kiosk Manufacturer Self-Service