Category Archives: Internet kiosk

Internet kiosk

How to Create a DIY Kiosk (aka cheap kiosk)

DIY kiosk Cheap Kiosk

Small business owners recognize the value of self-service because it allows them to serve more customers with minimal staffing overhead. This article gives you the components to piece together a very economical do-it-yourself kiosk for your small business or startup for under $1000


The Components That Make Up Your “Cheap Kiosk”

Firstly, I want to clarify that when I say “cheap” I’m not referring to using shoddy hardware or a free hosting service that could be unreliable.  Your kiosk is going to be a reflection of your business, so the last thing you want to do is leave a bad impression with your customers because your kiosk is constantly out of commission.

By cheap I mean affordable, because in order to do this on a tight budget you’re going to be selecting proven reliable hardware that’s not the latest and greatest on the market.

Let’s start by examining the components which make up your typical kiosk solution.

  • The kiosk hardware
  • The kiosk application
  • The kiosk lockdown software

Kiosk Hardware

Most kiosks are either a freestanding design or else deigned to sit on a tabletop or be mounted to a wall.

We’re going to use a tablet with a secure enclosure designed for a tabletop in this example because it’s a very economical and practical option.

Craig Keefner put together this handy list of kiosk tablet enclosures.  It’s important to select a tablet enclosure designed to handle the abuse of a self-service environment.

This list is also a good starting point for selecting your tablet.  There’s no point in selecting a tablet which no one builds a secure enclosure for.

We’re going to go ahead and use the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet because it’s a proven device running Windows 8.1.  At the time of this writing the Surface Pro 3 has been out for a while so you can get the Surface Pro 2 for a good price.

The list price is $899, but a quick search on Amazon shows that I can get a new one for $529.99.

Next we need a tablet enclosure designed for a tabletop and secure enough for a self-service environment.  We’re going to use the Full Metal Jacket + Figure 8 Base from ArmorActive which costs $289.


Full Metal Jacket + Figure 8 Base – Surface Pro 2 Kiosk by ArmorActive

Kiosk Hardware Total Cost: $818.99

Kiosk Application

The kiosk application is the software or website that makes up the user interface and potentially controls payment devices and other kiosk hardware.

Your kiosk application can either be a native application or a website, but for the sake of doing this on the cheap we’re going to create our kiosk application as a website.

One of the easiest ways to create your kiosk application is to use WordPress.  Their CMS makes it really easy to create all of your own content without ever having to touch a line of code.

Here is a "Shady Kiosk" from Dollar General store. Does this appear to be DIY you think? From the collection "Not the Best Idea" . Click for full image
Here is a “Shady Kiosk” from Dollar General store. Does this appear to be DIY you think? From the collection “Not the Best Idea” . Click for full image

You’ll also need a hosting solution.  WordPress recommends a hosting company called Bluehost whose WordPress hosting starts at only $1.95 per month.

Just signup for a WordPress hosting account and you’re ready to start designing your kiosk’s content in this easy-to-use CMS.

Kiosk Application Total Cost: $23.40 (1 year of WordPress hosting)

Kiosk Lockdown Software

The purpose of kiosk lockdown software is to ensure that your kiosk application (in this case a WordPress website) is always running and that malicious users can’t tamper with the OS.

This kiosk software is essentially a security product which ensures that your content is always on the screen and your customer’s data is secure.

Without kiosk lockdown software the kiosk can be hacked and your customer’s sensitive information could be compromised.

KioskSimple is an economical kiosk lockdown software for Windows which costs only $149 per kiosk (one-time cost) and makes it easy to put your website on a kiosk.

Kiosk Lockdown Software Total Cost: $149.00

Total Cost: $991.39

As you can see, putting together a self-service tablet kiosk solution can be very economically provided you select the right components and are willing to create the kiosk application yourself.

If you get stuck, it’s not hard to find WordPress developers online for a reasonable rate.

Your new tablet kiosk will allow you to serve more customers and even save on labor costs through the use of self-service.


