Category Archives: Internet Kiosks, Public Kiosks and Custom Kiosks

Internet Kiosks, Public Kiosks and Custom Kiosks: selfservice and information kiosk industry relevant blogs

Judicial Efficiency through the use of self-service kiosks

Our client, Minnesota’s largest trial court, was looking for replacement kiosks to be used as a part of their Public Defender Eligibility program. Here’s how we assisted…

Download the pdf: Judicial efficiency with self-service kiosks

SlabbKiosks Today

We wrote a blog about two years ago, giving a brief history about our company and some of the kiosk models we offer. Unbelievably, a lot has changed in just two years. We have re-branded (not too far from our original name), to SlabbKiosks and have since expanded our product line. Just these few changes made me realize that maybe it’s time we updated the blog to provide some more current information.

Some of our newer models

Since starting off as an internet-based kiosk retailer in 2002, we have continuously worked to offer the most effective hardware manufacturing and kiosk installation service in the market. We can now proudly say that after more than a decade, we are currently represented in six continents. We’ve worked with many clients in various industries including the government sectors, national universities and colleges, famous casinos, leading financial institutions and healthcare providers with a successful track record that guarantees the satisfaction of our corporate customers as well as the end users of our products. In a nutshell, it’s hard to believe, but we have achieved, 20 years of kiosk manufacturing for 1000s of clients in over 150 countries in 6 continents across 22 industries…

Here’s how it all adds up. Since getting into the kiosk industry, our company has continuously looked for ways to enhance our products and services, by offering the latest in technological advancements. We use high-quality components and create designs that are functional, attractive and that facilitate quick and efficient maintenance. Our production facilities allow us to provide highly customized, ADA-compliant kiosks within a 4-6-week lead time, one of the shortest lead times in the industry.

from website

Our kiosk line includes a variety of kiosk designs, interactive digital signage options and through our recently launched brand, USAkiosks – OEM kiosk solutions. Customers can choose from our extensive line of kiosk models and have them customized to suit their needs. Our models consist of:
• Freestanding
– C Series
– X Series
• Interactive Signage
• Outdoor
• Wall Mount
• Countertop

We offer our clients:
• Free quotes and renderings
• A choice of high quality, well-designed standard kiosk models or highly customized OEM units
• A collaborative consultation process that seamlessly takes clients from planning to production
• Dedicated production lines that facilitate mass customization
• No engineering charges
• Competitive pricing
• One of the shortest lead times in the industry
• On time delivery of fully operational units at client’s location of choice
• Experienced and responsive staff with over 40 years of combined experience in self-service.

Intrigued? Learn more at www.slabbkiosk.com.

Pascal’s Wager – Quality and Costs

Mike Masone - Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

Mike Masone – Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Pascal was what you would consider a pretty clever fellow despite the fact that he had nothing to do with Kiosks or Self Service.

At 16 he flapped the unflappable Rene’ Descartes with a mathematics paper he published countering some of RD’s assertions.

By age 20 he created a calculator to help his father sort out regional tax records…pretty simple feat today, in the 1640s…not so much!

He also invented the syringe and hydraulic press…why not, those are handy to have around.

Pascal

Later in life Pascal became a devout (even for France) Catholic which went a bit against the grain for a man of his occupation at the time. He explained his position with all of the spirituality you would expect from such a pragmatist and in the process pretty much invented decision theory:

god exists

Clearly defining risk, reward, and their interplay and its application to behavior was revolutionary. With infinite stakes any risk is too high.

Similar logic applied to customer facing tech gives us:

customers care

Eternal Commercial Damnation or Bliss is decided by only one god – the customer. The question becomes at what fraction of cost is it worth risking the wrath of a whole customer?

Cheaper is always available and is by definition incrementally less expensive. Your customer may not care or notice that you are spending less on their experience, then again, you may not find out until it is too late or not at all.

Remember, there are no unhappy customers…they just leave, they don’t tell you why, or even show you why…they simply cease being your customers and move on to the next option.

In every game, you must know what the stakes are before deciding on a strategy. When it comes to cost cutting, money isn’t what is at stake – Customers are.

Reach out with any questions, issues, insights, and especially disagreements. Monsieur Pascal would appreciate it!

HIMSS Review Part 1 aka Hey Isn’t Money Something Serious?

Mike Masone - Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

Mike Masone -Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

I’ve had a full week to recover from the recent HIMSS 2016 conference. We made a lot of visitors to the booth uncomfortable because we talked about the two dirtiest things in healthcare MONEY and EFFICIENCY.

Today is MONEY.

Read this article…Welcome back.

Consumers generate 3.6 trillion dollars in healthcare expenses.
15% of the US working population have no access to ‘accounts.’
This means that at minimum over 500 billion dollars of care is being delivered to people with no ability to pay electronically.
We know these patients as customers. We service them in several other industries.

Members of this group are euphemistically referred to as the cash-preferred, working poor, un-banked, under-banked.
In reality they are the over-exploited, under-served, the marginalized.

They are well aware of this fact. They aren’t happy about it.
No matter what happens in November (TheHer, TheHair, or TheWayTooFair) neither the needs nor plight of this group will change significantly.
They will look at you as another data point in a repeating series of demeaning problems or a refreshing solution. Regardless of what you choose, they are coming through your door.
How they leave is up to you.

Here is a quick intro on how their finances typically work:

  1. Generate monthly expenses
  2. Work
  3. Get handed payment
  4. Convert handed payment to usable form (3-7% loss) – Cash Check, buy money orders with, reload prepaid card with cash
  5. Pay monthly expenses
  6. Generate non-monthly expense
  7. Pay non-monthly expense at time of service – cash or check
  8. Work more
  9. Repeat

To the rev-cycle people:

Where are you in this cycle? Where do you want to be?*
If you are taking counter payments, are your transactions with these folks really a net positive?
Counter transactions at utilities clock in at $6-12 per transaction.
This addresses the costs of employee time required for – greeting, lookup, average time of discussion, hand-offs and goodbyes typical in utility payments.
The issue with healthcare is that every payment is a discussion, a reschedule, a medication question, a something.
Your FTE cost may be lower but the time per transaction is likely higher.
With all of this in mind…is a counter payment – cash, check, or otherwise actually a net-positive for your organization?

mr profitsTo the medical people:

Physical MONEY is dirty, very dirty, tucked who-knows-where dirty. It isn’t the only offender – Pens and clipboards are grimy so are doorknobs…add money to the mix though and there is a perfect storm brewing for secondary infections.
Think of the process of reaching your hand into your pocket after touching the grimy stuff…did you sanitize your hand? Great! How about your pocket where you’ll soon be jamming your hand again? How about the last guy who was at the counter, placed his sweaty hand right where yours now sits?
It is enough to unleash the Howard Hughes in any of us.

