Friday, July 29, 2005

Hotel kiosk use continues to grow

From LexisNexis is the summary of this article:

"In June, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts became the most recent hotel company to announce self-service check-in kiosks to supplement the work of the hotel front desk. In April, Starwood Hotels and Resorts introduced kiosks at Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan and expects to have them in 100 properties by the end of the year. Hilton Hotels Corp. has machines in more than 40 properties, and Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels Corp. are in the midst of rollouts this summer.The surge in hotel kiosks comes at a time when banks, supermarkets, and airlines have brought self-service into the mainstream, and new features make the machines more attractive to guests. At Fairmont, for example, the kiosks not only allow travelers to check in, check out, and receive room keys, but guests can also select a guest room from a map of the hotel. Want to be near the ice machine? You got it."

You can find it here.

HoloTouch improves its interactive kiosk technology

HoloTouch offers a holographic virtual keyboard technology which, "projects 1-inch square floating holographic images of its 'keys,' several inches in front of the hardware. A standard PC sees BeamOne as a keyboard. This device is programmable and comes with all necessary software and the infrared sensors needed to detect an operator's interaction with its floating holographic images as well as free support," according to this article.

This technology is ideal for interactive kiosk applications, since you can project a keyboard onto any flat surface, and not have to worry about the wear and tear caused by industrial or publicly-accessible environments.

Kiosks get play in stored value card industry

According to

"Although still a nascent market, stored-value cards have evolved into two distinct segments, open-loop and closed-loop card products. Since closed-loop cards are a proprietary product, Celent, like other analysts, believes open-loop (universal) stored-value cards will gain greatest market share in time. Banks that issue gift cards incur risk in light of market alternatives, price elasticity and distribution hurdles according to Celent, but payroll cards may be a valuable niche in terms of soliciting hard-to-reach consumers and helping corporations meet depository requirements.

"In the retail sector, stored-value cards are becoming a multi-channel sales incentive, with toy seller Toys ’R’ Us expanding the reach of its stored-value card program to most of its web sites. After finding that online redemption of its stored-value cards were the reason its Q1 2005 sales grew by 21 per cent to USD 64 million, up from USD 53 million in the year-before period, Toys ‘R’ Us is extending the program to other sites under its umbrella. To promote year-round toy buying, the retailer adapted its back-end systems to support online sales made with its stored-value card."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SurferQuest kiosks to help find missing kids

As KioskMarketplace reports:

"SurferQuest, a supplier of public Internet kiosk systems, announced in a news release it has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to introduce photos of missing children into its kiosks.

"The missing child photos will rotate on the monitors when the kiosks are not occupied, and capture the attention of the passing audience. When the computer is in use, the system will show missing children on the desktop using NCMEC’s Java Banner Link. The SurferQuest Pay-per-Use system will allow free access to report a sighting as well as to learn more details about a particular missing child."

The rest of the article can be found here.

Forrester study says people demand self service kiosks

Greg Swistak, Executive Director of the Association, has a nice summary of an article by Forrester Research, in which public self-service terminals are found to be appreciated and in some cases even demanded by consumers used to helping themselves. Here's a quick rundown of some of the results:

Forrester surveyed 176 decision-makers at North American companies with revenues of $500 million or more, focusing its questions on how retailers handled their customer experience. While the survey did not specifically focus on kiosks or self-service technologies, some interesting statistics about self-service usage and its adoption is revealed.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said kiosks almost always meet customers’ needs, and 14 percent said they usually do — that is more than seven favorable responses out of 10. Compare that with the one out of 10 respondents who felt that retail outlets met their needs, and the approximately three of 10 who felt call centers met their needs.

Another interesting fact was that only 11 percent of those responding indicated that they didn’t use kiosks. That shows impressive penetration for a relatively new technology.

Read the rest of this very good article here.

Friday, July 22, 2005

ExxonMobil expands use of financial services kiosks

ExxonMobil is expanding placement of its ewiz financial-services kiosks into On the Run convenience stores in Chicago, south and west Florida and southern California. According to a news release, the expansion is expected to continue in additional markets in 2006. That expansion will follow successful market tests of the electronic-payment system at On the Run and Tigermarket c-stores in Memphis, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C.

Ewiz, developed for ExxonMobil by Burnaby, British Columbia-based Info Touch Technologies Corp., accepts cash, credit and debit as payment for the service provided. In the near future, the kiosk is expected to also accept checks.

