While consumers sit and wonder how to spend their cash, developers of the self service industry are finding ways to integrate the iPad into their systems to keep up-to-date with the advanced technology, and whether the move to do it will actually be worth it.
The Apple iPad launched in April 2010 sent the tech insiders, gadget lovers and hungry media into a spin. Coined as the crossover of all technologies the iPad acts as a laptop, mobile device, television, radio and iPod.
And while the iPad is still young and its full implications are still being defined, the self service industry are investigating ways to incorporate it into their products and services.
“There is a lot of hype about the iPad, but very few people have actually touched one,” said Brian Ardinger, CMO for software developer Nanonation. “There are a lot of things that aren’t known about how it will work in the long term.”
However these thoughts haven’t crossed the mind of some technology driven customers who wanted the iPad before it had even been made.
“As soon as it was announced, our phones were ringing with clients wanting to apply it,” said Ardinger.
In April 14-15th Nanonation unveiled a suite of iPad applications at KioskCom in Las Vegas. The apps were designed to leverage the iPad’s perceived strengths for both customer – and employee – facing applications.
This could feature a variety of programmes including employee-carried iPads with readily available customer service information, or iPad-based employee training materials that can easily be updated and deployed during the workday.
The iPad’s 9.7 inch (diagonal) screen, touchscreen interface, ability to communicate via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connections, and its assisted GPS capabilities could make it very well-suited to applications requiring high mobility, frequent updates and an easy-to-use interface.
“We are looking at what engagement our clients are trying to create-that helps determine what platform is best suited to make that happen,” he said.
Ardinger said that the company’s experience developing applications for Apple’s iPhone helped smooth the transition into this new technology.
However, the iPad isn’t bringing smiles all round for everyone.
One of the biggest affects the Apple iPad could have is on the DVD kiosk rental world, with the introduction of the movies and television programmes installed onto the iPad.
Users will be able to install an application which allows them to watch movies and tv shows streamed to the mobile device instantly.
“The innovation and consumer appeal of the iPad make it a perfect device for instantly watching TV episodes and movies streamed from Netflix,” Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said in a company press release.
This may see DVD -rental kiosks such as NCR’s Blockbuster Express industry giant redbox depend on the success of the iPad.
And the success of the iPad is set to grow as Apple projects sales of more than seven million units in 2010. as well as being seen as the highest competitor for the DVD rental market share.
With any new technology device comes questions, glitches and scares of new competitors etc. But it is still early days for the iPad and its tech savvy applications may not meet the eye of some consumers. However Apple have always produced high quality devices such as the iPod and iPhone which have been massive hits with consumers over the years, it will be hard not to see this work.
Kiosk manufacturers such as the DVD rental kiosk world may have a scare on their hands but with the iPad being a costly device it will be a long while before the whole world jumps on the bandwagon. So we can’t see the DVD kiosk world falling any time soon.
For information about kiosk solutions and how to integrate them into your business, visit Protouch today.
Every now and again we stumble across a kiosk system which we think deserves a bit of recognition; and we have found one today.
This super creative use of a kiosk system shows how versatile and wacky you sometimes need to be to make your interactive technology stand out.
Combining this augmented reality and digital signage opens the door to a wide range of creative opportunities. Whether you are a child or an adult, it would be pretty hard to drag yourself away from this kiosk.
Customers simply hold a Lego box upto the screen to see the pieces inside rendered as an interactive 3D image! How cool is that?
For this to happen a camera and display screen has been built into the interactive kiosk to allow Lego packaging to reveal its contents fully assembled within live 3 animated scenes. This new age technology is an unforgettable experience for store visitors and acts as a powerful assisted selling tool that makes the image on the side of the box come to life.
It simply gets the customer excited about the product – that is composed of individual pieces – then giving him the ability to hold the potential purchase in his hands and examine it from every angle.
The kiosk can be found in LEGO stores around the world.
For more information about interactive kiosk systems and how they can work for you, visit Protouch today.