Would you ever hold a dollar bill or handful of coins before touching a patient?*

MONEY as a tool is scary when you feel like you have no control over it….what will you do when you can’t pay your bill, how about your child’s?
Medicine or Rent? Is it ‘worth’ the money to get the care? Will it be fine? Will anyone see the scar, will it matter? Will you sacrifice your own health for something your family needs? Does your blood pressure go up? Do you feel even more helpless? Do you turn your fear to resentment and anger? How does your family react?
Do you carry this into your doctor? White-coat Hypertension has a name. What do we call this other thing?* Co-pay-co-morbidity, helplessness-hypertension, no-choice nausea?

What is the best way to understand, quantify, and address these concerns for healthcare?
We don’t bother…we don’t know…we probably can’t know with any certainty…if we did come up with an answer or insight it would at best be an egg
looking for a chicken, at worst a disease looking for a cure.

Instead we Try.

What we do know is how these same people react when companies make things a little easier.
Make it easy for people to pay, and they do.
Make it easy to promise to pay, and they will.
Nobody wants to be a deadbeat…especially not the working poor, they prove it every day by going to work when not working would get them a bigger check.
We have seen it repeatedly…..give these people a means to maintain their dignity and they will not disappoint you.
If they can’t pay, give them a way to plan to pay.
Offer them a deal or schedule, or a simple, shame-free way to sit and meet with someone to work through this most difficult and personal problem.
No matter who they are, patients are usually genuinely thankful for their care.
My guess is the perpetually marginalized are even more thankful. In no other part of their lives are they using the same services as the best off of us are.

What makes people seem ungrateful, unhappy, and angry is all of the crap** associated with the service.
Separate your people, staff and your corporate identity from the crap.
Why make a human employee be the bearer of bad news or the taker of money.
Why perpetuate an inherently adversarial condition.
Let a machine do it, let the machine be the bad guy, let the machine ask for payment, let the machine deny the request. Let the machine be confrontational all day long and not get a migraine or get burned out or snap.

Let your employees, smile, understand, correlate, and solve the problems; exercise their humanity with the human who needs their help.
Leave the money, confrontation, monotony and messaging to the machine. It is what they excel at, what we create them to do.

Of course there are always bad actors, patients, and customers, but if we let them inform policy or commercial decisions then we have given up and collectively decided to bury something important in all of us.
The something that makes us human the something that got us into healthcare …empathy…the care part.

*All questions are non-rhetorical. Please add to the discussion.
**Highly technical term understood by all.

You can message me privately if you would like me to edit / credit something I missed.

Commenting below is fine but keep it a-political there is plenty of ‘discourse’ available to anyone who wants it.

If you would like me to send you a report on the un-banked send me a note and I’ll forward it to you. There are some good reports out there.

Interestingly there is a gap between un-banked and cash-preferred…no perfect explanation, it is just there.

HIMSS16 Here We Come!

It’s been an extremely busy month that has culminated in a hectic week of ensuring that with all the preparation that has been taking place, we still double check that everything is all set for our presence at HIMSS 2016.

himss16

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) tradeshow is considered the medical industry’s biggest show. It brings together over 40,000 health professionals, including those specializing in Health IT, executives, clinicians and vendors from around the world. The conference not only showcases the latest technological advancements in the healthcare industry, but also features educational sessions, workshops and keynote speakers. This year, the keynote speakers include Michael Dell and Peyton Manning. This year’s show takes place from February 29 – March 4, 2016 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas…Really close to home!

X11 - Medical Self-service and Payment Kiosk

X11 – Medical Self-service and Payment Kiosk

It’s no wonder that, despite our preparation fatigue, we’re looking forward to fully participating. I will admit that some of our excitement might be as a result of our new kiosk which will be launched at the show. The first-of-its-kind, Medical Self-Service Payment Kiosk merges two elements that can drastically increase the efficiency of healthcare administration – self-service check in/registration and payment acceptance. Most healthcare kiosks typically only provide self-check in services, but the X11 will allow patients to register/check in for appointments as well as submit co-payments or pay for medical visits, all at one machine. You can learn more about our new kiosk on the HIMSS website or just come visit us at Booth 8477.

Our Year of Kiosks 2015

“The present defines the future. The future builds on the foundation of the past.”Lailah Gifty Akita

 
Already this year is promising to unfold just as fast as last year. It’s almost the end of January and due to the feverish pace that has already begun, we’re late with our traditional “Year of Kiosks” blog which is usually our first blog at the beginning of the year.
It’s something we started doing because we believe it’s always good to pause from our busy schedules, take a deep breath and review what we have done – what was done well and the things we could have done differently, all in an effort to learn and move forward, doing things even better than before. Successes also act as a motivator and keep us striving for even bigger and better achievements and 2015 was a good year for SlabbKiosks.

 
Making the Change

Avanti Markets Banner

 

That statement in itself, highlights one of the major changes that took place for our company and depicts the very essence of looking back, reviewing, adjusting and moving forward. It is one of the reasons we chose to make the change from Slabb to SlabbKiosks. Despite already having the name recognition as Slabb, we decided that SlabbKiosks better defined our brand and product offering while ensuring that we continued to benefit from the Slabb name which had become well-known in the kiosk industry.

 

SlabbKiosks Logo

The new SlabbKiosks logo

The change included a new website and a new logo which both incorporate our new brand colors – grey, green and blue and depicts three cubes which represent the three factors that are crucial for any successful kiosk deployment – hardware, software and implementation/post production.

 
Even though change is usually hard, we believe our rebrand was well received and certainly didn’t affect the number of projects we had for the year. Many of these are still being rolled out, due to the vast volumes involved and we hope to share more about them upon their completion later on this year. But here are two that we were happy to be a part of.

 
TriMas Corporation’s Employee Benefits Kiosks
We provided kiosks for the TriMas Corporation which is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and employs approximately 4,000 employees at more than 50 facilities in 16 countries. It was no surprise then, that they were seeking an effective solution for their Benefits program, particularly for their employees with limited kiosk access.

 

TriMas Corp's Employee Center

TriMas Corp’s Employee Health & Wellness Resource Center

The six (6) customized X7 kiosks are used to provide online health management programs along with other employee services with two additional units which will also be included as part of their Employee Health and Wellness Resource Center. The kiosks allow employees to make benefit elections and view important benefit documents, review online health plan resources, including claims and Explanation of Benefits documents, compare medical plan and prescription drugs costs and look up participating providers, as well as many other human resource services.

 

Education Service Center, Region 20
We provided six (6) customized kiosks for the Education Service Center, Region 20, a non-regulatory agency with a collaborative and supportive relationship with the school districts that provides the learning community with high quality, cost effective products and services. The Center is one of 20 regional education service agencies within Texas which assist school districts in improving student performance and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of school operations.

 

Kiosks at ESC20

Kiosks at ESC20

The Center was looking for a solution that would offer their clients online access, but one which would provide a more efficient, faster way for workshop participants to review emails and register. The kiosks provide a more effective alternative to the computers which were used in the past, because they don’t encourage longer usage times. It means that there are now fewer clients missing important information provided in class sessions and increase in the overall number of clients being served.

