4 Popular Types of Kiosks for 2023 and Beyond

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. Some of the most popular are information kiosks, internet kiosks, wayfinding kiosks, and advertising kiosks. Want to find out more? Read on!

1. Information Kiosks 

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. 

    • Health Care: Provides check-in for appointments, as well as wayfinding for large hospital campuses. Some companies are also investing in telemedicine kiosks, which allow patients to interact with providers remotely via videoconference. 
    • Government: Kiosks provide ID card printing as well as driver’s license testing and car registration renewal. 
    • Corporate: Visitor management services such as check-in and badge printing, as well as directory and wayfinding assistance.
    • Retail and showrooms: Retail services include bill payment, small item dispensing, ticket dispensing, and merchandise location assistance within stores or larger facilities such as malls.
    • Schools: Kiosks provide security by allowing visitor check-in and tracking.
    • Transportation: Bus and train stations utilize kiosks to communicate routes and schedules, as well as automating the ticket purchasing process
    • Banking: Self-deposit and withdrawal can be handled via a digital kiosk instead of a dedicated teller.
    • Sporting Events: Some event locations utilize self-service kiosks to scan tickets, expediting the flow of attendees as they enter a stadium or other venue. 
    • Universities: Similar to smaller educational institutions, universities employ kiosks for wayfinding, providing event and activity information, as well as information regarding services such as transcript requests or printing of important documents.

2. Internet Kiosks

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. 

What is an internet kiosk?

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. 

What are their functionalities?

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.

Examples of Internet Kiosks

  • Hotel kiosk that provides tourist information including restaurants, weather and transportation schedules for the local area
  • Airports for email and other web services
  • Medical waiting rooms for health information
  • Libraries, providing free public access 

3. Wayfinding Kiosks

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.

Types of Wayfinding Maps

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

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.

2.5D Wayfinding

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.

3D Wayfinding

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.

Examples of Digital Wayfinding 

Digital and interactive wayfinding is utilized in many different environments to help users navigate unfamiliar surroundings. 

  • Education: Colleges and high schools use wayfinding kiosks to help their students, visitors, guests and employees better navigate their campuses. This proves invaluable for helping new students gain familiarity with the campus so that they will never be late to class.
  • Healthcare: Hospitals often employ wayfinding tools help patients and caregivers quickly find departments and offices with additional stress.
  • Airports: Airports tend to be quite large and complicated to navigate. With the use of digital wayfinding for airports, they become much easier to navigate, meaning travelers are much less likely to miss a flight.
  • Shopping Malls: Shopping malls utilize wayfinding kiosks to assist customers with locating stores by name or type. This allows shoppers to easily familiarize themselves with the mall layout and find what they need faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction. 
  • Office Buildings: Wayfinding kiosks help visitors, guests, and employees locate individuals, offices and buildings within facilities or large campuses without disturbing others to do so. Kiosks can also track vendors and visitors for greater security and to better streamline visitor management for administrators.


4. Advertising Display and Digital Signage Kiosks

Advertising kiosks are fast becoming the new normal as they are often more eye-catching, and therefore, more effective, than traditional signage or billboards. 

What are advertising display kiosks?

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.

Examples of advertising display kiosks

Movie Theatres: Many movie theatres use advertising kiosks to promote upcoming movies as well as showcase food options and specials.

Quick Service Restaurants: QSRs and fast food restaurants 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. 

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