6. Misa Digital Guitar
This linux-based digital guitar proves once and for all that nerds can rock. The cool device can be connected to a MIDI controller – a keyboard, control unit, or PC for example – and assigned a wide range of different sounds and playback options. Want your guitar to sound like a grand piano? Plug the Misa Digital into a MIDI rig and select the best option for it – complete with distortion, reverb, and delay effects.
While we can’t quite visualize Iron Maiden rocking out on stage with Misas, we can see Daft Punk, Justice, or Deadmau5 picking these up on their next tour.
7. Microsoft Zune HD
While Apple’s seemingly endless line of iPods may control the MP3 player market, Microsoft’s Zune
has endured the competition and survived quite respectively. Given the device’s relatively limited research and development budget, lukewarm press reception, and limited fan base, the Zune HD has done surprisingly well on technology front.
Despite the device’s ‘HD’ name tag, the Zune is only capable of playing HD content when connected to a display or TV screen. The touchscreen interface and cool subscription options, however, make this a worthwhile competitor to the iPod.
8. Peter Green’s Custom Touch Mac Mini
When Peter Green first showed off his custom Mac Mini, nerds and Apple fans across the world salivated and asked when they could own one. Unfortunately, for those without electrical skills, the possibility of ever owning one of these slick devices seems relatively slim – Green doesn’t plan to produce them professional, and certainly isn’t interested in approaching Apple for support.
If you’re slightly let down by the iPad’s limited power, a custom touch device could be a worthwhile investment. Wading through technical documents, testing different pieces of kit, and suffering endless annoyances seem to be commonplace in the custom technology world, so we think this one is best left admired from afar.
Nikon Coolpix S60
When Nikon showcased their new Coolpix models – complete with an Ashton Kutcher marketing campaign – photography enthusiasts rolled their eyes and shrugged their shoulders. The Coolpix S60 doesn’t offer a particularly impressive level of photo quality, nor does it feature the sharpest, clearest lens in the business.
However, it does provide the best possible experience for party photographers and those in need of a casual camera. From the cool touchscreen interface to the useful redeye removal features, this piece of kit is more than just a piece of flashy technology – it’s a truly useful device.
Apple iPhone 3GS
“A widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and an internet communications device.” When Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, few could foresee the immense amount of change it would bring to the mobile phone world. Three years later and in its third revision, the iPhone 3GS remains one of the most popular mobile handsets on the market.
While this hot piece of technology remains sold out across the world, many of those looking to buy could be best off waiting for a couple of months. Apple plans to release the phone’s replacement – the iPhone 4 – at some point in 2010, making this revolutionary piece of tech slightly less desirable.
A decade ago, touch screens were a cool addition to sci-fi films and a dream for geeks across the world. Who could have imagined that just seven years later – with the release of the iPhone in 2007 – they’d become a commonplace feature in just about every
piece of technology released since?
From touchscreen kiosks to touch-driven mobile phones, we’ve scanned the entire commercial world for the most desirable, interesting, and pure cool touchscreen accessories on the market. If you’re after a slick new car, a cool new mobile phone, or
an interesting new gaming device, read on and choose from our ten coolest touchscreen gadgets.
Apple’s iPad is the ultra-popular touchscreen device of the moment – a content reader, web browsing tool, and portable computer all at once. Designed to offer an alternative for netbook and laptop users, the remarkable tool has truly taken off, selling out its entire shipment in less than a week’s worth of pre-orders.
Despite early criticism from the technology press, the iPad appears to be sticking. From 90-year-old grandmothers to young children, the device’s demographic is much wider than that of traditional PCs, making this flashy piece of technology a must-have for people all around the world.
2. Nintendo DSi
When released in 2004, the DS quickly became Nintendo’s hottest gaming console. The ultra-portable touchscreen device drew praise from the hardcore gaming press and the casual gaming crowd, giving it lasting appeal that its competitors just couldn’t match. With over 125 million units shipped, is appears Nintendo have conquered touchscreen gaming – blocking out competitors and inspiring their users at the same time.