 

OEM Solutions

Automated Vending Kiosk

Automated Vending Kiosk

We also expanded our product line to provide a more extensive range of OEM solutions in cluding automated retail. Some of our projects included Automated Vending Kiosks for an online hair and skin care retail business to extend their reach by providing physical retail touchpoints. The kiosks were outfitted with a customized touchscreen interface allowing users to select the products they wish to purchase, just as they would online. A merchandise window was also included to provide an attractive display of the products. The units will be available at high-traffic indoor shopping malls.

 

Locker Unit

Locker Unit

We designed a customized locker unit for a medical center to better manage the use of the center’s vehicle fleet. The kiosks will be able to scan IDs, track mileage and other maintenance requirements. These will be used as prompts to open the individual lockers and will be accessed by employees that operate the company vehicles.

 

There are many more customized units we have and continue to design. We can’t review every project, but we definitely kept busy with the many we had for the year. This year is proving to be no different, as we have already hit the proverbially ‘ground’ running, starting with the launch of our OEM Solutions website, something we think is important to showcase as we continue to expand our product line.

 
This is only the beginning…Literally and figuratively…So make sure the laces on your sneakers are tied, as we have, and join us for a year that we’re sure will keep us moving sometimes at a jog and sometimes at a sprint, but steadily forward. Look out for the great things in store, all of which we will be happy to review with you again this time next year.

Soulless nature of kiosks may be a blessing in disguise after all…

We’ve featured a few articles in the past reviewing the often repeated fear that machines/robots/kiosks/insert any technologically advanced inanimate object will eventually take the jobs that are traditionally done by humans.

 
In our blog titled, Will Self-Service Kiosks Eventually Replace Humans?, we agreed with Martin Smith, Professor of Robotics at University of Middlesex, who aptly stated in an article by Rhiannon Williams, “Though many fear their jobs will be taken over by machines, it is more likely that robots will be used as assistants, and the future workforce could have the benefit of avoiding hazardous and repetitive tasks rather than suffer mass redundancies.”

 
But given recent developments in the news, we’re now left to wonder whether the inhuman element of say, a kiosk or robot, might actually prove beneficial. There are just some circumstances where emotion/personal beliefs should be set aside to provide the consumer what is their right by law. After all, a kiosk can’t ‘boycott’ providing a service because it doesn’t think it is morally right. Actually a kiosk might just be the solution we need to prevent personal convictions being subjected on a customer.

 
We once did a project for a County known for its inordinate number of weddings. Not surprisingly, they needed a solution that would provide a more efficient way to handle the numerous requests for certified copies of marriage certificates. We provided them with a kiosk that could do this, eliminating the need for their customers to engage county personnel for this repetitive task. The service has become so efficient that they recently installed several additional kiosks.

 
Just imagine if this could be done for other services, including marriage licenses. If so, we may not have had many of the discussions that have been taking place recently, with people on either side of the issue, as kiosks can be customized to ensure compliance to the law.

How Kiosks Make Our Daily Lives Easier – Part 1

Kiosks have been mentioned quite often in the news lately, from Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) like Panera and McDonalds adopting the technology, to New York City’s conversion of their iconic phone booths to Wi-Fi Kiosks. These are just a few examples, but for a long time, interactive kiosks have been in use or could be found in many places we go to everyday and have been making our lives a lot easier; you just may not have realized.

 

An Information Kiosk providing internet services

An Information Kiosk providing internet services

One of the basic uses of kiosks is to provide information, whether about a company, a service, an event or location. Information kiosks can be used anywhere information needs to be disseminated, but many are used in museums, malls or lobbies. They can also be used to provide internet access or Wi-Fi to patrons or customers. They often take the form of interactive signage that utilize wayfinding applications. (We will discuss wayfinding kiosks in more detail in Part 2 of this blog). A great example is the information kiosks at Frankfurt airport that read boarding passes and direct passengers to where they need to be.

 

creative_1027 - Copy - Copy - Copy
Companies often use information kiosks to communicate with employees. These human resource kiosks, in addition to providing company information, give employees access to administrative forms such as leave requests, employee manuals, insurance information or even internal training sessions. They can also be used to access the company’s intranet. A great example of the use of human resource kiosks can be seen here.

 

The use of kiosks to provide human resource services can also be extended to job applicants as kiosks provide a convenient way to accept job applications. Prospective candidates can enter their information at kiosks placed at the company’s head office or in the case of retail, at the location with the job vacancy.

 
The popularity of kiosks is probably as a direct result of their self-service applications. In a world where time is precious and consumers are more ‘hands on’, many users prefer having the option of conducting business or paying for services via a machine. It is one of the reasons kiosks can be found in many retail locations.

 

A Loyalty Card Kiosk

A Loyalty Card Kiosk

Retail kiosks, which are often confused with Retail Merchandising units which can also be found at malls with novelty items for sale, are manned units and can be considered mini stores. The retail kiosks we are referring to are electronic units that can be used at stores to accept payments, issue gift/loyalty cards or provide a catalog of a store’s inventory, making it easier for customers to peruse available items and request out of stock items or additional models and colors that may be available at other store locations. It eliminates the need for them to drive to other branches, as orders can be delivered to the location of their choice. It also provides a great opportunity to collect customer data via surveys or purchase history to inform future marketing campaigns or offers.

 
These kiosks can also be used to offer additional services including payment of store credit cards or utility bills, sale updates and coupons or a gift registry. It often eliminates the need to have additional staff for these services and are conveniently accessible after store hours. Some of these services can provide operators with additional revenue through transaction/service fees.

 
Many of the retail self-service applications mentioned above, can be used in other industries including hospitality, healthcare, airports and airlines and restaurants. Hotels and airports use kiosks to provide a more efficient way of checking in, allowing travelers to avoid the frustration of long lines.

 

A Patient Registration kiosk

Patient Registration kiosk

Self-service check in has also now been extended to the healthcare industry to assist in patient management. Patients are now allowed to check in on arrival at a doctor’s office or medical facility allowing front desk staff to easily access their information while eliminating the need for excessive paperwork.

 

 

 

A Self-Service Checkout kiosk at a micro market location

A Self-Service Checkout kiosk at a micro market location

Self-service checkout kiosks, as mentioned in our opening paragraph, are also gaining popularity at restaurants. The goal is to make ‘fast’ food even faster by allowing customers to place their orders via a kiosk, ensuring they get exactly what they want on their order, without standing in line. It still remains to be seen if they truly provide a faster service, as orders still have to be fulfilled by servers which still leaves room for human error as well as variations in the speed of service.

 
Self-checkout kiosks are not only used for fast food, but also for food purchases at supermarkets and micro markets. Both allow customers to access goods and scan and pay for them at the kiosk. It eliminates the need to stand in line and in the case of micro markets, provides a healthy, quick lunch option for workers.

 
Kiosks provide many benefits to both the businesses that operate them, as well as to end users. Hence the reason they are so widely used. Some of the benefits of kiosks include:
• An enhanced customer service experience
• They facilitate the collection and management of customer data
• They provide value-added services
• They allow extended service beyond standard store hours
• They almost always provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI)
• They decrease wait times for customers
• They assist in reducing employee hiring and training costs
• They provide a great avenue for product marketing and company branding

 
These are just a few of the benefits of kiosks. We will continue to explore additional services available via kiosks for various industries in Part 2 of this blog.

