Tag Archives: livewire

Charging Kiosks Feature – Getting a Charge out of Kiosks

The Mobile Phone Charging kiosk is helping venues head off a growing health hazard.   

By Richard Slawsky contributor originally published 7/24/2016

Mobile Charging kiosk jcdecaux
Click for full size image of Olea designed JCDecaux & Verizon charging and signage unit for airports & more

We’ve all felt it. It’s that feeling of panic deep in our gut when we realize our cell phone batteries are on the verge of dying.

A study by mobile phone maker LG Electronics dubs that feeling “Low Battery Anxiety,” and nine out of 10 people in the United States feel it when the charge on their phone battery drops to 20 percent or lower. Symptoms of the affliction include asking a total stranger to borrow their phone charger, ordering something at a bar or restaurant just to use their power outlet or arguing with a significant other or romantic interest because of unanswered calls or texts.

Fortunately, innovative kiosk manufacturers and deployers have

frank mayer charging kiosk
Click image for full size view of Bridgestone Charging Towers designed by Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc.

introduced a cure, rolling out units in airports, retail locations, sports arenas and other venues that allow consumers to charge their mobile phones and obtain quick relief from the dreaded condition.

A growing health hazard

There is little doubt that mobile phones have penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives, and increasingly those phones are of the smart variety. A February report by research firm comScore indicates that nearly 199 million people in the United States own a smartphone, or more than 79 percent of the overall mobile phone market. People are choosing smartphones not just for personal use, but to help them run their businesses.

And the use of tablet computers is growing as well, with research firm eMarketer predicting the number of tablet users around the world will grow to 1.43 billion in 2018, up from 1 billion last year.

Phone Charging Station Kiosk
With Charging Stations deployed in 25+ airports globally, Parabit helps aviation and numerous industries engage customers, transform physical environments and showcase resources through a diverse range of indoor & outdoor products and features, including branding options often leveraged to help monetize projects. For more information call 516.378.4800 or Email Us

With such incredible growth, it’s no surprise that Low Battery Anxiety is becoming a significant health problem, and that kiosk companies are rising up to meet the challenge.

Because the market is relatively new it’s difficult to pinpoint specific numbers, but a Google search of the term “phone charging kiosk” indicates dozens of players, with units deployed in thousands of locations around the world. The field is served by established manufacturers including Olea Kiosks, KioWare, KIOSK, Parabit Systems and Frank Mayer & Associates Inc., along with younger deploying companies including ones like ChargeItSpot, goChargeBrightbox, Veloxity and ChargeTech.

Baltimore-based NV3 Technologies was one of the earliest entrants into the market. The company is now the largest player in the market, with thousands of kiosks across the United States and in three other countries.

“We saw early on that the need to charge your phone was going to become a big problem, and we were right,” said NV3 co-founder Ryan Doak.

Phone charging kiosks operate in a number of different ways. Many feature an assortment of charging cords that fit most popular phone models, while some feature Qi, or wireless charging. That method delivers a charge inductively, with the user simply placing their phone on a pad to receive a charge. Still others rent portable battery packs that users return to a kiosk when they’re through.

And those units are popping up everywhere. In 2014, Olea Kiosks was approached by outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux Airport Inc. to design and manufacture a digital charging station kiosk. The end result was a sleek, eight-foot-tall unit that features four wireless charges, eight 110-volt outlets and six USB ports. The partners have deployed more than 250 kiosks in seven major airports around the county:  Miami, Newark, JFK, LAX, Houston, Boston and Orlando.

Chromebook charging another growing opportunity

With many schools faced with the dilemma of needing to provide digital tools to students while at the same time seeing budgets cut to the bone, the Chromebook has emerged as a solution of choice.

Chromebooks are laptop computers running Chrome OS as their operating system. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing in “the cloud.”

Chromebooks are sold mainly by Google and its retail partners, with schools its largest customer category. Google also markets the low-cost devices to first-time computer users and those seeking a second, backup computer.With

Google also markets the low-cost devices to first-time computer users and those seeking a second, backup computer.With Chomebooks becoming increasingly prevalent as a teaching tool, schools are looking for ways to charge a large number of devices at the same time.

That has led to the development of the Chromebook Charging Cart, a mobile unit that can charge as many as 36 Chromebooks, Ultrabooks or Netbooks at the same time while keeping them secure in a locked cabinet. Others are looking at NV3 Technologies hightop table to charge Chomebooks and laptops.

And the need for Chromebook charging solutions is like to remain strong for the foreseeable future. Chromebooks for educational use rose from 38 percent of device sales in 2014 to more than 50 percent in 2015, according to research firm FutureSource, topping 56 percent by the fourth quarter.

