Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Linux Kiosk Software Article at KioskMarketplace

There's a nice little writeup on KioskMarketplace about some Linux alternatives to Windows-based kiosk platforms (which I'm quoted on, apparently :) . Here's a snippet:

"It is not surprising, then, to learn that most kiosks and self-service applications are also powered by Windows. But a few companies have turned their focus in another direction, benefiting from the raw power that can come from a properly modified open-source environment.

The potential for deep customization

First, a quick definition for those new to the concept: “open source” refers to software that is not owned by an entity, and whose source code — the actual zeros and ones that make it tick — is freely distributed. By contrast, most software on store shelves is not open source — the company that developed it owns the code as intellectual property.

The operative word in “open source” is the first one — that openness not only allows users to implement the software free of charge, it also allows them to make whatever changes they need.

Read the whole article here.

MontegoNet introduces iBank kiosk

From KioskMarketplace:

"MontegoNet has unveiled the iBank, a complete kiosk hardware/software solution designed to support financial institutions’ self-service initiatives while addressing their security requirements. According to a news release, MontegoNet has also launched a new Web site,, to support this new product introduction."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The incredible shrinking kiosk

Over at KioskMarketplace, they have nice article on one of the industry trends: shrinking the footprint on self-service interactive kiosks. There's an art to making a kiosk small enough to not hog valuable retail floor space, but big enough to get noticed by passers-by. A nice quote from the article:

"Will Rogers famously urged people to buy land, because “they ain’t making it anymore.” The same can be said of retail floor space — and with every square inch in high demand, pressure is on the kiosk to get smaller and more efficient.

Finding space for a kiosk deployment can be tough — retailers know how valuable their space is, and they know that whatever they put there had better perform. So two strategies begin to converge for the kiosk: get better at what you do while simultaneously getting smaller."

Read the whole article here.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Holiday Inn(R) Hotels and Resorts Launches First Self-Service Kiosk

From hotel-online:

"Holiday Inn(R) Hotels and Resorts today begins testing a full-service Reception kiosk that allows guests to check into or out of their rooms and change hotel reservations as well as access airline systems to print boarding passes on the spot.

The 90-day test is installed at the Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., just north of InterContinental Hotels Group headquarters offices in Atlanta. Since opening in January 2004, the prototype hotel has served as a testing ground for other brand innovations, including a modernized 'Great Sign' and new interior design elements like iconic artwork, as well as eHost, Holiday Inn's electronic menu and concierge service, and Kem's Cafe, a modernized comfort food restaurant featuring signature dishes and sauces.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Republic Bank Upgrades In-Branch Digital Signage Network With FireCast Suite From WireSpring

WireSpring Technologies, a developer of software for digital signage and interactive kiosk systems, today announced that Republic Bank has chosen FireCast to power its in-branch digital signage network. Captive Indoor Media managed the deployment to 20 banking centers in Kentucky, which replaced a legacy system from Impart Technology Group.

Republic Bank uses the digital signage displays to inform and entertain customers while they are waiting for service. This allows them to present relevant product offers to help expand the relationship with each customer, such as offering preferred mortgage rates to existing checking account holders, while also reducing the perceived wait time and enhancing the customer experience.

"The banking industry is time-sensitive by nature," said Michael Sadofsky, senior VP of marketing for Republic Bank. "With the Captive Indoor Media system, we can inform our customers of product changes, upcoming promotions and other time-sensitive information with no delay. Through the use of this very dynamic system, we achieve our goal of getting the right message to the right people at the right time."

While other banks (most notably Washington Mutual) have deployed similar networks, the Republic Bank deployment is unique in that the displays appear not only in the branch itself, but also in the drive-through lanes. This ensures that all customers, regardless of service channel, are provided the same information about current loan rates, special account offers, and other relevant content.

"We're very pleased to work with Captive Indoor Media and Republic Bank on this deployment," said WireSpring CEO William Gerba. "Republic Bank's comprehensive approach to customer messaging, both in the branch and in drive-through lanes, provides a strong example of how banking organizations can use dynamic signage to enhance the customer experience."

In addition to in-branch digital signage networks, WireSpring also offers self-service kiosk solutions to help customers learn about bank products and services, apply for credit cards, and perform other tasks without having to wait in line.