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bluetooth enabled kiosks ping moviegoers

An interesting piece over at highlights what will probably become a new trend in interactive kiosk technology, using the kiosk as a bluetooth hub for transmitting high-bandwidth content to supported mobile phones and PDAs. From the story:

"[P]romotional material can be picked up by anyone with a cell phone equipped to handle Bluetooth, a form of short-range wireless transmission.

"Downloading a full-length movie trailer from the kiosk takes about 30 seconds, and there is no fee from the phone's service provider. One ring tone offered is an emphatic voice from the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven' that declares, 'Protect the stones!'

"Moviegoers can also download cell phone screen 'wallpaper' of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie in 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'"

A fascinating look at things to come. Read the rest of the story here.

Pharmacy kiosk dispenses drug refills

From SF Gate:

"Longs Drug Store Corp. will be the first Northern California retailer to install an ATM-style kiosk that dispenses drugs. Safeway Inc. has also received state approval for drug kiosks. Requests from Walgreens and White Cross Pharmacy in San Diego are pending.

"These machines, which had their California premiere in San Diego late last year, spit out prepackaged refills. They are being touted as an alternative to waiting while a pharmacist fills a prescription.

"Pharmacies and manufacturers of the devices believe that growing acceptance of electronic vending systems for other items will help people feel comfortable getting drugs from a machine."

An interesting read, of which you can find the rest here.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Self-service boarding cards take off

The Financial Times reports on self-service kiosks for hotels and airports:

"As you check out of the hotel using a self-service express kiosk you swipe your frequent flyer card to print out the boarding pass for your next destination. At the airport there is a drop-off point for luggage and then it is straight to the aircraft: no queues, no hassles. Easy.

"This is no futurist dream, but reality at a Holiday Inn in Duluth, Georgia. The trial, which started earlier this year, allows guests heading for Atlanta airport to produce their boarding cards for Delta Airways and AirTrans flights.

"Later this year Holiday Inn plans to promote the technology - developed with Micros Systems and Kinetics (a division of NCR) - to its global franchisees. 'The pilot has gone very well and fits well with our strategy of giving more convenience and control to travellers,' says Mr Snyder."

Read the complete article here.

TIO Network expands with Speedway SuperAmerica

From KioskMarketplace:

Info Touch Technologies Corp. announced in a news release the deployment of 15 ‘Speed e-connect’ kiosks at select Speedway SuperAmerica LLC locations in Toledo, Ohio. This expansion follows the successful January 2005 launch of a ‘Speed e-connect’ network in Dayton. Through this initiative, "cash preferred" c-store patrons now can securely and conveniently pay their bills with cash anytime at their local Speedway store.

Powered by Info Touch's Premiere software, ‘Speed e-connect’ terminals provide customers with convenient access to a wide variety of services, including bill payments for wireless, utility, cable and other service providers. Bill payment services typically carry a small convenience fee for usage. ‘Speed e-connect’ terminals are affiliated with Info Touch’s TIO Network, which is currently serving customers in 22 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and British Columbia. Info Touch and Speedway plan to unveil additional ‘Speed e-connect’ products and services such as money order, money transfer, prepaid credit and debit cards, check cashing and mobile content. The services will be geared toward the growing cash-preferred market.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

DVDPlay Introduces World's Fastest, Smallest and Highest Capacity Automated DVD Movie Rental Kiosk

LOS GATOS, Calif.--July 11, 2005--DVDPlay, Inc., North America's market share leader and innovator of fully automated, Internet connected and remotely managed movie rental kiosks today introduced the DVDPlay A55 high capacity super fast DVD rental kiosk. The new kiosk holds 502 movies, five times the titles as DVDPlay's original kiosk, and can deliver movies to customers in half the time, approximately 16 seconds. DVDPlay also announced its first A55 kiosk customer, Tejas Videos (dba Quickflix), the sole provider and operator of automated DVD vending kiosks to the United States Military. Around the world, military families and service personnel will now be able to rent the latest Hollywood hits at their base stores, post exchanges and commissaries using DVDPlay's A55 kiosks at prices much lower than possible with traditional mega video rental stores.

Read the rest of the press release here.

Ascendovations renames itself, plays same game as before, though

When is renaming your company to "Ascenda" an improvement? When your company's old name was "Ascendovations," that's when :)

From (again):

"The four-year-old company formerly known as Ascendovations is now Ascenda Inc., according to a news release.

"Ascenda will formally launch its primary product — Express Guest, a stand-alone check-in/check-out kiosk for hotels and timeshares — at HITEC, the nation’s largest hospitality industry conference.