“The momentum behind Chromebooks continued to be driven by the need for districts to implement online assessments and Chromebooks have provided a cost effective way of doing this, as well as providing efficient device management both inside and outside of the classroom,” according to the FutureSource report.

In May, fashion retailer Neiman Marcus announced plans to deploy 37 ChargeItSpot phone charging kiosks in 30 of its stores. The kiosks allow users to charge their phones in a secure locker while they shop.

And when Clark Kent visits New York, he may end up changing into his Superman outfit at a phone charging kiosk instead of a phone booth. In June the city rolled out the first of 7,500 planned LinkNYC kiosks, designed to replace outdated pay phones with kiosks that offer ultra-fast Wi-Fi, a tablet for web browsing and two USB ports for charging mobile devices.

Increasingly, venues such as bars, restaurants and theaters are partnering with kiosk makers to deploy custom solutions as a free amenity for their customers

“There is immense potential for deployment of custom device charging station solutions,” said David McCracken, CEO of York, Pa.-based kiosk and digital signage software provider LiveWire Digital.

“The technology is already developed,” McCracken said. “Custom projects should begin popping up in short order, particularly given the endless ways to tie this into customer data collection, engagement, retention and experiential advertising.”

A choice of business models

Of course, although it’s clear that phone charging kiosks offer great benefits to consumers, for the technology to be successful in the long run it needs to offer a benefit for the deployer as well.

There are currently a number of models by which companies are using phone charging kiosks to promote their brand and boost their bottom line.

“We sell and straight-lease our units,” said Billy Gridley, CEO of New York-based phone charging kiosk provider Brightbox.

“The venue chooses whether to offer the charging amenity on a complimentary or pay-per-charge basis,” Gridley said. “Almost 80% of our globally deployed units are offered as a free amenity; brands and sponsors customized the kiosks with on-panel and on-screen content.”

Brightbox’ kiosks include several secure charging compartments, accessible by swiping a credit or debit card or by entering a code on the screen. The customer simply plugs in their phone, closes the compartment and walks away. A light glows green on the door of the compartment when the charging is complete, usually in about 35 minutes.

Brightbox’ Mark3 kiosk can be wall-mounted, table-top counter-mounted or freestanding stand-mounted. The company has more than 700 units deployed around the United States and in six other countries.

While Brightbox and others are targeting the pay-per-charge, advertising-based and brand-building models, others are finding success targeting a specific niche. New York-based ChargeItSpot, for example, targets retailers who want to offer phone charging as an extra service to their customers.

NV3 Technologies manufactures a variety of kiosks from lockers to solar-powered, but the most popular by far for the company is the hightop bar table, Doak said. The table fits into many environments from the obvious bar to tradeshows, events, universities and corporate lounges, allowing users to carry on a conversation while they charge their phones. The table can operate from a standard outlet or from a proprietary battery configuration allowing you to cut the cord.

ChargeItSpot’s kiosks also feature multiple secure lockers, each with a number of charging cables. The kiosks can charge about 98 percent of the phones on the market today. The company offers its kiosks in the United States and has recently expanded into Canada, partnering with retailers including Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters as well as a number of casino operators to locate kiosks in those venues.

“People can lock up their phone and continue with their shopping,” said Sheri Tate, senior vice president of product strategy with ChargeItSpot.

Customers access the lockers by entering their 10-digit phone number and choose a secondary security image on a 17-inch touchscreen on the face of the unit. Those screens are customizable with content provided by the retailer.

In exchange for a free charge, customers agree to accept a single text message from the retailer, allowing the retailer to build a database of the customers already in their stores.

The devices can also be accessed via a loyalty card, encouraging customers to sign up for a player’s card if they don’t already have one.

“Casinos have been one of our most successful partners,” Tate said.

“They receive thousands of visitors every day, with many of them staying on the gaming floors for long hours,” she said. “We wanted to give those customers a free amenity that would ensure an all-day connection. Our casino partners love how the charging kiosks encourage their customers to stick around and play longer.”

And that ability to capture customer data is proving to be one of the key benefits for retailers and other venues in providing charging services as an extra amenity. ChargeItSpot, goCharge and others offer the ability to capture email addresses, conduct customer surveys and gather mobile numbers via the attractor screen in exchange for a free charge.

“It’s the wave of the future, because you can interact with the customer,” said Bill Landau, senior vice president and director of sales with goCharge. The company has kiosks deployed throughout the United States and is expanding into Canada. It has also leased units for use in Mexico and Europe, and recently introduced what it terms “intelligent units,” specifically designed to trade a charge for customer info.

