From Pymnts.com article
QSR Ordering Kiosks Evolved From A 1980s Solution For Out-Of-Stock Shoes
As a college student in the 1970s, Murray Lappe heard that his fellow students wanted to promote their organizations through a new medium. During a retreat, the students thought of having a traditional bulletin board, but Lappe had an alternate take: Why not digitize the concept?
“We kicked the idea around, and it got some interest,” Lappe told kioskindustry.org. “After the session, the Dean suggested I apply for a grant to see if we could make it happen.”
With just $2,500 in seed money for the project, Lappe went to work on an interface and an algorithm to power what would arguably become one of the first self-service kiosks. The device would come to have a plasma touchscreen, which was important since many people didn’t know how to use a computer at the time.
“I wanted to make it as simple as possible for people who had never used a computer before,” Lappe added. “I didn’t want it to look or feel like a computer.”
The kiosk, which was dubbed the PLATO Hotline, appeared in the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign’s student center only a few weeks before Lappe graduated. And it was a resounding success.
Kiosk Meets Retail
A few years after the introduction of Lappe’s kiosk, the Florsheim Shoe Company decided to bring self-service kiosks into its retail stores. Through the kiosks, customers could also view different styles on a video screen, while the machine would literally talk to customers and sell them on the features of different shoes.
Read the full story at Pymnts.com article