To learn more about WireSpring's solutions for the banking industry, please read our free digital signage guide at

For more information on Captive Indoor Media, please visit

Note to editors: An illustration of bank digital signage is available at - high resolution photos are available upon request.

About WireSpring Technologies

WireSpring helps retailers, banks, and other venues reach customers at the point-of-decision using interactive kiosks and dynamic digital signage. The company's FireCast product line provides a complete solution for designing, deploying, and remotely managing global networks of self-service terminals and electronic displays, including dynamic advertising screens and in-store television networks. WireSpring is headquartered at 1901 West Cypress Creek Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 USA. For more information, visit

Monday, March 21, 2005

Moscow to install internet kiosks

It looks like the city of Moscow is about to install a publicly-funded interactive kiosk network. Here is the entire text of the article, since it's so short:

"MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Moscow has taken a decision to open newspaper kiosks with access to the Internet, the daily Novye Izvestia writes. The first such kiosk has opened in the Maryino neighborhood in north-western Moscow. It does not only sell fresh newspapers but also gives access to the Internet, including to pay for services of mobile communication providers.

Before 2007 Moscow will have 150 kiosks of the new generation, which will provide public access to the Internet web. Each will have a terminal for access to any information of interest. Muscovites will get free reference services on the basis of access to information portals of the city, area and district organs of power and other sites.

The municipal authorities also say that the range of printed media on sale will be much larger than on regular newsstands."

If you want to look for other news, or just read the text from the original source, it's right here.

GO!Network Selects Planar's Integrated Marketing Solution for Kiosk Deployments

"Planar Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLNR), a worldwide leader in flat-panel display systems, is announcing that independent software vendor GO!Network is utilizing Planar's Integrated Marketing Solution, a hardware platform for interactive kiosks, for its clients' consumer marketing efforts at tradeshows, shopping centers and sporting venues.

GO!Network deployed its proprietary customer lead-generation and loyalty software, which facilitates the exchange of customer information for merchandise discounts, product giveaways and sweepstakes entries, on 19 of Planar's DS15i products. The retail-ready design of the DS15i enabled GO!Network to install its software, customize the content, test the application and deploy the units in just five days. The first two deployments on Planar kiosks, at the Homeworld Show at Edison Field in Anaheim and Fiesta de Carnival in February 2005, resulted in more than 7,500 leads for GO!Network's partners."

The full press release is here.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Calculating Digital Signage ROI (or kiosk ROI)

I've posted the first part of a Digital Signage ROI article, over at WireSpring's Dynamic Digital Signage and Interactive Kiosk Weblog. While it is slanted towards digital signage, a lot of the base information is certainly applicable to interactive kiosks as well. Here's part of the intro from that article:

"In this, the first in a series of articles covering the basics of calculating digital signage ROI metrics, I'm going to start by introducing a couple of concepts to get you in the right mindset for determining your signage network's return on investment. In subsequent articles, I will try to provide some ideas and methodologies for accumulating and analyzing your data to come up with the magic number."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

UK Police to test out virtual police stations

In an attempt to provide more access to police officers, officials in Mumbles, south Wales, have installed a kiosk system that provides users with the ability to videoconference with live officers at a manned central station.

Here's a snippet from one article:

"The virtual station is monitored by CCTV, which South Wales Police say is designed to protect anyone who considers themselves to be in danger while officers are en route. People visiting the station out-of-hours will also be able to report lost and found property, email their local community officer and access the force's website."

You can read the whole thing here.

Info Touch releases quarterly financials

One of the few publicly-traded kiosk firms released its pro-forma results for the fiscal quarter ended January 31st. From their release:

"Info Touch Technologies Corp. (TSXV: IFT), North America's leading provider of self-service bill payment and financial service solutions today announced operating results for the second quarter ended January 31, 2005. Gross revenue for the quarter ended January 31, 2005 increased 21% to $1,945,052, from revenue of $1,605,526 for Q2 2004. Revenue was derived from the following sources: transaction services (75% of total revenue for Q2 2005 vs. 47% for Q2 2004), maintenance services (6% for 2005 vs. 11% for 2004), professional services (14% for 2005 vs. 5% for 2004) and the sale of kiosk systems (4% for 2005 vs. 9% for 2004). Total recurring revenue for Q2 2005 including transaction services and maintenance revenue increased 67% accounting for $ 1,566,142 or 81% of total revenue. Cost of sales were $1,246,100, an increase of 55% from cost of sales of $804,321 for Q2 2004.