“The ability to gather than information can be very valuable for a business seeking to capture new business and build a customer database,” Landau said.

Quotes

BrightBox – we have a kiosk product connected to and supported by a robust “open” Linux platform with web portals for: fleet management, content management, and data management and reporting (usage, survey data, email and SMS address collection, and audience measurement via our  BrightEyeQ software and the on-unit camera. We permission our venues and partners to go onto our platform to run their businesses. Our operators (Brazil, Mexico, UK, Canada, Sweden, Chile) manage their connected kiosks on the platform; our clients manage their ad content and interactivity campaigns. No competitor does this for clients.

More Charging Kiosk news

Kiosk Solutions Magazine Writeup on Charging Kiosks

We recommend the recent writeup in Kiosk Solutions Issue 2 which covered phone charging. See the online magazine here.

charging-europe-article
If Ian Hobson has his way, your phone will never
run out of power again. Using an innovative
charging service he aims to deliver secure, free
charging in public places around the world. ChargeBox in UK.

Modern life relies heavily on smart devices, in particular mobile phones. With a pocket-sized device offering quick and easy access to the Internet for socialising, entertainment, good old fashioned phone calls and more, it’s no surprise we use them so much. We could live without them, of course, but when
the power runs it can sometimes feel like the world is about to end. And that’s exactly where ChargeBox comes in…

1. How did you come up with the
idea for ChargeBox?

It all started before the smartphone revolution, when battery life wasfantastic. Because of this people often went out without their charger, But when the battery finally did run out, it was
difficult for people to charge their phone again. We wanted to solve this problem.
Our initial success was with travellers who needed to charge their phones when in transit.

Once smartphones came along people began carrying their charger with them more because battery life was significantly reduced. But even with a charger to hand it’s not always possible
to access a power outlet, and this is where we come in. And since charger connections have been reduced to just two main types – Apple and Micro USB rather than a unique charger for almost
every phone, this side of the service is now much simpler than it was when we first started.

2. Why offer free charging?

Adoption of a free charging service parallels the way free WiFi proliferated a number of years ago. Public WiFi has been around for a while now, but in the early days it was expensive to use and
the uptake was extremely limited. Now it’s even more readily available, and most importantly, it’s often free. The result, as
you’d expect, is increased use and we think charging will follow the same path.  In the run up to the Olympics Westfield Shopping Centre wanted to begin providing free WiFi to visitors.

They also wanted to offer free phone charging, and approached ChargeBox for a solution that would work in this type of location. A charging box that was secure was essential to this, along with a simple service anyone can use. Our goal is to make as many charging  stations as possible around the globe free. Making them free relies on sites paying for the service  themselves, or using sponsorship in some form. Retailers will often skin the units to keep them in-line with their brand.

3. What are your target sectors?

For that and more you need to visit the online magazine here.

EMV Kiosk – Livewire Kiosk Adds FreedomPay & Ingenico

EMV Kiosk – Livewire Adds FreedomPay EMV Processing

October 19, 2016 – YORK, PA.  Livewire Kiosk is pleased to livewire digitalannounce the integration and certification of the FreedomPay EMV payment processing system.  The FreedomPay solution offers EMV compliance using Ingenico’s iSelf Series of unattended devices with processors including Heartland, First Data, and Elavon.  Bundled with Livewire’s Self-Service Commerce platform and eConcierge®  Content Management System, the FreedomPay/Ingenico integration provides fast processing of EMV-compliant payments while eliminating the merchant’s and consumer’s risk of credit card fraud.

The FreedomPay integration joins a list of other payment solutions that have been integrated into Livewire’s kiosk software, including Network Merchants, Authorize.net, First Data’s Payeezy, Frontstream, Credit Call, and Tempus.  Livewire’s Transaction Processing Engine powers solutions worldwide such as event ticketing, token purchases, duty tax payment, product vending, gift card exchange, and entertainment systems.  Initial deployments utilizing FreedomPay include cover charge collection kiosks for an upscale night club in Boston and a state vehicle registration renewal kiosk.

About Livewire Kiosk

Livewire is the Power to Connect, creating integrated software solutions for kiosks, digital signage, web sites and mobile applications, all managed from its eConcierge® Content Management System. Livewire’s transactional solutions increase revenue and productivity for its customers, while lowering overhead and providing seamless integration. Livewire provides cutting-edge software, hardware, and system integration, bringing the necessary puzzle pieces together to increase customer engagement and create a secure end-user experience. Learn more at LivewireDigital.com

More Livewire News & Commentary

Kiosks Prove to be a Sure Bet for Casinos

hooters_girl
Hooters Vegas kiosk by KIOSK in Colorado. Click for full size image

Casino operators are gambling that new kiosk functions will help them provide top-notch customer service to help them cater to existing customers and win new ones.

