Fully-Custom Kiosks vs. enGAGE Standard Platform Kiosks

At RedyRef, we have many customers who come to us seeking design and manufacturing assistance for fully-custom kiosk enclosures — a process that can turn out to be shockingly expensive to even the largest and most successful companies.  Why? Well, the paradox is that metal kiosks are both very simple, and yet highly complex.  While interactive kiosks are, at the end of the day, just another type of enclosure, and all are built to do the same basic thing — provide access to information or deliver a product/service — there are many specific requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to manufacture one that does its job well, including:

  • Ability to house many different types of often-delicate screens and components, including computer hardware
  • Durability and longevity
  • Ergonomic design within a reasonable footprint, while remaining aesthetically pleasing
  • Compliance with all regulations, including ADA and UL

This dichotomy between the simple and the complex is exactly why RedyRef launched the enGAGE line of standard-platform kiosks as an affordable alternative to a fully customized build. Featuring typical kiosk design features, enGAGE is ideal as a starting point for almost any interactive application, with a range of standard options to suit most common kiosk requirements.  

So what’s the cost difference between fully-custom and enGAGE standard-platform kiosks?  It is often surprisingly significant.  Take the following example:

Phase 1: Design
  • Company A chooses a fully-custom build. Starting with the conceptualization and design (2-3 weeks), this first phase can cost anywhere from $5K to $25K.  
  • Company B chooses an enGAGE kiosk. Because they aren’t starting from scratch, customizing the standard design takes only 3-5 days, and $2K.

Phase 2: Engineering
  • Company A will need to set aside an additional 3-4 weeks and $15K-$75K for an engineer to take the design from concept to reality. 
  • Company B chooses any additional components or wraps it may need to customize the look of their enGAGE kiosk over the course of 7-10 business days, with costs that run between $3K and $6K. 

Phase 3: Set-Up, Fabrication & Assembly
  • Company A waits 8-12 weeks for their fully-custom kiosk to be finished. The cost is likely between $8K-$12K, depending on the final design, components chosen, and amount of production units. 
  • Company B waits 4-6 weeks for their finished kiosks and the cost is likely $4K-$6K. 

Phase 4: Delivery
  • Company A has invested 12-19 weeks + a minimum of $28K (running as high as $110K in some instances)
  • Company B has invested 6-9 weeks + approximately $10K

Based on the above, it’s easy to see how choosing a standard-platform enGAGE interactive kiosk can potentially save both time and money, while speeding time to market or to product deployment at the same time.  

Want to know if the enGAGE line of RedyRef interactive kiosks is right for your company?  Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.

Touchscreen vs. Static — Choosing a Digital Building Directory

As digital signage experts, customers often ask for our input when they need to make a choice between purchasing touchscreen or static building directories. The truth is that both types of signage have advantages and disadvantages, and as long as our customer knows what the directory’s primary usage will be, it should ultimately be a fairly easy decision to make once a few basic factors have been taken into consideration. For instance, static, non-touch signs and directories are generally the best choice when the content being presented is simple, limited in scope, graphic based or frequently changed.  They are also quite useful when the on-screen data is intended to be viewed by multiple users at the same time, such as the case with airport monitors that display flight information, or for building directories in very busy lobbies.  Understanding how much information needs to be displayed at once, and to how many “users” at the same time, is key. Space considerations also come into play when comparing different types of digital signage. An interactive touchscreen is capable of presenting a great deal of information in a limited space, while a static digital directory requires a much larger footprint to communicate the same amount of material.  And more often than one might think, a single customer may actually need variations of both types of signage. For example: A large hospital or hospital system would likely benefit from both touchscreen and static forms of digital signage.  It would be appropriate for the main building lobby to use a touchscreen system to direct patients to other buildings or specific floors and suites, while a static digital directory would be ideal for use on a single floor or within a larger series of suites. The same would hold true for a college or large corporate campus.  Both types of digital signage would be relevant and practical, depending on its installed location. Regardless of type of directory chosen, it’s important to keep in mind that as long as it suits its intended use, content is still king — the most effective directories will always be those those that share knowledge and effectively educate their intended audience while simplifying the overall user experience. As a US-based designer and manufacturer of both static and touchscreen digital building directories, RedyRef understands the importance of attractive design, quality construction and seamless implementation.  Using the latest technologies, we provide our customers with user-friendly end products that meet their unique specifications and the company’s overall wayfinding goals. Find out how RedyRef enhances the end-user experience via customized building directories by requesting a proposal online or calling (800) 628-3603 today.

Kiosk Materials + Prototyping vs. Short Runs

The process of kiosk prototyping can vary greatly depending on the material used.  For instance, producing a kiosk out of wood is incredibly different than prototyping in metal.  There are those who can literally design and engineer wooden structures in their head, then bring them to life just by visiting their local home improvement store and purchasing the right materials.  This idea holds true for prototyping wooden kiosks — it just doesn’t require much in terms of specialized equipment to build them. Metal kiosk prototyping, however, is generally more complex, as well as expensive.  Many companies outsource to China and other countries overseas to benefit from reduced labor costs. Unfortunately, the savings gained by outsourcing in this manner doesn’t necessarily add up in the end.  The costs associated with having to constantly review a structure located thousands of miles away until it’s correct end up being quite high in terms of both money and time. Travel and significant time zone differences alone can add weeks to a project, slowing the potential time to market. As an American metal kiosk manufacturer with locations in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Texas and Pennsylvania, we are able to create many efficiencies for our customers that result in costs that are very much in line with those quoted by overseas vendors.  Operating multiple locations grants us the flexibility and savings enjoyed by national shops, while still allowing us to act “locally.”  In order words, we’re often right around the corner from our customers, making prototype revisions quick and simple, which can speed up a project significantly, allowing our clients to get new products to market much more quickly than they might otherwise. At the same time, we able to offer our clients the opportunity to produce short runs of new products, instead of building a single prototype unit and subjecting it to multiple revisions before finally starting production. Our close proximity to our customers lets us quickly revise an entire run as needed and get the finished kiosks out the door, installed and generating revenue, all in about the same amount of time an overseas vendor may take to complete a single kiosk prototype. As expert metal kiosk designers and fabricators, RedyRef delivers superior end-to-end kiosk manufacturing services.  Find out how we can help fulfill all of your company’s digital kiosk needs by requesting a quote online, or by calling us at (800) 628-3603 today.