The iPad is the latest technology to hit our world and everyone wants a piece of it. The smart and sophisticated new device has been installed with a variety of applications which are applicable to a variety of markets, from food to travel.
And not only that, self service kiosks can no be integrated with the device and many businesses are jumping on the bandwagon.
However there are some sceptics when it comes to the iPad, with people commenting on its durability etc, so we at Protouch thought we would have a look at this mad craze to see if the introduction between the two devices goes down well.
It is clear why the iPad is appealing to the kiosk industry. Touch screen technology, customisable application software, and a multi touch user interface. The only main difference is that the iPad is portable and delicately designed.
With the iPad craze, kiosk manufacturers are trying to find new ways in how they can integrate this modern technology into their offerings and services.
Brian Ardinger, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Nanonation said that his company has a long history of Apple-related product development and has expanded these efforts to include iOS projects for the iPhone and iPad.
“We recently showcased an application designed for sales associates in a retail enviroment at the KioskCom show in Vegas in April of this year,” Ardinger said.
Furniture company Room and Board, contacted Nanonation to feature an application which would allow users to browse inventory and provide customers with a sign up form to receive special offers.
The first iPad ticket kiosk was rolled out at the Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Airline. The SITA Lab developed the MNkiosk, which allows users to book and purchase flights, search for flight schedules and flight status and check-in, as well as choosing their preferred seat.
And retail giant Gap has also jumped on the iPad bandwagon. Its application software, developed by AKQA, is described as a ‘social shopping experience.’ Users are able to customise their outfits within the Gap brand and ask for advice from sales assistants.
Founder of iPad-kiosks.com, Blain Warkentine, is iPad business enthusiast working to get products to market. Warkentine said that service industries need to be more efficient, however the iPad may not always be an answer for them.
A prime example would be the food-service industry which demands a quick and efficient service than the iPad can currently provide if used improperly, however if used correctly it can still deliver some benefits. During rush hour lunches the iPad could be integrated into restaurants with the option to remove the iPad from its kiosk mounting offering a mobile menu for customers. This can virtually eliminate wait times. Then once the rush hour is over, the iPad can be restored back on its stand for customers to use as a kiosk to order meals.
“Every technology platform offers positives and negatives. Traditional kiosk platforms have excelled at issues such as peripheral support, remote management and enterprise integration,” Ardinger said. “The iPad doesn’t pose an immediate threat for some of the kiosks developed specifically for retail environments like the IBM Anyplace Kiosk and others. These solutions have been retail hardened, offer a variety of peripheral support options and have a longer legacy of application development.”
Some people think the iPad is a fun and cool accessory however it just isn’t robust enough for public developments.
“While these kinds of consumer-grade products are powerful and fun devices, right now they simply cannot stand up to the daily wear and tear a kiosk is subjected to,” said Bob Ventresca, vice president of marking for NCR Netkey.
Expect to be paying between $3,500-$8,000 for the touch screen kiosk, printer enclosure and software. Applications and customised materials cost within the region of $1,000 -$10,000. Extra software from$2,500-$20,000.
“Many retailers have already created apps on the App Store: Walgreen, Target, etc./” Warkentine added. “The investment was made for customers’ devices, but the need for that customer to have the app and the device is no longer required with iPad-kiosks.
“In the end though, it will come down to what experience the retailer wants to create and matching it with the technology that enables them to best develop, deploy and support it.”