By Richard Slawsky, Contributor

Years ago, casino bosses were able to recognize their guests by sight, providing complementary rooms and other perks to high rollers to keep them playing.

Today, keeping track of customers’ playing habits and providing those comps by sight is impossible. In addition, most casinos depend far more on the retirees playing slots in the afternoons and on the weekends for their bread and butter than they do the whales dropping a few grand at the blackjack tables.

And with gaming revenue for US casino operators topping $183.8 billion in 2015, up 56 percent from $117.6 billion in 2010, keeping those core customers happy is of prime importance. Kiosk technology is helping to accomplish that task.

Beyond the slot club

These days, catering to a casino’s customers is as much a science as it is an art form.

Kiosks in the Casino

  • Self-service technology benefits both the player and the house

For the player

  • Look up points and “comps”
  • Enter daily promotions and giveaways
  • Check promotions and print coupons
  • Easily locate favorite machines
  • Easily locate restaurants, shops and other property amenities

For the house

  • Enroll new loyalty members
  • Print customized player’s club loyalty cards
  • Eliminate lines at customer service
  • Deploy manpower to more complicated tasks
  • Check-in/check-out at resort hotel
  • Print boarding basses for departing guests

When casinos made the transition from mechanical games to digital ones in the 1980s and 1990s, it opened to door to technology that helped them spot their most profitable patrons. Loyalty programs, originally called “slot clubs”, began appearing in many of the larger casinos. Customers would sign up for player cards, and in return for loyalty to a particular casino they would receive reduced-rate or complementary rooms, access to special events, free meals and more. Players would insert their cards into a slot machine or other gaming device, with their level of rewards dependent on their overall playing time (or money wagered).

The loyalty cards provided a flood of analytics for casino operators, allowing them to track the playing habits of individual patrons and reward them accordingly, as well as letting them see which games were the most popular and kept patrons playing the longest.

And because kiosk technology had long been a feature of casinos in the form of ATMs, it was only a small step to adapt the technology to loyalty cards, allowing a player to swipe their card to see what rewards they had earned.

“Certainly, I think part of the idea is to improve customer service,” said David McCracken, CEO of York, Pa.-based kiosk software provider Livewire Digital.

“The technology has allowed casinos to reduce the number of people lined up at a customer service desk,” McCracken said. “It’s good for the customer but it’s also good for the casino, by getting those customers out of the lines and back to the tables.”

Stratosphere ticketing kiosk
Click for full-size image. Stratosphere ticketing kiosk

Today, it’s not uncommon the see players swipe their card at a loyalty kiosk, only to return to the gaming floor to play enough to reach the next level of rewards.

“There are many days when casino properties are getting busloads of people, and they can get pretty crowded,” McCracken said. “The self-service capabilities of kiosk technology have helped casinos reduce the manpower needed to provide a lot of the basic functions to take care of their guests, while improving customer service at the same time.”

Building on success

As the capabilities of kiosk technology have grown over the years, so have the services offered by those devices.

Livewire, for example, has worked with Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., for more than 10 years. Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world with more than 340,000 sq ft of gaming space serving more than 40,000 guests per day. The resort also features a hotel with 1,416 rooms and a two story arcade for children and teens.

foxwoods kiosk
Click to see full sized image

Because Foxwoods’ existing kiosks were becoming dated and offered limited functionality, in 2007 management tapped Livewire to update their machines to a more modern design while adding new functionality for members of the casino’s popular Wampum Rewards Program. Instead of having patrons wait in line at a customer service desk to do things such as redeem points for promotional rewards, Foxwoods wanted to make those services available at the kiosk.

Livewire ultimately developed a software solution that integrated the Wampum Rewards Program with Foxwoods’ Casino Management System and Slot Data System. In addition to being able to swipe their loyalty cards to view point balances, patrons can enter sweepstakes, sign up for events and obtain personalized rewards in the form of coupons and bonus slot tickets.

Digital signage mounted on the kiosks above the touch screen interfaces display advertising and other casino information such as drawing winners and jackpot payouts. Livewire has more than 80 kiosks deployed around the Foxwoods property.

Expanding functionality

ticketing kiosk
Click to see full-sized image

The features being incorporated into kiosks at the casino are being expanded on a regular basis. New functions include wayfinding, food and drink ordering and directing guests to their favorite gaming machines.

“I’m also seeing a little bit of interest in functions such as player registration, where people can register for slots tournaments and things like that,” said Frank Olea, CEO of Cerritas, Calif.-based Olea Kiosks Inc.