Gross revenue for the six months ended January 31, 2005 increased 29% to $4,061,845, from revenue of $3,146,617 for the six months ended January 31, 2004. Revenue was derived from the following sources: transaction services (69% of total revenue for YTD Q2 2005 vs. 49% for YTD Q2 2004), maintenance services (6% for 2005 vs. 12% for 2004), professional services (14% for 2005 vs. 4% for 2004) and the sale of kiosk systems (8% for 2005 vs. 8% for 2004)."

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Young mothers lead U.S. self-service photo kiosk use

I thought this article from KioskMarketplace was pretty interesting...

"Young mothers are lining up at the self-service photo kiosk in their local supermarket to print out reams of glossy memories, according to a new study by MetaFacts. Principal analyst Dan Ness says that U.S. households with women aged 20-29 are by far the heaviest users of photo kiosks. Meanwhile, Ness has found that the more people in the household, and the higher the income of the household, the more likely that household is to use kiosks รข€” contradicting widely held assumptions that these households are most likely to print digital photos at home."

Healthnotes introduces new kiosk products

"To help health food stores and supermarkets offer their customers an engaging, information-rich shopping experience online and in-store, Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) today announced the launch of its enhanced QuickStart Web products and the new Retailer Recipes option for touchscreen kiosks and retailers' Web sites.

QuickStart Standard and QuickStart Premium, part of Healthnotes EasyIntegration online delivery options, offer retailers quick, easy ways to integrate Healthnotes content throughout their sites, even with limited technical expertise. Both QS Standard and QS Premium include new integration tools called Graphical Content Links: prepackaged links that combine engaging graphics with a "teaser" line to capture consumers' attention and drive them into targeted Healthnotes content. GCLs can be placed on multiple pages of a retailer's site to offer greater access to Healthnotes content, enhancing the user experience and increasing usage.

The new Retailer Recipes option allows a retailer to offer their recipe collection integrated with Healthnotes health, food, and nutrition information -- online and in-store. The custom retailer-branded touchscreen kiosk and Web applications add a retailer's recipes into standard Healthnotes categories and link them to a food encyclopedia. In addition, retailers can have HNI calculate Nutrition Facts and add wine pairings to their recipes to make them even more valuable to shoppers."

Read the complete press release here.

Monday, March 14, 2005

BeamOne named "Most Innovative Human-Machine Interface"

From the "More Innovative Doesn't Necessarily Mean Better" department:

During award ceremonies held at the Peninsula Hotel in connection with National Manufacturing Week, Control Engineering's editorial director, David Greenfield, announced that the fully functional, touchless holographic interface, BeamOne of HoloTouch, and Atlantex Corporation, had been overwhelmingly chosen by subscribers of Control Engineering as "most innovative human-machine interface featured in Control Engineering during the past year." Greenfield then presented a Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Award for 2004 to R. Douglas McPheters, President of HoloTouch.

Read the complete article here.

ReturnKey airport kiosks

A new shipping service may solve a vexing problem air travelers have faced since Sept. 11: what to do when a security screener confiscates a personal item.

ReturnKey Systems has begun setting up automated kiosks near screening areas that will, for $6 to $22, send a restricted item home by mail.

Read the whole article over at KioskMarketplace.

Friday, March 11, 2005

KioskMarketplace Article on Physical Kiosk Design

Not a topic that gets a lot of attention these days, but a very good read. Here's a snippet from that article:

"Enclosure manufacturers not only concern themselves with the materials they will use; they also have to keep an eye on the aesthetics. Function might have trumped form at one time, but today’s users need to be “wowed” in order to try something new."

Read the whole article here. publishes KDE "kiosk mode" tutorial

From this article at

"One of the more powerful aspects of the KDE desktop is the ability to customize the user experience completely. Most KDE programs use core features and plugins provided by the desktop system, creating a consistent user interface and easy-to-access configuration setup. One popular extension to this interface, known as KDE's Kiosk Mode, allows a system administrator to configure all aspects of the desktop for an end user and optionally prevent the end user from making modifications to the provided setup."