 

 

We’ve rebranded to SlabbKiosks!

I know it seems like it’s been a while since we had a blog entry. But we have a really good excuse…Actually it’s a really GREAT excuse because we just added another milestone to the many we’ve had in our 12 years in the kiosk industry.

 

 
We’re now SlabbKiosks! Since the end of last year we’ve been working assiduously to create the various elements for our launch, including a new logo and website. We finally completed it all and are happy and excited to present to you the new Slabb….SlabbKiosks and our new home www.slabbkiosks.com.

 

 
The official launch took place on Monday (February 23, 2015) after months of hard work. The decision came after much thought when we realized that despite being well known for our superior kiosk products and interactive signage, it was time for a change. It is hoped that the rebrand will allow us to continue to benefit from the continued success and name recognition of Slabb, which has become well-known in the kiosk industry, as well as define our brand and product offering even better.

 

 
We think the name change to SlabbKiosks now clearly outlines the company’s business line. But you can let us know what you think!

 

 

Our new logo

Our new logo

The new logo, comprises the company name, SlabbKiosks, our familiar tag line ‘The Public Touch Company’ and three cubes which represent the three factors that are crucial for any successful kiosk deployment – hardware, software and implementation/post production.

 

 

 

 

 

Users of our new website (www.slabbkiosks.com) can obtain more detailed information about the kiosk purchase process including the range of models available from us as well as our various industry solutions. The site also features some of our more recent standard and custom design solutions currently being used by satisfied customers.                  Potential customers can also request a quote or access our online assistant for further information. The site is user-friendly and well-laid out, allowing visitors to easily find the information they need.

 

 

 

We hope the change will enhance your customer experience with us. We are always happy to receive your feedback as we remain committed to providing high quality, affordable kiosks to you.

 

Our Year of Kiosks 2014

 

Photo courtesy: calendariu.com

Photo courtesy: calendariu.com

It’s always good to reflect. Certain milestones make us more likely to do so, especially when a year has ended. We tend to look at what has happened, the good and the bad, hoping to replicate the good and learn from our mistakes, making a note of what we could have done differently.

 

 
I thought it would be good for us to do the same, as we had a few really good moments over the past year at Slabb. We did this as well last year, so I think we should make it a tradition. Don’t you? So here’s our Year of Kiosks 2014!

 

 

 

Avanti Markets
Over the years we have developed a great relationship with one of the micro-market industry leaders, Avanti Markets. Slabb has deployed over 2,500 kiosks for Avanti Markets so far, and as the industry continues to grow at a remarkable rate, we have committed to continue to provide superior kiosks to Avanti Markets to ensure the success of their operators.

 

 

 

An Avanti Markets micro market

An Avanti Markets micro market

We will continue to provide kiosks that not only look good and can offer high availability to the users, but that are also user-friendly and durable – features that are very important in a high usage environment such as a micro-market.

 

 

It’s a philosophy that has ensured a continued partnership between the two companies and is reflected in the satisfaction of Avanti Markets’ clients who particularly like the look of our kiosks, their ease of use and the low maintenance required.

 

 

 

Avanti Markets Operator Meeting
Avanti Markets also held their Operator meeting in December and we were pleased to be a Gold sponsor at the event. The meeting took place in Phoenix, AZ on December 3rd and 4th.

 

 

 

Avanti Markets Operator Meeting

Avanti Markets Operator Meeting

The company achieved a record attendance at the event with over 190 operators participating over the two-day conference, exceeding attendance of past years. Read more about the meeting here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Executive Countertop Kiosk is Featured by Avanti Markets
It seems that it was the year of Avanti Markets, as the company also announced that it would be featuring one of our three new kiosk models – the Executive Countertop Kiosk. The Slabb X2S is a great, cost effective alternative for locations with floor space limitations. It is one of the main reasons Avanti Markets chose to offer it as an alternative or addition to the traditional freestanding kiosk for which they are known.

 

 

 

Slabb X2S - Executive Countertop Kiosk

Slabb X2S – Executive Countertop Kiosk

The kiosk is being marketed to locations with 75 or more employees, adding a potentially larger install base and giving operators the opportunity to serve clients that may once have been considered ‘too small’. The traditional micro-market site usually caters to companies with 150 employees or more. Operators have the option of using the kiosk as a second payment station at a high volume location or as a standalone with some additional features at smaller locations. It was not surprising then, that within a week of launch, there were over 100 orders for this model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Launch of Three Kiosk Models
The X2S, as mentioned above was one of three kiosk models that were launched for the year.

 

 

 

Slabb's New Kiosk Models: X2S; X4T; X6A

Slabb’s New Kiosk Models: X2S; X4T; X6A

The other two models were the X6A and he X4T. The X6A though sleek, rugged and vandal-resistance, as is the norm with all Slabb kiosks, is unlike any of Slabb’s other models. Ideal for self-check in, its design is versatile and can easily fit at any location due to its compact size. The kiosk comes with a 19” LCD display with touchscreen, credit card reader, barcode scanner, laser printer (b4600) and thermal receipt printer. The design also ensures wheelchair accessibility.

 

 
The X4T is a mounted version of one of Slabb’s more popular wall mount interactive digital signage models. Like the Q5, the X4T is rugged, robust and vandal-proof and available in any color with standard HD resolution and no external wiring. It comes with a 42” horizontal LCD screen display with or without a touch screen.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to introduce a few more models this year. We are definitely looking forward to the year ahead and want to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to provide you with the best the kiosk industry has to offer in the year ahead.

Pay phones get a second life as internet kiosks

NYC pay phone (Photo courtesy phonearena.com)

NYC pay phone (Photo courtesy phonearena.com)

It’s interesting that we first came across this idea back in July 2013 when we wrote our blog In with Recycled Interactive Kiosks, Out With Red Phone Boxes. The story highlighted the repurposing of Britain’s iconic red phone boxes/booths for use as interactive kiosks with built-in Wi-Fi.

 

 
And now, New York City has announced the launch of the LinkNYC project that beginning next year, will transform the city’s pay phones to “Wi-Fi hot spots across the city, providing free Internet access, free domestic calls using cell phones or a built-in keypad, a charging station for mobile devices and access to city services and directions”, according to an article in the NY Times. They will also provide standard pay phone services including 311 information and 911 emergency hotlines.

 

 
It is hoped that this new offering, which will be available to the public, free of charge, will bridge the digital divide. Low income users whom may have previously relied on their cell phones to browse the internet, will now have access to what is being touted as “the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world.” It promises to be 20 times as fast as an average home internet connection.

 

 
It is expected that about 10,000 kiosks will be installed, allowing up to 250 devices on the network at any given time, without compromising service quality due to the Wi-Fi range which will extend 150 feet in any direction from the kiosk. Access points can also be added in high traffic areas. They won’t quite look like the traditional payphone, but will be sleek and tall – approximately 9.5 feet high and less than a foot wide with touchscreen interfaces.

