Self-service kiosks have long existed, but now, businesses are starting to take note of their ability to solve consumer problems in cost-effective ways. Today we will discuss the features and benefits of self-service kiosks and how they can be effective across many environments. From providing information and assisting with wayfinding solutions to bill payment and ticket dispensing, self-service kiosks help enhance user experience while increasing ROI for those companies choosing to deploy them.
The primary function of an information kiosk is to provide exactly that -- information. But information kiosks are not just limited to the display of digital advertising; they offer a range of other useful services as well.
For those with limited or no internet access, internet kiosks are here to assist. Often found in public places such as libraries or even integrated into smart city kiosks, they provide free or paid access, depending on the environment in which they are deployed.
Internet kiosks usually resemble telephone booths and are placed in public areas such as airports, train stations, libraries and museums. The goal is to provide quick access to email or specific web pages with pertinent information, such as an airline’s website in an airport gate area. The benefit of these kiosks compared to normal PCs is that they are much more difficult to abuse or vandalize. Since they are “locked” by proprietary software, they simply perform their function as programmed, and cannot be used in malicious or less-than-ideal ways.
The primary function of an internet kiosk is to provide public internet access. And while these kiosks have certain features locked or “walled off,” the advantage is that they almost manage themselves, and can include features such as automatic rebooting should a power outage occur, which allows them to provide consistent help to users even in complicated circumstances.
For those that need assistance locating buildings, offices or personnel, wayfinding kiosks are the answer. Easy and intuitive to use, these kiosks provide 2-D and 3-D maps to allow for simplified navigation in unfamiliar areas, allowing users to not only find a given location, but other points of interest around them as well.
Wayfinding and directory maps are available in 3 primary variants: 2D, 2.5D and 3D. The quality of the maps vary from 2D to 3D, with 2D maps being less detailed than 3D. Map data for the kiosks is updated and controlled remotely via cloud-based servers, meaning that any and all updates are automatically uploaded and updated, which keeps the kiosk’s data current.
2D wayfinding is considered the most basic, but also the most cost effective. It generally will provide a top view or flat layout of a building or campus, which looks very similar to a typical paper map.
A slightly more advanced version of a 2D wayfinding map, it provides a bird’s eye view while still being rendered in 3D. This is the most common type of wayfinding map utilized with digital kiosks, as it provides the benefit of being more visually in-depth like a 3D map, while retaining some of the cost benefits of 2D maps.
The most intricate and detailed map, providing a full 3D model of a building, complete with pathways, elevation, almost as close to a scale model of the building itself. This is also the most expensive option however.
Wayfinding is utilized in many different environments to help users navigate unfamiliar surroundings.
Advertising kiosks are fast becoming the new normal as they are often more eye-catching, and therefore, more effective, than traditional signage or billboards.
Advertising display kiosks generally utilize large-size digital displays to showcase goods or services from various companies. These advertisements can be static or interactive, the latter which allows the user to touch and engage with them. These kiosks can also include a multitude of components that can allow them to be used for payment, wayfinding, photo booths, wifi hotspots and of course, the flexibility to allow companies to quickly and easily change out advertisements based on their business’ requirements.
Movie Theatres: Many movie theatres use advertising kiosks to promote upcoming movies as well as showcase food options and specials.
Quick Service Restaurants: QSRs utilize advertising display kiosks and digital signage to market new food items and combinations, as well as pricing.
Retail: Malls employ advertising kiosks to promote individual products as well as stores inside of their area.
Stadiums: Sports arenas and other large venues use display kiosks to promote different events taking place onsite.
Airports: Airports utilize advertising kiosks to promote new and established restaurants, as well as airlines and rental car services.
Digital advertising kiosks are becoming a marketing mainstay in consumers’ everyday lives and knowing how useful they can be, it’s difficult not to see why. Whether used to showcase products, services, companies, or events, digital signage kiosks help businesses and other organizations increase customer engagement while offering an excellent return on their initial investment.
Self-service kiosks are everywhere, helping to serve customers across a multitude of industries, and there is no question that they have transformed many businesses for the better. Today we will examine the various benefits (as well as a few drawbacks) in order to help those interested in kiosks better understand if they may be a fit for their business use case.