The tutorial is available here.

Elo TouchSystems unveils new products

According to this article at KioskMarketplace:

"Elo TouchSystems has expanded its family of touchcomputers and touchmonitors with two new members. The new 1529L 15-inch LCD touchmonitor includes options for an integrated three-track magnetic-stripe reader, fingerprint recognition device, and a 12.1-inch rear-facing customer display. Extending the 1529L touchmonitor even more, the silent, fan-less 1529L touchcomputer joins the recently announced 1525L as an all-in-one touchcomputer that integrates computing functionality within the footprint of a standard 15-inch LCD display."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

MCRL demonstrates Personal Shopping Assistant at MCRS

From the Retail Bulletin:

"MCRL will be demonstrating a multitude of Digital Media' solutions at the Multi Channel Retail Show, from large-screen plasma displays to hand-held and trolley-mounted interactive displays.

One solution is the all-new Personal Shopping Assistant. The MCRL Personal Shopping Assistant is now in use by two European retailers Metro and Dohle Handelsgruppe Service, the franchiser of the Hit branded stores.

The full article has a lot more details. Go read it.

BAA begins installation of self-service check-in

The British Airport Authority (BAA) is implementing a self-service check-in kiosk network, according to this article at Here's a snippet:

"THE British Airports Authority (BAA) is to implement self-service check-in kiosks at its seven UK airports over the next five years.

The airport operator will start installing the kiosks this spring, beginning with 30 at Heathrow's Terminal 3, and 22 at Gatwick's South Terminal.

BAA is working with French supplier IER to install the kiosks, which it believes will reduce the cost and space requirements of traditional check-in facilities."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Info Touch and Western Union bring money to the masses

Stolen from KioskMarketplace:

"Info Touch Technologies Corp. has announced an agreement that will bring the convenience and functionality of Western Union’s industry-leading money transfer and money order services to kiosks powered by Info Touch’s TIO Network."

This is certainly a logical extension of Info Touch's current activities in the kiosk space.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

New Kiosk Site Thrown in the Mix has officially opened its doors today, though it has been up (to some extent or another) for a few months now. It's basically an advertising site where kiosk-related vendors can purchase buttons in categories like kiosk hardware, kiosk software, interactive kiosks, and the like. I don't think it purports to have any news or features like, but you can check the site out for yourself, and read their press release here.

Galvanon and NextCare team on medical kiosks

From PRWeb:

"Galvanon, the patient experience company, today announced that Mesa, Ariz.-based NextCare Urgent Care, a provider of urgent care and occupational medical services, has selected its MediKiosk™ solution to facilitate the patient check-in and triage process at its multiple facilities.

NextCare Urgent Care will use the self-service kiosks to identify patients at check-in, gather necessary forms and signatures, and collect co-payments and outstanding balances. The kiosks will also be used to capture symptoms and medical histories, expediting the triage process and improving patient flow throughout the facility."

Read the complete release here.

A kindred spirit

I ran across the blog of Keith Alexander, who shares some thoughts about interactive kiosks and digital signage networks that he has run across. It's good to hear other peoples' perspectives.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Another try at an interactive taxi system.

One of my favorite blogs, Pervasive.TV has a nice writeup about Targeted Media Partners, who showcased their Interactive Taxi system at the recent Media Summit show. I've seen and used these things out in Las Vegas, but to be honest, I don't know how they would survive in other markets. And I recently heard that the city of New York has required all of these interactive machines to be removed from NYC cabs (from what I understand, there were about a dozen small companies test marketing various interactive cab systems in New York before the announcement).

RoboServer Begins Marketing Self-Serve Systems

Fresh from BusinessWire:

"RoboServer Systems Corp. (Pink Sheets: RBSY - News), developer of the revolutionary Self-Serve Machine that enables fast-food customers to process their own orders on a touch-screen kiosk, announced that it has begun the marketing processes of its Self-Serve Machine for rollout to major quick-service restaurant chains.

RoboServer's flash video presentation of the Self-Serve Machine in action can be viewed by clicking the following link:"

Read the complete press release here.