 

 
According to Time.com the project is estimated to cost over $200 million. However, there is no additional cost to taxpayers, as advertising will be one of the key ways that the project will generate revenue. The kiosks will accommodate large digital advertising displays that could generate as much as $500 million over the next twelve years. The displays are a great medium for public service announcements in the event of an emergency or during major events.

 

 
It is a project that will provide many benefits to the City as it is not only expected to generate over 700 jobs (both full-time and support), but it is also a great step toward making the internet accessible to the public, an initiative that can be replicated around the world.

The Future of Travel: Self-service Technology

It seems as though for the past year, or so, not a month has passed where another US airport hasn’t announced the launch of automated passport control kiosks (APCs) to assist in expediting the customs and immigration process. APCs, as they are becoming commonly known as, are self-service passport control kiosks that replace the traditional immigration process of completing declaration and customs forms.

 

 
According to information provided on the SITA website, the kiosks uses three steps when processing travellers. They allow passengers to:

 

 
1) Answer a set of regulatory questions via a touchscreen
2) Have their passport read and verified
3) Have their identities verified.

 

 

 

US Global Entry Program (Photo Courtesy: association.com)

US Global Entry Program (Photo Courtesy: association.com)

These three simple steps, have now made a once time-consuming process, quick, efficient and beneficial to not only travelers but to the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and airlines as well. The United States CBP can now boast faster processing times that reduce queues while increasing processing capacity with the same number of agents. This allows agents to focus on persons of interest. The system also provides high accuracy biometric matching. The kiosks enable airports to use their space and resources more efficiently, reduce queues and clear immigration and customs faster, thereby improving the overall service experience for passengers. The incidence of missed connections is also reduced.

 

 
There are APC kiosk at over 20 airports in North America including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), to name a few.

 

 
Recently, countries such as Aruba and the Bahamas also announced the introduction of APC kiosks. Nassau has plans to purchase 20 of the kiosks. It is expected the trend will continue with the introduction of these kiosks in other major international airports as well.

 

 
But even before the use of APC kiosks, the aviation industry had adopted self-service technology in an effort to enhance the travel experience from arrival at the airport, to the check-in and boarding process. There are many examples of this technology currently at work, many of which utilize the self-service kiosk. Here are a few examples we found:

 

 

 

SITA Beacon Registry (Photo courtesy: developer.aero/BeaconRegistry)

SITA Beacon Registry     (Photo courtesy: developer.aero)

• SITA has also launched the SITA Common-use Beacon Registry. It is a global beacon registry for airlines who wish to communicate with passengers as they enter an airport. The system can communicate with mobile devices within a radius of 100 feet, identify the location of the passenger and send regular updates including estimated walk time to the gate, boarding alerts and if the boarding gate changes.

 

 

 

Canoe.ca ranked the top 10 airport terminals in the world, #1, Hong Kong International Airport, has won several best airport awards. The airport features amenities such as a shopping mall and gourmet food options as well as internet kiosks.

 

 

 

MegaNews Magazines 'Print on Demand' kiosk (Photo courtesy: airportsinternational.com)

MegaNews Magazines ‘Print on Demand’ kiosk           (Photo courtesy: airportsinternational.com)

• Sweden’s airport is the first to offer Print on Demand kiosks to passengers. Described as the first ‘automatic newsstand’, these kiosks are simple to use – passengers can choose from hundreds of titles, browse the magazine they would like and once they’ve made a decision on the publication they want, they simply pay with a credit card. The publication is delivered in 2 minutes.

 

 

 

• Poland’s Chopin Airport has taken it a step further by providing a virtual assistant to help passengers with self-service check-in. The assistant responds in both English and Polish, to queries that include how to use the self-check-in kiosks, which documents need to be prepared and how to print a boarding pass. It’s the first of its kind in Poland.

 

 

 

Russia's Domodedovo Airport (Photo Courtesy: domodedovo.ru)

Russia’s Domodedovo Airport (Photo Courtesy: domodedovo.ru)

• Moscow Domodedovo Airport has installed self-service kiosks that allow passengers to report lost or in transit bags. It eliminates the need to queue up to speak with an agent, instead, passengers simply scan their bag receipt barcode at the kiosk to file a missing bag report. The kiosks are linked to WorldTracer, the global tracing system for mishandled baggage developed by SITA and IATA. The system then matches found bags with lost bag reports.

 

 

• Austrian Airlines has introduced self-service bag drop units at Vienna Airport. The units being used during this trial phase, allow passengers who have already checked-in for their flight to go directly to the bag drop counter to print and attach their bag tags and deposit their luggage into the baggage handling system, without the need for an airline agent.

 

 

 

Hamburg's self-service infrastructure (Photo courtesy: airport-world.com)

Hamburg’s self-service infrastructure                  (Photo courtesy: airport-world.com)

• Hamburg recently revamped their airport with the launch of new self-service infrastructure which gives passengers the option of checking in and dropping off baggage at self-service kiosks.

 

 

 

• London’s Tesco offers a virtual grocery store at the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport. After arrival, travelers can order groceries via a digital signage kiosk.

 

 

• Malta International Airport allows passengers to purchase travel insurance via a kiosk.

 

 

 

These are just a few examples of self-service technology at work. It is expected that the trend will only continue with predictions of investments in smart airport technology surpassing $13 million by 2020. According to an article on kioskmarketplace.com, “The current market, estimated to be $9,718.07 million in 2014, is focusing more on passenger satisfaction by implementing self-service solutions. For example, two-thirds of airports have programs to deploy kiosks and Wi-Fi. Improving passenger satisfaction is the primary reason for airport IT expenditures…”

This comes as no surprise, as passengers continue to demand value for their money with the expectation that they spend less time in queues and at airports, in general, and more time spent enjoying their journeys.

6 Advantages of Countertop Kiosks

The Slabb X2S

The Slabb X2S

A countertop kiosk, also known as desktop kiosk is a kiosk built to sit on a counter or desk (as its name suggests), similar to a desktop/personal computer (PC). Despite being smaller in size than a traditional kiosk, it has the same functionality. Although often overlooked because of the popularity of the traditional, full sized kiosk, the countertop kiosk has many benefits including:
Good things come in small packages – Excuse the cliché, but where the countertop kiosk is concerned, this provides an accurate description. Despite its size, the countertop kiosk can still house all the components found in a traditional kiosk, allowing it to provide the same functionality in a more compact unit.
This makes it a great option for offices or retail outlets where space is limited.

 

 

 

An enhanced the customer experience – The countertop kiosk provides the same convenience as any other kiosk but it provides a seating option due to its placement on a counter or desk. This is important for applications that require extensive input of data where a customer would feel more comfortable if seated while using the unit. Customers may actually be more inclined to use the kiosk, as a result, so this model would be suitable to attract potential users to fill out surveys or supply detailed information. It is also great for use as a human resource tool where employees can access HR functions such as employee benefits and job applications.

 

 

 

Easy to use – The use of customized software and the option of a touchscreen provide an interactive element that makes them easy to use. The countertop kiosk is easy to use. Customers can choose components based on their industry-specific needs. It also gives companies a convenient way to provide relevant company information while allowing users to input data, if needed.