Self-service kiosks are digital information centers that feature either static (non-touch) screens or touchscreens, which are considered to be “interactive.” Kiosks that utilize touchscreens allow users to access a specific set of automated services, while static displays are generally used only to display a single image or set of images with information, such as a digital ad. The purpose of self-service kiosks is to allow a customer to interact with a company, product, brand or service, and via automated means, without requiring additional personnel, like customer service agents. Self-service kiosks are becoming quite common in many different environments, but some of the most popular applications include quick service restaurants (QSRs), movie theaters, and hospital or college campuses.
The primary function of a self-service kiosk is to allow customers to complete various common tasks on their own without the assistance of a dedicated employee. This can range from placing orders for food, to purchasing train or bus tickets, to depositing and withdrawing money from bank accounts. Whatever the kiosk’s function, the ultimate goal is to give users more freedom and better efficiency. While self-service kiosks do require an initial capital investment, self-service kiosks offer companies the ability to automate simple processes, reducing the need for additional manpower.
One of the primary reasons self-service kiosks have become popular so quickly is that they allow companies to engage with their customer base on the user’s own terms. As you can imagine, there are quite a few benefits to taking this approach:
While they can provide a host of profound benefits to both companies and consumers, self-service kiosk are not without a few drawbacks. And while these negatives don’t generally outweigh the positives, they should still be noted before making a purchasing decision.
Self-service kiosks are being deployed by a growing number of industries, with hospitality, and transportation, and food service leading the way. However, the list is steadily growing, especially in retail, healthcare, and within a wide range of other environments where the need for automation is rising:
Self-service kiosks offer a host of benefits with few drawbacks. And while they do require an investment, their deployment can result in excellent ROI for businesses, greater user freedom, and a more positive overall customer experience.
REDYREF has proven that urban bus shelters can be not only highly functional, but beautiful as well.
This fall marked the debut of Kansas City Area Transportation Authority’s (KCATA) new modern, digitally-enhanced bus shelters along Kansas City’s MAX bus line, with kiosksdesigned and deployed by REDYREF Interactive and its partner Smart City Media.
“From the start, partnering with Smart City Media to create these interactive, ‘smart’ bus shelters for KCATA has been an incredible experience,” said Will Pymm, Managing Partner, REDYREF. “We couldn’t have been more pleased with the entire process, and are looking forward to seeing the project rolled out in its entirety.”
The new downtown Prospect Avenue MAX stations are designed to blend in with the area’s streetscape, making it easier for pedestrian traffic on sidewalks.
“We’re very excited about it,” said Richard Jarrold, senior vice president for strategic planning at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. “Twelfth and Grand pedestrian traffic is booming, we’re taking too much of the sidewalk.”
Each station features an interactive smart kiosk that gives riders real-time bus arrival information and access to a city-wide directory, as well as protection from the elements and enhanced lighting for improved safety and greater visibility.
KCATA project manager Linda Clark said she wants people to know the new MAX bus kiosks will also offer information about connecting routes, as well as a web-based portal that will allow community members to advertise events.
“If this community center were having an event, the kiosk out there on 27th and Prospect would tell you about the event. All you have to do is touch the icon,” she said.
Each interactive outdoor “smart city” kiosk features 55” touch displays and are fully ruggedized to be able to withstand the large variations in Kansas City weather. From 90+ degree heat to snow and freezing temperatures, the kiosks are built to continue operating smoothly and continuously. The digital kiosk displays also offer single- and dual-sided options, as well as additional components such as wireless capability, video cameras and all integrations needed to allow for ADA compliance.
For more information about Redyref kiosks or digitally-enhanced transit options, visit https://redyref.com.
Riverdale, NJ (PRWEB) July 11, 2017 RedyRef Interactive has launched a new and innovative wayfinding software suite: enGAGE.Touch. The core of this system is the cutting-edge digital building directory module, which can be seamlessly integrated with additional software modules and semi-custom enclosures for environments that require more complex solutions.