Thriftway Pay By Touch Trial goes well

According to, "Thriftway supermarkets has plans to spread its Pay By Touch system to other outlets. When a customer registers with the system, his fingerprint is linked up to his debit account. This allows him to pay for all future grocery trips by simply holding his finger up to a biometric sensor."

A little too Big Brother for my tastes, but I understand that this is the direction that self-service is moving in right now. I can only vote with my wallet, right? :)

Here's the story.

Sheetz deploying pump-side kiosks to 3,100 locations

Middle-America convenience store chain Sheetz is trying a new marketing tactic, enticing the captive audience pumping gas into their convenience stores...

"Panasonic Industrial Co. said its contactless smart card technology will be installed in Gilbarco Veeder-Root fuel pumps at 3,100 fueling positions at Sheetz Inc. convenience stores, beginning this February.

The Gilbarco-brand pumps will be retrofitted with a Panasonic “hybrid” card reader, incorporating both contactless payment and magnetic stripe read capabilities. In test market trials conducted in late 2004, consumer reaction was “extremely positive” toward the speed and convenience of contactless payment, in which the consumer pays by a wave of his or her card, the company said."

Read the complete press release here.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hyatt Hotels installing self check-in kiosks

From USA Today:

"Taking a cue from the airline industry, Hyatt Hotels and Embassy Suites announced last week that they will let guests bypass the front desk by using self-serve check-in/check-out kiosks, which will be installed at North American properties over the next 18 months."

This isn't really surprising, since this is one of those rare win-win situations in the self-service world. Tired, anxious travellers will do just about anything to get their hotel keys a little bit faster, so any aversion to technology (which has almost become a nonissue by this point) quickly disappears. Similarly, hotels can staff than many fewer desk workers, because the kiosks handle the most monotonous (and often time-consuming) tasks.

Read the complete article here.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

BT Shows Store of the Future

After BT's acquisition of NSB, the new BTExpdeite group has announced their Store of the Future, a demonstration center showcasing their next-generation retail technology.

From their PR:

"The store aims to help BT's retail market customers establish innovative ways of saving money and driving extra cost and process efficiencies, as well as expanding and maintaining a loyal customer base

As Expedite delivers new technologies, it integrates them into the Ker'Ching showcase to demonstrate how they work in real retail business situations.

The demo takes visitors from online shopping environments at home, through to the high street and into a mock store, crammed with innovative shopping technologies."

Read the full press release here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rittal Opti-Wall and Opti-Line II kiosks are now available

Having seen some Rittal kit in the past, I have to say, it looks good and is well-built. From their site:

Rittal's Opti-Wall and Opti-Line II award wining kiosks provide the attributes of simplicity, elegance and function.
An ideal solution for representative indoor settings, the stylish design allows both products to be used together to incorporate the same corporate image throughout the project.

Here's the release.

Kiosks and Gift Cards Join Forces

Gift card solutions providers are upgrading their services to help retailers maximize the potential of a gift card program that can be extended across multiple channels. Coinstar’s latest gift card program raises the bar on competing solutions in that a self-service kiosk can be integrated with the store’s POS system for the activation and reload of gift cards at the kiosk.

Read the full release here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

NextWindow Large-Screen Touchscren Coverage

UI design weblog usernomics has some nice things to say about NextWindow LCD and plasma display touchscreens. From their article:

"NextWindow's Touch Screen ( Touchscreen ) Technology can be used to provide a unique Touch Screen solution - where not only is the Plasma, or LCD Display touch "enabled", but also an 'off-screen' touchable area, called a Panel. This off-screen area, or Panel, enables the user to utilize key icons, navigation keys, cross-selling buttons, and short-cuts to content, around the Plasma, or LCD Display and make these available to the customer at all times."

Read the whole thing here.

KeynotePro intros KeyStation, MetroBlue templates

For all of you Mac kiosk folks out there (yes, both of you)...

Keynote theme developer Keynote Pro has released MetroBlue for iDVD as well as KeyStation and KeyStation HD, a pair of hybrid themes aimed at users who want to create interactive Keynote-based presentations for kiosks. Taking advantage of the Interactive and Kiosk-mode options that became available in Keynote 2, both themes include fills and palettes, button elements and pre-sized navigation tables.

Why use something standards-based and cross-platform, like Flash, when you could use this? ;)

Read the full story here.