 

 

 

No complicated logistics involved – This kiosk model facilitates easy implementation and installation. It’s as simple as finding a suitable location, plugging the unit in, checking functionality if connected to external databases and finally, using the unit for its intended purpose. Kiosk management is also very straightforward and data can be accessed from any computer through an administrative portal.

 

 

 

The price is right – Due to their size the kiosks have less material requirements, making the cost to manufacture them much less than a freestanding model. They also weigh less which positively impacts shipping costs. It allows the end user to buy the unit at a lower cost than a freestanding kiosk. This proved to be a major factor for one of our micro market clients who can now offer a countertop kiosk to their operators, increasing the size of the market that they service.

 

 

 

Again, don’t let the size fool you – The size of the kiosk does not denote fragility. As is the norm with all Slabb’s kiosks, the countertop kiosk is rugged and vandal-resistant without compromising quality. It can be used in a variety of environments while hosting a multitude of applications to provide an efficient and secure transaction experience for the customer.

 

 

 

The Slabb X2 Kiosk

The Slabb X2 Kiosk

These are just a few of the main features that makes the countertop kiosk an attractive alternative. It can provide the essential elements of a freestanding kiosks including:
– Convenience
– Facilitation of data capturing
– Customized components
– Customizable software
– Alternative payment methods
– Provision of additional services

 

 

Slabb’s countertop desktop series includes the attended and unattended self-service checkout X2T and the recent addition of the X2S, both of which can be customized to suit the needs of any organization or business.

 

 

Is there a future for self-service kiosks?

“Our business is about technology, yes. But it’s also about operations and customer relationships. ”

 

 

Today, we posted this quote from Michael Dell, CEO and Founder of Dell, Inc., on some of our social media platforms. I thought it was a great reminder, especially in our industry. We get so caught up in the technology that we sometimes forget that the technology should ENHANCE our operations and customer relationships, not diminish them. This is an important factor, especially with the use of self-service technology, whether it is automated answering/message systems or call centers in lieu of a physical presence in-store, DIY solutions or videos to pre-empt service calls thereby reducing call queues and wait times or self-service systems including kiosks, that allow customers to check in/out or pay for goods and services without the need for assistance from a customer representative.

 

 
Can you remember when there was no other alternative to standing in line at the bank? I’m sure most of us can’t remember the days of sitting in our cars while our fuel was pumped, windscreen cleaned and tire pressure checked. We even paid at the car window. First, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) made life a little easier, and then consumers never flinched when self-service stations became the norm, and now we have the alternative of self-service systems including kiosks to conduct just about every transaction.

 

 
It almost makes the answer to my question above seem obvious. If we didn’t look back then why should we do so now, as self-service options continue to increase and become the norm? The evolution has been taking place since the ‘60s and hasn’t stopped since then.

 

 
According to the 2013 North American Self-Service Kiosks Market Study, prepared by the IHL Group, “Transactions at Self-Service Kiosks are growing better than 7% per year in North America with transactions expected to grow past $1.0 Trillion per year through the devices by 2014.” This isn’t surprising, with many industries adopting kiosk technology in an effort to provide a more efficient, easier customer experience. Customers are also adapting to these systems because, they too, seek convenience and efficiency, especially now that we live in a world where time is a premium and it just isn’t practical to spend extended periods of time on tasks that could be completed in a much shorter time.

 

 
Some of the industries adopting this technology include:

 

 

 

Slabb's X6 kiosk model for USBank

Slabb’s X6 kiosk model for USBank

The banking industry
It can be argued that the trend started in this industry, and it continues to provide automated, self-service solutions to customers. The kiosks that are utilized are quite similar to ATMs but are capable of providing additional services and transactions that once required interaction with a teller to be completed. Their functions include cashing checks, dispensing money orders, printing official checks, paying bills and withdrawing cash (in increments other than $20 bills) along with other features. The kiosks are either located on-site, in the branch lobby or off-site in a remote location (such as a convenience store).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Entry Kiosk

Global Entry Kiosk

The airport industry
This industry has been using kiosks in a number of ways. Many major airports have adopted kiosk systems that assist in making the security check on travelers a lot faster. There are currently 34 airports that have Global Entry kiosks with 98% of all air travelers passing through these checkpoints. The program has been around since 2008 and allows pre-approved travelers to use the kiosks upon their return to the US. In Chicago, these machines have helped shave wait times by a third for arriving passengers. It is hoped that they will also be installed at JFK, one of the nation’s busiest airports – a move that is being strongly advocated by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. Read more here.

 

 

 

Airlines have also adopted the technology to facilitate easy check in for customers. They are usually used by specific airlines or are sometimes shared by multiple airlines, allowing passengers to book tickets, change reservations or check in.

 

 

 

Slabb's X6 kiosk for Hyatt Regency

Slabb’s X6 kiosk for Hyatt Regency

The hotel industry
Check in services are not only unique to the airline industry, so it’s definitely not a surprise that check in kiosks are also used in the hotel industry. These kiosks also facilitate guest check out and became more widespread with the travel downturn a few years ago, as a cheaper alternative to staffing.

 

 

 

These are just three examples of industries that have fully adopted the use of self-service kiosks and there are many more. It is a technological advancement that has been adopted by companies out of a need to serve customers better while reducing costs and embraced by customers seeking convenience and efficient use of their time.

 

 
So the answer to the question? Self-service kiosks will be here as long as the demand and need for them exist, but companies must remember that a better customer experience should always be the goal…Providing convenience to your customers while ensuring it enhances, not diminishes your relationship with your customer. It should be an added benefit/bonus to the customer, not an experience that makes their interaction with your company seem cold and impersonal.

Childcare Solutions using Self-service Options

In our blog about educational kiosks (Interactive Kiosks are Making an Impact in Schools), we mentioned some schools that are using self-service kiosks to make school processes more accessible to parents, while enhancing school security by using the units as check-in and check-out systems to keep track of students as well as visitors.

 

 
Unfortunately, in the world we live in, it has become necessary to ensure our children’s safety by safeguarding them from becoming lost or abducted. We’ve all seen the news coverage where some schools have lost track of a child’s whereabouts, sometimes leaving them in school trip vehicles or allowing them to be taken by unauthorized individuals, whether a stranger or estranged relative. We can also hope that the use of a kiosk system, along with other security measures such as surveillance cameras, effective lock systems or panels and doors made from impenetrable material, can act as a deterrent to individuals that may cause harm to our children or school property.

 

 
It has made the use of kiosk check-in systems in childcare management more commonplace. These systems, supported by security cameras that provide a live feed for parents, assist by alleviating some security concerns for parents, while allowing caregivers to manage their students more effectively. Some of the additional benefits of having these systems in place include:

 
• Less paperwork, thereby lessening administrative duties and costs. It gives caregivers more time to focus on the job at hand – the children in their care.
• More effective emergency management providing schools with an accurate headcount, if needed
• The kiosks can be used to provide parents with additional school-related information that they can access when signing their children in and out of the system.
• Parents can print school material from the kiosks including schedules, forms or grade sheets.