Innovative, Modular, Intuitive Electronic Building Directory Systems
RedyRef’s enGAGE.Touch digital building directories go further than just helping visitors to quickly locate companies, departments or personnel, says Will Pymm, Vice President and Managing Partner. “The new enGAGE.Touch Mobile Handover feature makes it easy for guests to transfer maps and directions from the directory right to their smartphone. Integration with Google Maps means wayfinding information is always accurate and up-to-date, not just within the facility, but also for those requiring assistance with the surrounding area. It’s truly an all-in-one solution.”
Digital Directories Developed with Flexibility in Mind
enGAGE.Touch electronic directory systems may be customized to meet a wide range of business needs, including support for multiple floor and campus maps. User experience is enhanced by allowing interactive directory search by multiple criteria, including employee, company, department, floor or room name/number. Updates are simplified by allowing editing permissions to be granted to multiple users, including office tenants.
An Electronic Directory for Every Environment
With multiple opportunities for customization, enGAGE.Touch digital directory software is the premier choice for multiple deployment environments. From electronic lobby directories to educational campus signage, the easy-to-use, interactive directory interface enhances visitor satisfaction by reducing the stress of wayfinding, and tenant satisfaction by allowing anyone with access to manage their own data, reducing and often eliminating common data entry issues. Visitors and tenants alike benefit when critical building and campus updates and information are communicated digitally and able to be updated as needed.
Integrated Software and Kiosk Enclosure Solutions, Simplified
enGAGE.Touch electronic building directory software was developed to be integrated with any of RedyRef’s kiosk enclosures, all of which are designed and manufactured in-house. From custom, built-to-order digital building directories, to modular self-service kiosks from the semi-custom enGAGE line, RedyRef’s enclosures can be tailored to the exact use case and environment. When combined with the new enGAGE.Touch software suite, guests are able to navigate a single office building or a large multi-facility campus using detailed floor and campus maps, ensuring they are able to reach their intended destinations on-time and without unnecessary stress or frustration.
Established more than 100 years ago, RedyRef Interactive is a vertically-integrated manufacturer and developer of electronic building directories, digital wayfinding solutions and self-service kiosks. Learn more about enGAGE 360 and the enGAGE.Touch digital directory software suite at https://engage360.redyref.com.
If you asked ten people to define what “smart cities” are, you’d probably get 10 different answers. That’s partially because the idea of a truly intelligent city is still so relatively new. It’s also because it depends much on who is being asked.
For example, a smart city, to a city manager, may mean one that is connected and able to collect and transmit data about a variety of different subjects, from real-time reporting of environmental information (pollution) to traffic initiatives (red light cameras, speed zones) to the statuses of trains and buses within the public transportation system.
However, a city resident might define smart cities more simply as those that have deployed interactive kiosks that provide wayfinding and public wifi access. But ask the mayor, and she may consider a smart city to be one that has integrated aspects of e-governance, including enhanced communication with residents and streamlined access to city services.
What factors create a smart city?
Beyond the personal definitions of participants and adopters of smart city technology, there is actually some agreement in the academic community about what makes smart cities, “smart.” And while it is still fairly broad, it does provide a basic framework from which many urban planners are operating. According to an article in the Journal of Intelligent Buildings International: From Intelligent Cities to Smart Cities by Deakin & Al Waer, there are four factors that are of particular importance:
In plainer terms: Smart cities integrate technology into government systems to enhance the quality of life of people working and/or living in the region, ultimately helping bring them together so they may more easily share knowledge.
Interactive kiosks are one way in which many regions are choosing to roll out smart city programs.
How? Come back soon and find out in our next blog! And If you’ve already decided interactive kiosks are the solution you’ve been looking for, contact RedyRef today at (800) 628-3603 or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your smart city kiosk deployment meets every one of your unique needs and goals.
Miami Metrorail Rolls out High-Tech Interactive Transit Kiosk
Miami-Dade’s Government Center lobby and second-floor transit station have rolled out the first of what’s planned to be many new high-tech interactive kiosks. The large (nearly 10’ tall!) kiosks offer a range of services, including the ability to charge cell phones, create personalized bus routes, and even take selfies that can be emailed to the user.
Each kiosk features a jumbo, dual-touchscreen monitor configuration. Visitors can choose a destination from the transit station location and calculate the most efficient route using county transportation to get there, including both buses and trains.