Olea Kiosks is a leading manufacturer of loyalty program kiosks for the gaming industry. The company also serves sectors including higher education, government, human resources, retail and hospitality.

“We’ve seen some new card printers come out that offer the ability for kiosks to hold multiple types of cards and have the ability to print a guest’s name on them,” Olea said. “That allows the casino to store different levels of player loyalty cards and then print on those, so the guest doesn’t have to go to customer service to get a new card.”

The appearance of the devices is changing as well.

“Look and feel is changing in the gaming world,” said Liz Messano, sales manager with Las Vegas-based SlabbKiosks. Along with casinos, SlabbKiosks’ customers include government organizations, universities, financial institutions and healthcare providers.

“Big and clunky is becoming a thing of the past, so casinos and such are looking to the kiosk industry to help them with this transition,”  Messano said.

And because many casinos are attached to hotels, companies are incorporating kiosk functions geared to guests spending their vacations on the property.

“At MGM Resorts, kiosks help us to enhance our service to guests,” said Mary Hynes, director of corporate communications with Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International. “At our ARIA and Monte Carlo resorts in Las Vegas, we plan later this year to begin offering check-in and check-out at kiosks as an option for our guests. We also offer Internet kiosks where guests may print their boarding passes.”

Aria casino kiosk
Click to visit site
The ARIA Resort & Casino and the Monte Carlo are just two of the 14 properties MGM operates in Las Vegas. The company also operates resorts in Mississippi and Michigan, and holds interests in four other properties in Nevada, Illinois and Macau, China.

 

So with the gaming industry becoming increasingly competitive even as it grows and properties becoming ever more creative in their efforts to attract new patrons, the race is on to develop new self-service capabilities that can be incorporated into the kiosk. The capability of the technology is limited only by the imagination of the people developing those capabilities.

“It’s a mature technology but we get requests all the time for new functions,” Olea said. “It’s probably time that we start looking at making the kiosk do things beyond what they already do. You’ve got the machine and you’ve got a captive audience but it’s time to start expanding their use.”


casino kioskEditor Note:  Las Vegas and the casinos are a big market for the kiosk industry.  Some other iterations or examples we would offer would be hybrid player & dealer interactive tablets where the two-sided table offers one view to the player and one to the dealer. This one was for casino in Macao and designed by CTS of Wisconsin. FourWinds Interactive for interactive application.

kiosk-gaming-cropped
Some units by KIOSK

Some of the most demanding applications are ones like the M3T and others. For more information visit http://kiosk.com/market-solutions/gaming

Here is a gallery of Olea gaming kiosks. Click for full size. For more information visit http://www.olea.com/product/gaming-kiosk/

Finally if it is gaming, then we should mention Dave and Busters which is one of the longest running applications and has seen multiple iterations. See http://kioskindustry.org/interactive-kiosk-dave-busters/interactive kiosk

Digital Sign & Ticketing Kiosk – New Project ‘The Field Museum” with Livewire Digital

What’s more Natural than a Ticketing Kiosk?

ticketing kiosk digital sign
Click to see full size image of the ticketing kiosk digital signage project. Enclosures by Kiosk Innovations,

July 19, 2016 – YORK, PA. The Field Museum in Chicago takes pride in being one of the world’s largest natural history museums in the world. Their diverse array of permanent exhibitions and quality educational programs attract over 2 million visitors annually.

The Field Museum is constantly looking for ways to enrich their guests’ journeys and engaging them through interactive ways to continuously improve the experience they receive. Field Museum had recently implemented a new ticketing system from Ticket Return, and they soon recognized that they could improve their customer’s experience by investing in self-service ticketing kiosks and digital signage.

Ticket Return reached out to Livewire Digital, based on Livewire’s long-running experience in self-service ticketing, to create a new engaging kiosk. The kiosk had to provide guests easy and quick navigation through the product purchase process and allow them to view and select show times for various exhibits. The kiosks were also to power a secondary display screen to show advertisements and messages about upcoming events and exhibits to guests.

Going Live

The ticketing kiosks were ‘thrown into the fire’ as they were made live during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, historically one of the museum’s busiest periods each year. During the first week of their release the kiosks worked flawlessly while handling roughly 20% of all sales. David McCracken, Livewire Digital’s CEO, stated that “Immediately after seeing the robustness of our system and the integration of ticketing with our easy-to-use digital signage management, Field Museum requested more digital signs. Having a single-source for support and one management interface to handle all aspects of their digital needs greatly reduces overall maintenance costs and long-term total cost of ownership.”

Field Museum personnel agree that ‘history was made’ during that first week of operation and beyond. The new kiosks have added to their guests’ journeys, offering an engaging and time-saving start to every new exploration of the museum’s story into life on Earth.