 

 
An interesting development regarding the use of kiosks in childcare management is the introduction of Comply Ally by Childcare Compliance in Los Angeles, California. Comply Ally is a kiosk system that allows childcare providers to access compliance tools and business management software, including guidelines for childcare, labor, and family law. Users can download forms and reports and will have access to reliable updates on important childcare regulations and industry standards. It greatly assists the childcare centers with limited internet access while reducing the administrative costs of agencies where the information is normally physically accessed.

 

 

 

Slabb X6 kiosk customized for childcare check-in/out

Slabb X6 kiosk customized for childcare check-in/out

In the past, Slabb has partnered with software companies providing web based, on-demand software solutions, some specifically for churches that use the software in our customized X6 kiosks as a check in system for the church’s daycare. The kiosk on the left is an example of one.

Find out more about our customizable kiosks here.

Self-service Kiosks Offer a Convenient Twist to the Office Lunchroom

Time is a premium for most of us these days. We try to find ways to do things in the fastest, easiest and most convenient ways possible. It’s one of the reasons that self-service kiosks have become so popular, because they make this possible – offering an alternative that provides quick service.

 

Often, we struggle with the demand to have things done in the shortest possible time frame, not just in our private lives, but even more so on-the-job, with increasing volumes of work and tight deadlines. How many of us have found ourselves forgetting to have lunch? Or opting out of eating just at the thought of interrupting our train of thought, getting into the car and then enduring the long line whether it is at a drive-thru or take away establishment? The end result is usually feeling frazzled when we get back to the office and wolfing down our unhealthy purchase because we’ve now spent almost an hour (our entire lunch break) just trying to get it.

 

 

One of Avanti Markets micro market layouts

One of Avanti Markets micro market layouts

It’s one of the reason micro markets have become so popular and an established feature of the modern office workspace. They can be described as mini-convenient stores that are stocked with healthy options such as salads, sandwiches, juices, soda and water as well as snacks like granola bars, chips, etc. They come in a variety of layouts that provide coolers and open shelves equipped with surveillance cameras for those tempted to disregard the ‘honor system’. Most importantly however, they are equipped with self-checkout, unmanned kiosk systems that allow users to use their cash, credit or debit cards or in some cases, their phones to pay for the items they have selected from the market.

 

 

They offer a convenient ‘twist’ to the office lunch room, providing employees with a healthy lunch option without the hassle of leaving the office. It is a great alternative that promotes a healthier and more productive workplace. Over the years, Slabb has worked with many micro market solution providers including Avanti Markets, a dominant player in the micro-markets industry. We provide customized kiosk hardware and software solutions for Avanti Market’s clients utilizing our X6 kiosk model, providing users with a convenient, easy-to-use system to purchase their healthy lunch alternative quickly and without the added inconvenience of a long line.

 
For more information on Slabb’s micro market kiosks options click here.

An Easy Way to Get into Sporting Events

The soccer season has begun or should I say my husband is now dominating the television to watch Premier League games! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching soccer or football, as it’s known in some parts of the world, but club football just doesn’t interest me…Sorry avid soccer fans! I think soccer excitement is at a feverish pitch once every four years when the World Cup begins. Now that I enjoy watching!

 
It started me thinking about sports in general, and its impact on the kiosk industry. I must say, I wasn’t able to find much. The closest I came, in terms of soccer kiosks is the Barclays Premier League ticket kiosk – a promotion to win tickets to the games. This isn’t exactly a kiosk, as it’s actually one of those machines that blow air throughout a booth so participants get a chance to grab as many blue tickets as possible to be entered into the final prize draw.

 
I also came across the controversial sports kiosks that were introduced right here in Nevada where users transmit their wagers to the bookmaker’s central office via the kiosk. These met with a lot of opposition by casinos and last month they were eventually barred from being used.

 
Despite my limited results for sport-specific kiosks, it can’t be denied that kiosks have transformed the way we purchase tickets for sporting and other events. Although I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like if the 2014 World Cup tickets, which went on sale this week, were available via a ticket kiosk.

 

 

One of Slabb's ticketing kiosks

One of Slabb’s ticketing kiosks

Ticket printing kiosks have become one of the most popular applications of self-service technology. Staffing a window gets expensive, especially after hours, and nothing is more of a turnoff to patrons than a long line at a manned ticket booth. These kiosks can and are usually used to create multiple points of purchase, resulting in a sound crowd management strategy, which nicely complements online purchase options as well. Sometimes just seeing a ticket kiosk is an incentive to purchase when you’re out and about, because it’s accessible and quick.

 
At their most simple, these kiosks are designed to take money and give tickets, and usually consist of:

 
• A kiosk body – usually freestanding but wall mount kiosks can be used as well
• A ticket dispenser or printer
• Payment acceptor options – Credit Card Reader, Cash Acceptor, Coin Acceptor, and very rarely a Change Dispenser.

 

 

Slabb's X6 Kiosk is also a great ticketing option

Slabb’s X6 Kiosk is also a great ticketing option

Additional features might include:
• A keyboard + trackball when customers’ details are required (touch screen input for large amounts of data can be tiresome for users, especially those who are used to a keyboard for data entry)
• A secondary overhead monitor can be used to advertise the new showing at a cinema, food specials, upcoming games/events or recent scores
• A barcode or QR Scanner to work with printed offers and mobile devices

 
As is the case with most kiosk applications balancing desired features with specificity and ease of use is most important. For more information on ticketing kiosks, click here.

Access to the World via Public Internet Kiosks

We originally published this blog on August 22, 2013, but wanted to share an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal this week about Google’s plans ” to spend $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions of the world.” It’s another step forward in providing internet access to the world. Read the full article, Google Invests in Satellites to Spread Internet Access.

 

We also recently rewrote this article for our blog on KioskMarketplace.com. We added some additional insight. Check it out here.

 

“Today, the internet isn’t accessible for two thirds of the world. Imagine a world where it connects us all.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement about his initiative to bring internet access to everyone seems like a mammoth, almost unrealistic task. Is it doable? Only time will tell. Today, only 2.7 billion of the world’s 7 billion or so inhabitants currently have access to the internet with internet adoption at less than 9% annually. If this feat is achieved, the next step would be accessibility to enabling devices.
In a release from internet.org, the partnership that was created to make this initiative a reality, stated that, “Potential projects include collaborations to develop lower cost, higher quality smartphones and partnerships to more broadly deploy internet access in underserved communities. Mobile operators will play a central role in this effort by driving initiatives that benefit the entire ecosystem.”

 

 

Slabb's X5 model can be utilized as a public internet kiosk

Slabb’s X5 model can be utilized as a public internet kiosk

But other options could also be considered, including the feasibility of public internet kiosks, especially for those that can’t afford or choose not to use other devices, even if they are competitively priced. Public internet kiosks are usually used by businesses and are capable of bringing cutting-edge technology to customers while improving their sales experience. Imagine if private companies or government are able to make these accessible to users that otherwise could not access the internet.
‘Helping businesses drive access,’ is one of the three challenges that the partnership would address, “Partners will support development of sustainable new business models and services that make it easier for people to access the internet. This includes testing new models that align incentives for mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide more affordable access than has previously been possible. Other efforts will focus on localizing services – working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile devices. ”
Both the hardware and software for public internet kiosks can be customized or standard, and would be made for heavy usage and ruggedized in order to accommodate the demands of heavy traffic. It would definitely provide an alternative solution.