"Express Guest provides key interactive guest accommodations such as hotel check-in and check-out, with such added features as electronic will-call for local area event ticketing."

Read the article here.

Agilysys and St Clair enter reseller relationship

From KioskMarketplace:

"Agilysys Inc., provider of enterprise computer technology solutions, and St. Clair Interactive Communications Inc., designer, developer and producer of interactive touchscreen self-service transaction applications, have signed a reseller agreement. According to a news release, the agreement enables Agilysys and St. Clair to combine resources to provide self-service retail technology solutions, including kiosk and digital media."

Read the whole article here.

Hybrid Kiosks / ATMs run Linux

As noted by newsforge:

"Amstar Systems manufactures and sells "automatic cashiers," cash dispensing machines that run on a modified Red Hat Linux. These super ATMs allow those without bank accounts access to financial transactions that previously only bank customers could access.

"The Amstar kiosks are designed to cater to customers who cannot read or write, with audible instructions and easy-to-understand graphics. Farris says he has also developed a special application that employs audio to assist the blind in using the kiosks.

"Amstar's newest kiosk, still in testing, offers paycheck cashing services. The client inserts a driver's license into the kiosk and the machine captures the data off the magnetic strip. The client must then answer a series of questions in order to further insure a positive identification. The client creates a PIN, and the machine issues a prepaid MasterCard debit card. Then the check is inserted and scanned for bank information and to determine the tendered amount. The user may choose to receive the full amount in cash or have some or all of the balance attached to the debit card.

"Clients can find kiosks inside retail stores, as standalone units in indoor or outdoor shopping centers, and inside banks. Kiosk owners make money by charging a fee for each type of transaction."

Read the complete article here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nexus releases kiosk-oriented financial middleware

"Nexus Software, a provider of multichannel client middleware for financial services delivery, is now delivering Nexus Distributed Client middleware, which provides enhanced flexibility, architectural choice and lower total cost of ownership for financial institutions, according to a news release.

"Nexus DC middleware supports server-based financial services solutions for ATM, branch and kiosk touchpoints. Configuration and application control is centralized on Windows 2000 or 2003 server-based systems. Device control is distributed from the server to thick, slim and thin clients running either Windows or Linux."

Find the rest of the press release here.

Hybrid Kiosk and ATM relesased


"AmStar Systems Inc., a self-service financial kiosk manufacturer, is releasing a new automated check-cashing and multi-function ATM, according to a news release. The ATM is expected to hit the streets in late summer.

"The ATM also allows use of a PIN-based prepaid debit card.

"To obtain the debit card for check-cashing, the customer must answer questions at the ATM for I.D. verification and an OFAC scan as required by the Patriot Act. If the customer is approved, the machine dispenses the PIN-based debit card and the customer can continue with the check-cashing process. The ATM also offers money-transfer and money-order service."

Read the complete article here.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cisco, Dell, Forrester, NCR execs to speak at the self-service & kiosk show

"Leading experts in the application of self-service technology, including representatives from Cisco Systems, Dell, Forrester Research, NCR and more, are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Self-Service & Kiosk Show.

"The show, which will be held Oct. 17-18 at the South San Francisco Conference Center, educates businesses in a wide variety of industries about implementing self-service programs to increase customer satisfaction and sales, and decrease wait times.

"The speaker lineup was announced by show organizer NetWorld Alliance, which owns related industry news and information Web sites including,,, and also publishes Kiosk magazine."

Find the press release here.

Elo makes big SAW screens for interactive digital signs and kiosks

I've cross-posted this over on my digital signage news site, since it's relevant to both "kiosks" and "digital signage." Market leader Elo is entering the fray with a 32" version of their popular surface acoustic wave (SAW) screen. Here's the lowdown from thomasnet:

"Supplied as clip-on frame, IntelliTouch 32 in. surface-wave touchscreen is composed of pure glass and has no plastic or metallic coatings. Product provides 92% light transmission and 4,095 x 4,095 touchpoint resolution. Along with point-of-information kiosk displays and interactive digital signage, applications include gaming machines, centralized monitoring in medical and industrial industries, as well as conference room and exhibition center displays.

"According to Lung, many Elo customers believe bigger is better when it comes to getting their message across, and Elo is receiving more and more inquiries for large plasma and flat screens of 30" and above. “We currently have customers using our 42" and 50" touchscreens to display interactive advertisements, in electronic whiteboards for corporate presentations, and in universities and TV studios,” confirms Lung. “The demand is out there and Elo is well positioned to respond to it.”"

You can read the rest of the press release here.