About Livewire Digital
Livewire is the Power to Connect, creating ilivewire digitalntegrated software solutions for kiosks, digital signage, online and mobile applications, all managed from its eConcierge® Content Management System. Livewire’s many turnkey solutions increase revenue and productivity for its customers, while lowering overhead and providing seamless integration. Livewire provides cutting-edge software, hardware, and system integration, bringing the necessary puzzle pieces together to increase customer engagement and create a better end-user experience. Learn more at LivewireDigital.com

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Contact: Shannon McCracken
Phone: 717-718-1241
Email: marketing@livewiredigital.com
HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTO AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Fitness Wellness Kiosk Get a Workout at BFit Gyms

BFit Kiosk
Click to see the full size image!

June 15, 2016 – YORK, PA.   BFit Gyms isn’t your everyday run-of- the-mill fitness center. Their members ‘refuse to be ordinary’, and enjoy the unique and innovative Fit Pass that allows family and friends to share the same pass. Stressing its ‘cool factor’, BFit has implemented easy-to- use kiosks that provide its tech-savvy self-service- minded members with access to membership purchase and management features at all hours of the day, any day of the week.

BFit saw an opportunity to be a more neighborhood friendly boutique type of gym and to capitalize on the personal experience, as opposed to the large institutionalized competition. BFit offers members a wide array of options when it comes to fitness, from Group Cycling and Group Fitness sessions with virtual, live or on-demand classes. One of BFit’s operational goals is to maintain low overhead of its gyms by reducing the number of personal attendants and improve the member’s journey. To accomplish this goal, BFit called on Livewire Digital, and its wealth of experience in transactional self-service, to provide self-service kiosks. From the point of sign up, to entering the gym and to registering for classes, BFit has allowed the user to get straight to the business of using the gym.

The self-service kiosks allowed BFit to map out the member’s journey in an interactive and intuitive way, from membership sign up at the gym or online to registering for classes or paying account balance. Prospective members have the ability to purchase memberships on-line at BFitGyms.com, a web site developed by Livewire and integrated with BFit’s membership database hosted by Motionsoft, a leading provider of fitness club management services. New members continue their journey at the club by picking up their RFID membership card via one of the new kiosks located at the club’s entrance.

“It’s great to see the use of omni-channel self-service technology and contactless access in the fitness environment” said David McCracken, Livewire Digital’s President and CEO. “This particular solution allows BFit to enrich the fitness experience while reducing operational costs that get passed on to members as savings. Wow, that’s cool.”

About Livewire Digital

Livewire is the Power to Connect, creating software solutions for kiosks, digital signage, and online and mobile applications, all managed from its eConcierge® Content Management System.

Livewire’s many turnkey solutions increase revenue and productivity for its customers, while lowering overhead and providing seamless integration. Livewire provides cutting-edge software, hardware consulting, and system integration, bringing the necessary puzzle pieces together to increase customer engagement and create a better end-user experience. LivewireDigital.com

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Contact: Shannon McCracken

Phone: 717-718- 1241

Email: marketing@livewiredigital.com

Soiled Dove Case Study | Livewire Digital Case Study | Digital Signage Today

Located in the world famous Lower-Downtown Denver area, affectionately known as LoDo. The Soiled Dove offers a selection of entertainment, ranging from premier local talent to national recording artists in all styles of music.

Source: www.digitalsignagetoday.com

Ticketing Kiosk – Williamsburg Livewire Digital Ticketing Kiosks

Press Release – August 12, 2015 – YORK, PA.  Called “The

Click to see full size image
Click to see full size image

Revolutionary City,” Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the United States.  The restored 18th Century capital city of Williamsburg Virginia includes live action, theatrical performances, historical buildings, and nearby resorts, sports clubs, and a water park.  With continuing increases in visitor attendance, Colonial Williamsburg’s traditional ticket windows were having trouble keeping up with the pace of the city’s ever-changing schedule.  Different buildings and attractions were open at different times, which made keeping track of things difficult.  They wanted to improve customer service by offering a self-service solution to purchase tickets and provide information that was quick and easy…and didn’t take away from the traditional experience.

So when Colonial Williamsburg wanted to incorporate state-of-the-art ticketing technology, they had to proceed with caution.  From the actors wearing colonial garb, to the functioning blacksmith workshops, to the horse and carriage rides, authenticity is the backbone of Colonial Williamsburg.  No technology is even allowed inside the gates.  They called on Livewire Digital in York, PA to assist.