The DSi – and DSi XL, a larger version of the device – are the latest on offer from Nintendo. Both include a range of features aiming to increase their appeal, including a high resolution camera, web browser, and remote chat interface.
3. Sony Dash
The Sony Dash may not be an iPad-killer, but it is
a very cool device on its own. Designed to offer touchscreen technology around the house, the Dash requires a wall socket to function and a relatively static location in order to perform best. Perfect for the kitchen counter, coffee table, or bedside desk, Dash users can quickly configure home video, movie rentals, or web browsing using the device’s touchscreen interface.
The Tesla Model S Dashboard
It’s difficult to top American carmaker Tesla when it comes to innovation. The well-known Silicon Valley company has designed and built the world’s first electric sports car – the Tesla Roadster – and more recently the Model S sedan. Designed as a piece of technology first and a luxury sedan second, the car boasts a range of impressive features.
At the center of the Model S’s dashboard is its full-featured touchscreen options menu. Designed to simplify operation of the radio, vehicle controls, and heating options, the screen can adapt to different input menus or display modes with a quick press of the driver’s fingers.
Attigo TT Touchscreen Turntables
Who said turntables were strictly analog? Dundee University graduate designed the Attigo TT – a full-featured touchscreen turntable system – as a final year project for his product design degree. The device attracted attention in the DJ world, and eventually moved into limited production for a small number of very lucky DJs.
Users can mix music by scratching simulated records, by manipulating sound waves, or by creating preset buttons on the device’s adaptable displays. While the Attigo TT currently operates alongside a standard mixer, it seems inevitable that DJ technology will turn entirely touch-based – competitors appear to be working on multi-channel touchscreen mixers and control units at the moment.
Excuse us for name-dropping but it’s always nice to get a bit of national TV exposure, and it doesn’t come much better than a slot on BBC’s Working Lunch!
The popular business, consumer and personal finance show that airs every lunchtime decided to feature our very own kiosks, focussing on how they are being used to help people get online. There are currently40 kiosks in Lisburn, N.Ireland, in public places such as colleges and supermarkets with plans to roll-out another 100 kiosks.
Not many industries can count 2009 as even a decent year, considering the gloomy economic downturn that struck fear into suits all over the world, but the kiosk business is one of them.
It’s natural that deployments have been put on hold because of tight credit and companies have been forced to “trim the fat” as they struggled through the global recession, but kiosk developers with compelling value propositions have reaped the benefits of cost-conscious deployers and consumers alike.
Two of the obvious self-service superstars of 2009 are Coinstar and redbox, who have never had a better year, all because they made consumers an offer they cannot refuse, especially when times are tight. Coinstar, in particular, is of course directly tuned into those who are looking to save money by converting their copper shrapnel pennies into pounds.
Whereas Redbox have recently posted impressive statistics for their DVD rentals throughout 2009, renting out over 450 million DVD’s. Many believe the economic climate has resulted in an increase of customers; this seems likely considering their $1 a night rental service.
More importantly, however, more deployers are becoming convinced of self-service’s lasting positive impact on their bottom lines. Self-checkout deployments continue to grow because retailers simply cannot ignore the rise in customer satisfaction and the dip in labour costs that follow deployment.
The same can be said for airline self-check-in, photo kiosks and patient self-service, to name a few. It’s not often that an innovation that benefits a retailer so dramatically also pleases consumers and improves their experiences at retail. Thanks in part to a financial landscape that has forced some tough decisions, more and more retailers continue to realize that self-service does just that.
First introduced in the UK in the 1990s, the number of self-service checkouts is set to double in the next few years. This is because they offer supermarkets quick cost savings and in today’s economic and highly competitive retail climate, that has got to be a good thing.
Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, leads the do-it-yourself checkout league, with self-service counters in 256 stores. The tills process 25% of all transactions in those shops. Sainsbury’s has them in 220 stores and is planning more.
BBC looked into the self-service checkout phenomenon, discussing why consumers are still not embracing them fully, and here’s a selection of user replies…
“I love self-service checkouts. I can buy those embarrassing items without anyone knowing, don’t have to stand behind women or old people fiddling with their purses, and can avoid all form of contact or ‘conversation’ with the checkout assistants.”