Editor Notes:

For your “cheap kiosk” remember for this example the cost is referenced to direct up-front costs, not subsequent costs.  A service call is 2 hours of somebody’s time, usually at $60/hour.  Computers which are End of Life are naturally cheaper, just like consumer models.  The reason is odds are a year from now it won’t be available as a replacement.  And instead of a Surface 3 for $500  you could use a $250 ASUS Transformer.  Which one will need replacing first?

DIY Android Kiosk

For an Android kiosk there are multiple Android lockdowns.  KioWare and Sitekiosk should be considered at the top. Both of these come with robust kiosk remote monitoring options.

Then there is also Chrome Kiosks another option. It has the Chrome management console.

Whatever people touch, people will eventually break. Figure on that and you should consider your keyboard (if used) and your touchscreen.  Poorly mounted tablets which are banged around by people poking at them end up costing money.

And remember DIY kiosks generally always appear to customers as DIY.  Maybe that is a profitable strategy for some (dollar store e.g.).

Below are some “not such a good idea” examples.  And thanks to Andrew Savala of Redswimmer for the core article.
Follow Craig’s board NOT the Best Idea… on Pinterest.

For more information contact Kiosk Industry

Moody Library information kiosk with county extension info

Moody Library information kiosk

Video news story from news station on information kiosk at the public library and how useful it has been to the general public, especially those without decent (or any) internet connection.  Information terminals for the “underserved” or “underconnected” population much like the unbanked.

Information Kiosk

A new part of the Moody Library is the first of its kind in the state.



A new part of the Moody Library is the first of its kind in the state.

A free standing kiosk is designed to put everything you need to know about the county extension in one easy-to-access place.

“We went to topics and then we went to these titles and resources and we just looked at stuff that looked interesting,” 13-year-old Lindsey Richardson said about the new kiosk.

The fact that she is even looking at the kiosk is exactly what extension coordinator Lee Ann Clark had in mind.

“I run into people every day that they have no clue what extension is and that bothers me and so I am always thinking of ways that I can get the word out about what all we have to offer,” Clark said.

At the kiosk, you have access to the hundreds of programs available to you and funded through Alabama A&M and Auburn University.

Rest of story


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Retail Automation – TSYS & PAX Join Push for faster EMV certification

As the deadline nears for U.S. EMV adoption, more processors are partnering up to help their clients speed through the certification process.


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Renew your driver’s license at library kiosks

You now can renew your driver’s license at self-service stations at the Iowa City and North Liberty libraries.


The Iowa Department of Transportation renewal kiosk is a web-based device that uses touch-screen technology to allow each customer to renew their own driver’s license or ID, including a secure update of the photo that will appear on the customer’s new card.

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UD “Mimicking Nature” kiosk at the Delaware Museum of Natural History

Museum kiosk and radio show bring science from UD lab to the public


“One focus of my group’s research is mimicking lung tissue, but the materials we work with, called hydrogels, have a broad range of biomedical applications including drug delivery systems and tissue engineering platforms to study a variety of diseases,” says Kloxin, who has joint appointments in the departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering

“The goal of our work is to develop technologies that improve human health, and we want to show science in a positive light.” 

The kiosk is supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award Kloxin received in 2013.

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What can healthcare startups learn from the porn industry ?

Porn is still the number one topic for which users search online. If you stop to think about this, it’s quite surprising that online porn is such big business. Intuitively, one would expect that sexual pleasuring is the one area which needs a hands on personal touch , and yet the adult industry is able to deliver pleasure online to millions, using clever technology. Can healthcare learn how to successfully replace high touch with high tech from them ?As my friend, Sanjiv Khandelwal pointed out,


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Retail automation – Tour of digital store in London « Retail Innovation


Quite the store and very nice video tour by Retail Innovation and Craig Smith. Virtual inventory comes in all variations.