Colonial Williamsburg already had been using Livewire’s technology… virtual eConcierge tourist center kiosks installed in 2011.  Colonial Williamsburg liked these kiosks and wanted to expand their capabilities to add ticketing functionality.  In March, they installed ticketing kiosks around the outside of Colonial Williamsburg (no technology inside, remember!) and in the local Visitor Center.  The interactive kiosks allow guests to buy tickets right at the gates or to purchase vouchers online and redeem them at the kiosk.

“Technology for technology’s sake wasn’t an option at Colonial Williamsburg,” said David McCracken, Livewire Digital’s President and CEO.  “The solution would incorporate cutting-edge technology, but it also simply needed it to work.  It was important not to take away from the overall feel and flavor of the attraction.”

About Livewire Digital

Livewire is the Power to Connect, creating software solutions for kiosks, digital signage, and online and mobile applications, all managed from its eConcierge® Content Management System. Livewire’s many turnkey solutions increase revenue and productivity for its customers, while lowering overhead and providing seamless integration. Livewire provides cutting-edge software, hardware consulting, and system integration, bringing the necessary puzzle pieces together to increase customer engagement and create a better end-user experience. LivewireDigital.com

 

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Kiosk Commentary – Is That You Kiosk – I hardly recognize you

Is That You, Kiosk? I Hardly Recognize You
David McCracken

CEO of Livewire Digital – Connecting the world through technology to solve business problems and drive revenue

Is That You, Kiosk? I Hardly Recognize You

Remember when your phone was something that you used to talk to other people? It didn’t store numbers, it was attached to a wall, and for some, even had a rotary dial. Now compare that to the phones of today. They record video, they connect you to the entire world, and they can do this from practically anywhere. While the “phone” of today and the “phone” of 20 years ago share the same name, they are completely different in practice.

We’re seeing the same transformation with kiosks. What once were clunky, single-function machines are now flexible, omni-channel experiences.

We really should start calling them “smartkiosks” to differentiate just how different they’ve become. [TWEET THIS!]

And the interactive kiosk trend is only going to continue growing.

Growth of Kiosks

Self-service kiosk transactions are growing at a steady 7% annual rate in North America (Source). Why are we seeing this growth? [TWEET THIS!]

Well, first, it’s because today’s kiosks greatly enhance the experience for the customer. They are faster and less error-prone. They enable connection and a truly omni-channel experience. And they allow customers to get the information on their terms, a trend modern customers are growing to expect.

We’re also more comfortable with the technology. We’ve moved from saying “I just want to talk to a real person” to preferring the speed and efficiency of kiosk technology.

What to Consider for Your Kiosk

When investing in your new “smartkiosk,” here are a few important factors to consider:

Key capabilities. What are the key things you want your kiosk to do? Keep in mind it is often better to have your kiosk perform 1-2 functions really well than to try to do everything under the sun.

Think omni-channel networks. How will your kiosk interact with other technology, like digital signs, smartphones, and other marketing channels? Consumers love omni-channel communication, so make your kiosk as interactive as possible.

Get practical. Think about the logistics before installing your kiosk. Where will the kiosk need to be within the store to produce the best results? How will you monitor the kiosk software (in-person or remotely)? How will a self-service kiosk impact your employees?

Focus on ROI. Consider how the kiosk will encourage sales and continued purchases. Focusing on omni-channel networks will be a big asset in achieving a high return.

Tracking. How will you measure “success”? What sort of reporting will your kiosk need to deliver?

Appearance. How do you want the kiosk to look? How will it tie in with your branding?

These are just a few areas to help your kiosk selection process stay on track. Transaction-based kiosks are the way of the future, for retail, hospitality, healthcare, and other industries. Just as smartphones are changing and improving every day, so are kiosks. They are becoming part of interactive omni-channel networks, and are delivering a more comprehensive experience, which is exactly what customers are looking for.

Opinion – 50 Shades of Gray Livewire

For the past few years, there’s been a nasty little rumor going around that kiosks are dead. With the rise in popularity of mobile apps, some people are simplifying the picture to conclude that apps will soon replace kiosks completely. To which I say…

If kiosks are dead, we better get ready for the zombie apocalypse. [Tweet this!]

Roles of Kiosks
One reason for the false ‘kiosks are dead’ rumor is that people don’t fully understand all kiosks can do. Yes, they can share information and organize content like mobile apps can, but they also do much more.

Kiosks inspire action. They can give out room keys, tickets, coupons, or maps. They can scan bio-metrics and measure weights or sizes. Self-service kiosk software can even dispense items like soda in the case of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.

Kiosks also offer flexibility in relation to customer engagement. With the Blue Zebra interactive kiosks, consumers can search for specific legal information and then choose where that information is sent. They can instantly get a printout, a text message, or an email with useful legal tips and referrals for attorneys and related services. [Read more!]

