Market database states that a computer terminal with specialized hardware and software that enables access to information and applications for communication, entertainment, commerce, or education is popularly known as an interactive kiosk. By 2010, AT&T had the largest bill pay kiosk network for phone subscribers, allowing them to pay their bills.
It is noted that customers of Verizon and Sprint can use similar devices. Initially, operations were noted to be streamlined, resembling telephone booths, interactive kiosks have been adopted by retail, food service, and hospitality to improve customer service. Interactive kiosks are commonly found in high-traffic areas such as stores, hotel lobbies, and airports.
Kiosks may now perform a wide range of duties owing to the integration of technology, allowing them to evolve into self-service kiosks. Users may be able to order things from a store’s catalog when they are out of stock, check out a library book, search up product information, issue a hotel key card, enter a public utility bill account number to complete an online transaction or swap cash for merchandise using kiosks. Kiosks can be customized with features like coin hoppers, bill acceptors, card readers, and thermal printers to match the demands of the owner.
Key Components of an Interactive Kiosk
According to market database, some of the main components of an interactive kiosk include an enclosure, digital display, software, as well as components, and integration. The enclosure serves as a protective housing for internal hardware, display, as well as software. The enclosures are available in a wide variety of styles that can be fitted to any environment or space, i.e. indoors as well as outdoors. They are mostly constructed via high-quality stainless steel or aluminum.
Most of the enclosures are noted to be painted, coated, and/or wrapped. The digital display is noted to be another component of interactive kiosks. They are used across electronic devices as well as smartphones. The use of interactive touch kiosks improves user interface as well as experience in terms of interaction with IoT-based devices. The market for touch screen kiosks gained rapid popularity on introduction.
However, the onset of COVID-19 has introduced a new generation of non-interactive devices which can be accessed via scanning a QR code. Thus allowing the end-user to bypass the requirement for a touch screen kiosk entirely as in the case of an interactive touch kiosk.
On studying the basic structure of kiosks, it is noted that they are essentially computers housed in a large shell. All of the kiosk’s functionality and capabilities are enabled by software. Because most modern kiosks run on cloud-based applications, the software may be updated and maintained remotely. As per market research tools kiosks can be equipped with bills and tickets as well as receipt printers, coin collectors, and NFC sensors, allowing them to be used as payment kiosks in a variety of settings. Keypads, cameras, cash dispensers, digital scales, infrared thermometers, and even biometric scanners are all common kiosk components, depending on the use case.
Types of Interactive Kiosk
Market research tools state that some commonly used interactive kiosks include Wayfinder, payments, information, self-check-in, as well as advertising. Wayfinding kiosks are designed to help users navigate through unfamiliar spaces. They can be used across areas including large cities as well as buildings. The information kiosk displays data that is stored in the form of a database that is related to a given subject. While payment kiosks are designed to allow users to pay for goods as well as services. Some payment technologies only allow digital payments, i.e. through credit cards, chips, pins, as well as contactless NFC (near field communication) technology.
Others are linked to coin as well as bill collectors, in addition to dispensers, allowing customers to pay with cash and receive change. The majority of printers are used to print receipts. Payment kiosks range in complexity, with some being capable of accepting payments and printing tickets for entertainment venues such as concerts, movies, and sporting events.
Various applications for Kiosk
On studying the various applications for kiosks via business intelligence tools, it is noted that Telekiosk, Financial services kiosk, Photo kiosk, Internet kiosk, ticketing kiosk, information kiosk, etc are some of the noted examples. Market analysis suggests that a telekiosk can be considered a technical successor to a telephone booth which is a publicly accessible device used for communication. Telekiosks are inclusive of fax, email, SMS, as well as standard telephone service. Internet kiosk is noted to provide public access to the internet, while a photo kiosk allows the users to print images.
On performing market analysis, the Industry usage of a kiosk is noted to be across 1,200,000 terminals within the US and Canada solely. The interactive kiosk market spans companies including Delta Airlines, Target Corporation, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Future Shop, GTAA, The Home Depot, and Wal-Mart. At a country level, several governments have implemented interactive kiosks. The interactive kiosk market has a high market penetration rate across the UK across the job seekers vertical. Immigration kiosks were set up by the United States homeland security where visitors were noted to register before they entered the US. As per business intelligence tools, across the Indian market, digital kiosks are used for various purposes such as payment of the bill.