But what about that selfie option mentioned previously, you ask? A camera integrated into the kiosk has been configured to take a photo of the user from above, which is then superimposed on a palm tree (natch!) background by the operating system, and sent to them via email. According to Miami-Dade, email addresses are not captured and saved at this time and any such changes in the future to this policy, may they be made, will be clearly communicated.
NYC Subways Rolling Out Real-Time Transportation Information Kiosks
New York City subways are going digital with the deployment of interactive kiosks that provide travelers with real-time train and bus information, including not just arrival times, but also wayfinding maps, travel alerts and local area information. When kiosks are not actively in use, they are able to display digital content, including paid content from advertisers.
The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYC MTA) has launched the program, named “Time-and-Place,” in 42 stations across the city, and includes a countdown clock to provide live updates to passengers regarding transportation arrival times.
QSRs Find Interactive Kiosk Deployments Improve Customer Experience
A study by research firm Market Force Information states that 55% of today’s Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) consumers have used a tablet at the table or a smartphone app over the past 90 days to place an order. This is an enormous change from the previous time this poll was completed — in fact, it’s a 39% increase over 2015. Consumers still appreciate the ability to order at the counter from an employee — just under half still prefer this option — but this number also marks a big change from two years ago, when 70% reported they would rather order the old-fashioned way.
With more QSRs adopting this technology in different formats, from mobile apps to delivery services to interactive kiosks, customers are clearly becoming more comfortable with self-service technology with this continued exposure. As consumer acceptance grows, it is likely the foodservice industry will continue the accelerated deployment of these types of technology into the market over the next several years.
Want to learn more about interactive kiosk solutions in QSR or transit environments? RedyRef has you covered. Request a quote today or call (800) 628-3603 for more information, and our experienced team will be there every step of the way to ensure your company’s unique kiosk needs and business goals are met.
New Global Interactive Kiosk Market Report Released
A new report released by analyst Technavio states that the global interactive kiosk market will grow at a CAGR of 13.43% between this year and 2021. The report also details other aspects of the market for interactive kiosks, such as drivers, challenges and trends. Market drivers include greater consumer acceptance and confidence of interactive kiosks in more environments, while some of the challenges predicted are the needs for kiosks to be consistently maintained for wear and tear, and software upgraded so they stay relevant. Technavio believes that one of the most important trends will be a focus on the design and engineering of self-service kiosks for ADA compliance, enabling physically challenged individuals to utilize kiosks with the same ease as the general population.
Zion Publishes Self-Service Kiosk Technology Analysis for ATM, Kiosk and Vending Markets
In its latest report, Zion predicts that the self-service technology will grow from $15.7 B in 2015 to $37.75 B in 2021 — an annual growth rate of approximately 15.8%. Some of the main advances they expect to see include better security, including a more common use of biometrics such as fingerprint and voice recognition, as well as retina scanning. These are particularly important for kiosks involved in financial transactions, like ATMs. ATM technology has continued to evolve with added security features, while remaining the dominant segment in self-service kiosks (they hold a 70% share of the market). Therefore, ATM manufacturers have an outsized influence and impact on market trends and are poised to lead the way in adopting and implementing advanced security technologies.
Geographically, North America is still the largest market for interactive kiosk technology, which is believed to be due to a generally high technology adoption rate on the continent overall and steady gains are expected to continue. Asia Pacific — in particular India and China — is predicted to realize rapid growth due to rising urbanization and expansions in the banking sector anticipated through 2021.
Dunkin’ Doughnuts Joins the Drive-Thru Digital Menu Board Revolution
Dunkin’ Doughnuts is rolling out a pilot of outdoor digital menu boards at their drive-thrus. The 10-store test is meant to test some of the potential advantages of this kind of digital signage, something recently detailed by RedyRef in our blog series on the topic. Some advantages include the ways in which they can be optimized for time-of-day, specials and even the weather. If the pilot is successful in creating a better customer experience, additional capabilities may be added, including integration with a mobile app that could offer control of the board by the customer, as well as mobile ordering.
Considering Self-Service Kiosks or Digital Signage for your company?
Contact RedyRef today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your interactive kiosk, wayfinding or digital visitor management program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.