Purchase Power

The most important functionality that kiosks have over mobile phones deals with the proverbial ka-ching. [Tweet this!]

Unlike mobile apps, kiosk software allows users to insert cash or take out a credit card and swipe it through to make a purchase. Money changes hands with payment kiosks, which is not possible — at least not in an easy way — with mobile apps. The focus of mobile apps is more on researching and information gathering, while kiosks are used to inspire action and fulfill purchases…instantly.

The Stratosphere ticketing kiosk in Las Vegas allows customers to purchase tickets with a credit card or even with cash (and can receive change too.) That’s something a mobile app will never be able to do. [Read more!]

Shades of Gray

People are approaching the kiosk/mobile debate as black and white, when really it’s 50 shades of gray. [Tweet this!]

It’s not a zero-sum game — growth in one doesn’t lead to the downfall of the other. Actually, the two are best used together to create a comprehensive, omni-channel network.

Here’s why. Because of their widespread use, mobile devices can capture lots of information about a consumer’s preferences. When a mobile app passes that information to kiosk software, the kiosk can present relevant content to the user, like a coupon or offer to tip them into making a purchase. Vice versa, connecting mobile to a kiosk allows the mobile phone to learn the actions (read: purchase behaviors) of a consumer, and can tailor future messaging based on those behaviors.

The question becomes, how will you integrate the two? How will you blend the perfect shade of gray to enhance your customer engagement and in turn, build your brand?

For more information visit Livewire Digital

Kiosks Introduce a New Level of Simplicity and Convenience Into Orlando-Area Attraction Ticketing | Livewire Digital

Ticket Box in Kissimmee, Florida called on Livewire Digital of York, Pennsylvania, to bring in new technology to revolutionize ticketing for tourists. Ticket Box wanted an exciting and efficient solution for tourists to purchase tickets to the area’s top attractions, all in one place without long lines, hassle, or confusion.

Source: livewiredigital.com

Tourists visit a Ticket Box to browse through the area’s world-renowned attractions and value-priced ticket options. After selecting the attractions they wish to visit, Ticket Box prints and dispenses their tickets, instantly. For attractions requiring wristbands or other forms of entry, a voucher will be printed that can be exchanged for an entry pass at the attraction’s Will Call. In addition to saving time and avoiding the stress of high-pressure sales situations, Ticket Box allows tourists to discover new attractions and activities to enhance their vacations.

Mobile apps are a necessity rather than a luxury

Mobile apps are a necessity rather than a luxury by David McCracken

David McCracken LivewireDigital
David McCracken LivewireDigital

Sometimes, you just have a technology moment. I was using the Open Table app on my smartphone recently to check wait times at local restaurants when the technology moment struck. This tiny device in my hand fascinated me – it connected me to the entire world with a tap on its touch screen. It provided a remote portal to other digital technologies, things like schedulers, interactive payment kiosks, digital directories, and way-finding resources, right at my fingertips.

Apps as Necessities, Not Luxuries
The reason my technology moment was so powerful is because I usually just take the connection for granted. Following along with the ideas of omni-channel networks, apps build the experience around the user and make things intuitive and effortless. So we’ve gotten spoiled to the unlimited digital world at our fingertips. Unless we’re having a technology moment, we just expect to use our phones in this way. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Mobile Apps for Smart Marketing
Modern marketers are tapping into this mindset and are providing a sense of digitalconvenience and connection for customers through apps. Here are a few interactive, self-service apps that I think are awesome:

  • Travelocity: search and book hotels and flights, while accessing additional savings and app-only deals
  • My Disney Experience: schedule experiences, save places in line, and make changes on the go (also connects with interactive kiosks in hotels and parks)
  • Evernote: store notes, images, urls, tasks lists on in one place
  • Starbucks: consolidate gift cards and make purchases using the virtual gift card

Beyond the App Store – Apps Within Your Business
Not every awesome app is available for public purchase…in fact, many of the best apps out there never reach the public eye. Forward-thinking professionals in industries like retail and sales will commission custom mobile apps to help their businesses run more smoothly. These apps incorporate intuitive design and location freedom to connect managers and employees, which ultimately makes for a more profitable business experience.

Some uses of inter-business mobile apps include:

  • monitoring staff utilization
  • managing loss prevention
  • monitoring stock
  • assisting in merchandising
  • gathering/organizing customer insight
  • establishing a secure link to senior management
  • providing snap shots of sales and profitability by department, by person, day by day, even hour by hour

What mobile apps do you find most useful? What companies are using apps in creative and effective ways?

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Kiosk Manufacturer Self-Service

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