Mike Wright, Birmingham
“I always use self-service checkouts, I rarely have issues and it is much much quicker. I don’t understand why people moan about these tills, after all its a choice, if you don’t like them, don’t use them.”
“I use these machines for small amounts of shopping. What annoys me most about them is the way that they make you jump through their hoops – the back and forth with the bag and the ‘unexpected item’. I needed a staff member to swipe their card to allow me to use my own bag last time. Lastly, I’ll add they’re too talkative for me. Sometimes I just wish they’d shut-up and let me get on with it – ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’, ‘do you have a loyalty card’, ‘please take your shopping’, etc. You can turn it off – but it never seems worth it for 5 items or less.”
“I always opt for the self-checkout if I’m not doing a large shop! It really annoys my wife who would rather wait for longer and be served by a person but I quite like it. Not having to answer questions like: ‘what’s the weather like?’ (look for yourself the window is just there!)or ‘are you having a nice day?’ (I’m in the supermarket on a Saturday – NO!) I know that the machine telling you off is patronising but I’d rather a machine patronise me than a real person. ”
Alex Cootes, London
With the emergence of Windows 7′s touch screen capabilities, the major players for the New Year and beyond are already emerging. Let’s take a look at the contenders….
Lenovo Thinkpad T400s
This little fella has a simple tap application that lets you double tap anywhere
on the screen to bring up the control panel. You can then control the computer from the 14.1″ screen, which is probably the best feature. It has an anti fingerprint coating to protect the screen and also helps to lower power consumption. This laptop will set you back £1000+ and it comes equipped with a wider Touchpad and DDR3 memory modules.
Archos 9 PC Tablet
The Archos Tablet line jewel that offers a new way to enjoy Internet, your media, and TV – all in a handheld device. It clearly redefines the high-end portable device with its ultra-thin design 9-inch touch screen and still weighs less than 2 pounds. It comes with a 1.3 megapixel webcam for your video conferences, 1GB of RAM and 60GB of hard drive.
We love this touch screen that can turn in any direction you want – excellent for presentations. This can lay claim to being of the world’s smallest and slimmest touch pcs. It is also very light weighing in at 2.1 pounds and also comes with a 3D interface and touch friendly browser that will let you flick through floating panels on the screen. The touch screen is very easy to use and you can navigate the web effortlessly at the flick of a finger.
A recent survey of 3,000 mobile phone users across France, Germany and the UK indicated promising feedback for the touchscreen industry.
Of those polled, 38% said a finger-based touchscreen would be their first port of call when hunting for a new mobile, while a further 16% would opt for a stylus-based touchscreen, suggesting a continuing market shift toward touch-centric devices.
This certainly strikes a chord with smart phone vendors whose designs are focused on delivering enhanced consumer experience and could nudge those lagging behind to reconsider their strategies.
Looking at the results by handset brand, HTC and Apple stood out as having a much higher proportion of users wanting to stick with the same type of UI, while Sony Ericsson had the lowest proportion among the major handset vendors, at just 29%.
Most things that Barack Obama touches turns to gold, and now the US President is setting his sights on revamping the American medical sector via touch-screen technology.
The winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has had his hands full in the last twelve months in attempting to solve the issues that plagued George W Bush’s administration but now, President Obama sees huge scope to improve his country’s health industry by embracing technological advancements.
He has pledged to ensure that all medical records in the United States will be electronic within five years, synced through the touch-screen kiosks that are present in most US health centres – a plan sure to positively affect the healthcare industry as a whole and create opportunities for technology providers.
Patient check-in kiosks have existed in doctors’ surgeries for years, but their advantages have not always been fully utilised, as described by one industry exec:
“Healthcare has always been thought of as being sort of behind on IT technology,” Napua said. “But obviously with the infusion of the Obama initiative for electronic medical records, I think there’s a growing interest, to say the least, in trying to figure out a lot of these solutions in healthcare.”