RedyRef’s enGAGE 360 concept pays homage to our vertically-integrated philosophy. As one the few companies that designs, engineers, fabricates, develops software and provides ongoing support of interactive kiosks, we are able to create complete kiosk solutions all in-house, from concept to deployment. And because these kiosks have evolved over time to be complex, digital systems, none of them would be complete without the sum of all these parts.
RedyRef’s engineers and developers are constantly reviewing and updating our range of kiosk enclosures and software platforms as technologies evolve. This includes customizing applications for our clients as required by their specifications, as well as creating fully custom solutions as those needs arise. We invite you to explore our full line of kiosks and software solutions on the newly-redesigned RedyRef.com.
Lobbies are often the first real touchpoint and physical “first impression” visitors have. Just as a well-designed website is a powerful tool to communicate a brand message, a lobby can do the same in the physical realm. Beyond their image-enhancing capabilities, lobbies also serve as a security checkpoint in an increasingly safety-conscious world.
That’s why we developed VisitorCheck — the evolution of digital visitor management. This system combines the most important aspects of visitor management in a streamlined, easy-to-use and secure package. The solution is simple: visitors entering the lobby approach the touchscreen, enter their name and mobile number, the kiosk takes a picture of the visitor and then sends a text to the staff member. The staff member receives the text with all the visitor information including their picture. The staff member can respond without downloading an app and the visitor will never see the employee’s mobile number.
Request a proposal to find out how VisitorCheck can help your company streamline the visitor management process.
(Current customers who utilize RedyRef’s legacy visitor management software and wish to migrate to VisitorCheck, please contact us for more information.)
RedyRef is proud to have been selected to design and deploy the new interactive, outdoor kiosk at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. It features curated information about the memorial, including material from the National Archives, a searchable database of those who served and details about the war and its impact on everyday individuals. Because of its geographic location, the kiosk has been engineered to withstand the elements of rain, snow, and various temperature fluctuations.
With the release of our new visitor management software, VisitorCheck, we published several articles detailing why moving to a digital visitor management system is often the right choice. You can read the three-part series on our blog via the links below:
When we think of interactive, self-service kiosks, what first comes to mind tends to be those that involve foodservice and retail. This is for good reason; these types of digital kiosks are the ones in the news because they are consumer-oriented and have been at the center of controversy (see also: McDonald’s vs. the $15 minimum wage) or are on the very cutting edge of technology (especially in flagship stores like Burberry, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger).
While these consumer-facing kiosks may be sexier, there are plenty of self-service kiosks that don’t get the attention they deserve, including human resources kiosks. Sure, they are more functional than fun, but human resources kiosks work behind the scenes to help companies make their employees’ lives easier from the very start. How?
Hiring and Job Application
Companies like Wal-Mart and Target have known for years that interactive human resources kiosks are a great solution to encourage job-seekers to apply for jobs. These kiosks handle all of the intake information a paper form would, only it can now be conveniently saved to a central database. That means that if there is no current position available in the store at which an individual applies, they can let the potential employee know of other jobs available in the area, as well as hold on to that information for future hiring purposes. This frees up store managers and HR specialists to handle other important tasks, rather than dealing with the initial intake of paper applications.
Is there a single person who has ever looked forward to this day? It’s often unnecessarily long, boring and far from self-paced; possibly the least enjoyable way to start the exciting journey of a new job. And let’s face it — often, it has nothing to do with the new job itself. Interactive human resources kiosks allow employees to work through new-hire forms independently without killing trees made from piles of paper. Instead of being handed massive packets of company information, they can read through all of it on the kiosk, and choose to have a paperless version emailed to them for later reference. Kiosks are also helpful when managing resources for orientations, especially for larger companies. If there are 50 people starting one week, but only 5 the next, it may not make sense to allocate assign the same number of HR staff to cover it. Self-service kiosks can take the place of those who would be more productive if left to handle other tasks.
Think interactive human resources kiosks and are right for your company’s employees?
Come back next week when we’ll continue to discuss their advantages for internal use. If you’ve already decided self-service kiosks are the solution you’ve been looking for, contact RedyRef today at (800) 628-3603 or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your self-service kiosk program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.