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Selfservice mobile payment – Google’s Android Pay Cherry-Picks the Best of Apple, Google Wallet

Google plans to release a new mobile payment system called Android Pay, which will include many of the same features as Apple Pay, while the Google Wallet brand will live on as a peer to peer service.


Interesting to that they have chosen to support fingerprint recognition for biometric payment method.  Calling it “Android Pay” hitches a ride with Apple Pay for sure.

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Digital Sign and Digital Signage Market worth $23.76 Billion by 2020

According to a new market research report “Digital Signage Market by Type (Hardware (Displays, Media players, Projectors), Software, Services (Installation & Maintenance)), by Application (Commercial, Infrastructural, Institutional, Industrial) & Geography – Global forecast to 2020”, the total digital signage market is expected to reach $23.76 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 8.18% between 2015 and 2020.

This is the usual Markets & Markets report this time for digitial signage.  According to M&M — The major players in the global digital signage market are NEC Display Solutions (Japan), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (South Korea), LG Display Co., Ltd. (South Korea), Sharp Corporation (Japan), Sony Corporation (Japan), Panasonic Corporation (Japan), AU Optronics Corp. (Taiwan.), Planar Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Adflow Networks (Canada), and Omnivex Corporation (Canada).

The major players in the global digital signage market are NEC Display Solutions (Japan), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (South Korea), LG Display Co., Ltd. (South Korea), Sharp Corporation (Japan), Sony Corporation (Japan), Panasonic Corporation (Japan), AU Optronics Corp. (Taiwan.), Planar Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Adflow Networks (Canada), and Omnivex Corporation (Canada).

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Retail automation – Why cash handling is important for the retail industry

In the financial services industry, the term “cash handling” is commonplace. Everyone – from the C-suite down to each individual worker, knows the value of quality cash handling and money management. However, in the retail industry, the importance of cash handling can slip through the cracks.


The mobile phone crowd likes to dismiss cash but, not so quick…

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Kiosk breath tech helps get drunks home in Uber cars in Toronto, Canada – AUTO Connected Car News

The people who need a ride home late at night, more than anyone else are those that are intoxicated. Until we get breathalyzers in cars in the form alcohol interlock devices, a new promotion from U…


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Kontron, a Premier member of Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance. Medical Admission Kiosk – YouTube

From the Embedded conference and Intel IoT


A medical kiosk powered by the new 5th generation Intel® Core™ processor illustrates the cost and time savings available through healthcare innovations from Kontron and Intel.

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HealthSpot unveils new 2.0 cloud-based software platform and data integration | mHealthNews

Company will demonstrate its next-generation consumer retail health software with back-end integration enabled by Xerox at ATA 2015.


The 2.0 software upgrade leverages Xerox’s healthcare IT infrastructure to seamlessly interface with insurance claims through a payment data feed and integrates with electronic medical records (EMRs) for continuity of care. The back-end integration with the Xerox infrastructure enables a secure, cloud-based environment that is scalable to and delivers consistent performance.

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The Transformation of NCR – Case – Harvard Business School

During his tenure as CEO since 2005, Bill Nuti had moved NCR Corporation (originally National Cash Register) from its historical competence in hardware to become a provider of hardware and software for managing transactions across a range of industries and payments methods. Nuti envisioned a world in which consumers would use NCR hardware or applications whether transacting at a bank or ATM, purchasing clothes at a retailer, or checking into a flight at an airport—and in which NCR software would register the transactions, securely store and process the data, and use the transaction information to help NCR customers efficiently manage their operations.

In 2011 and early 2013, NCR had made two major acquisitions of companies that were important providers of transaction software in the retail and hospitality industries. Now, in late November 2013, Nuti and his team were considering a third potential major acquisition: Digital Insight, a market leader in online and mobile banking solutions. Nuti saw Digital Insight as key to complementing NCR’s offerings in the financial services industry, transforming it from a maker of standalone, electromechanical cash registers and ATMs into an “omni-channel, omni-commerce, software-driven company.” Would this acquisition be the next right strategic move for NCR’s transformation?


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