 

 
Learn more about public internet kiosks.

 

 

Providing Reliable Public Internet Kiosks

Fifteen years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a future world so intimately connected by the internet as we are today; fifteen years from now, it may be hard to imagine a past that was not. As internet use grows, it may begin to be perceived as a right, rather than a privilege. Indeed, the European Union conducted parliamentary discussions on “the right to internet” and countries such as Ghana and New Zealand have invested in projects to make broadband internet connections available countrywide. As internet access continues to spread, so do user-access points around the world.

 

 

Slabb's X6 Kiosk

Slabb’s X6 Kiosk

Public internet kiosks have become more prolific. Once manufactured with secure yet ruggedized features, they become ideal for indelicate use in a public environment. It is a great option for businesses seeking to make the internet publicly accessible to their patrons.

 

 

Just as important, are the software solutions needed to make a public internet kiosk effective and user-friendly. It should have the ability to manage transactions, prevent unauthorized system access, enable remote system management, update the owner/administrator of the system’s status, and interface with other transactional components. Customized software applications can also be built to suit the environment in which the kiosk will be used.

 

 

Fast, reliable, user-friendly, publicly accessible internet kiosks have certainly become more and more abundant as broadband access expands. Despite the reduction in the prices of computer desktops, laptops and smartphones as well as internet packages, some users are still dependent on public internet kiosks.

 

 

Having sold thousands of outdoor public internet kiosks and tens of thousands of interior kiosks over the past ten years, we are well-positioned to supply the broadband-connected world with ever more end-user points of access. Stylish and secure, we work to design a product that will not only meet the needs of the business owner of the kiosk, but to meet the needs of the end-users as well. We can custom-design a public internet kiosk that will meet nearly any requirements. Colors, styles, software applications, ruggedized keyboards and trackballs, touch screen overlays, display screens, logo applications – all of these elements can be customized to fit the environment and the expectations of the patrons who will use the product. We even offer optional extras such as a travel case, brochure holders, insert card readers, and wireless kits.

 

 

For more information, or to find out how to order a public internet kiosk, visit www.slabbkiosks.com.

The Ultimate Marketing Tool – Interactive Digital Signage

Digital signage solutions are increasingly critical for effective in-store advertising. Nothing grabs a consumer’s attention like a moving, flashing digital sign, running on the latest in high-definition (HD) flat-screen display technology. Static signs are rapidly falling into obsolescence, and to ignore this is to deny your company a prime marketing and branding opportunity.
It is the ultimate marketing tool. But what if, in addition to the moving, vivid images that depict your product’s features and benefits, customers could also input data to access additional information, or stop and manipulate the image for a more in-depth look? Enter Interactive Digital Signage (IDS). IDS provides users with a platform that facilitates easy navigation, using touch screen technology, to find information or input data. The signage therefore is more than just a static sign or moving image, it becomes a tool that customers can manipulate to find the information they need. The technology allows versatility across multiple industries for an enhanced user experience.
A perfect example of the use of this technology is the Entel Mobile Showroom. Entel, a Chilean cell phone carrier, equipped two of their showrooms with with MultiTaction cells allowing customers to browse product lines, review sales and promotions, view 3D imaging of phones and do side-by-side comparison of products. You can see it in action here.

 

Interactive Digital Signage features include searchable directories and wayfinding tools, games, on-screen registration and advanced surveys. It offers a unique way of not only marketing products but interacting with customers at the same time. The touch screen technology is usually developed for increased usage, so that it withstands the test of time.

 

The concept of an interactive customer experience sounds easy enough, but before deploying IDS solutions businesses should remember that it is about the CUSTOMER i.e., the user experience – from the positioning of signage, its location in the store or business place, to software solutions that are easy to use. All of these elements should be supported by the hardware that is chosen. Businesses should consult with an expert provider of  digital signage solutions to ensure the success of any digital signage rollout.

 

Slabb's X10 Digital Signage

Slabb’s X10 Digital Signage

We entered the digital signage industry in 2002, just around the same time we started manufacturing kiosks and have kept abreast of the changes in technology over the years. Because we are known for our kiosk solutions, customers often forget that we can also provide interactive digital signage solutions.

 

We offer a full line of fully-modular digital signage hardware that come in four different configurations:

 

Display Only – This solution consists of an LCD monitor encased in a ruggedized steel enclosure with protective glass in front. There are no external buttons or cables which provides a sleek, finished look.

 

Display and Touch – This solution also comes housed in ruggedized steel and has a protective glass front. However, there is a special anti-vandal touch screen in front of the glass panel.

 

Display, Touch, and PC – In addition to the elements that come with the solutions above, the Display, Touch and PC solution also comes with a small personal computer concealed within its ruggedized housing. This adds a slight bulge to the unit’s form factor, which is ordinarily quite sleek.

 

Display and PC – Similar to the solution above except that it does not have the anti-vandal touch screen.

 

Slabb's Q5 Digital Signage

Slabb’s Q5 Digital Signage

Our digital signage solutions come in a variety of different dimensions and configurations, ranging from horizontal widescreen-style shapes (similar in appearance to consumer HDTVs), to vertical menu-style shapes (which resemble consumer HDTVs turned on their sides, so that their widest dimensions run up and down, rather than left and right). Every solution comes mounted on a pair of stylish steel poles, making the signs an attractive addition to any lobby, counter or office space.

 

For more information visit www.slabbkiosks.com, or call +1 702 208 9212.

Bill payment kiosks are improving customer service.

Bill payment kiosks are improving customer service for businesses, worldwide.

tn_X6-Trans 5The bill payment kiosk is revolutionizing the way major corporations operate their daily transactions between customers. A bill payment kiosk is an intelligent access computer with hardware installed into retail outlets, allowing a “self-serve” approach for clients. This method of store-to-customer interaction is reducing lines, decreasing wait times and allows a business to train employees with the information necessary to improve customer service. This includes important service support such as conflict resolution and product knowledge. The bill payment kiosk is an advantageous installation to any prominent service-based corporation such as banks and cable companies.

Benefits of a Bill Payment Kiosk in Business:

Line Reduction

A long line up is a major deterrent to potential customers. A prospect that walks into a store and is faced with a long line will not likely wait to be informed of the company’s products and services. For current customers, long lines are frustrating, especially when the client has only come in to pay his/her bill. By installing a bill payment kiosk, the line up will be reduced, leaving only new prospects, customers purchasing new products or services or clients in need of support. Staff also benefit when lines are reduced as it allows them to focus and dedicate more time to each customer.

Thorough Staff Training Process

Cash handling and the associated process of paying a bill, can consume a lot of training time that could otherwise be devoted to focusing on core business values, such as conflict resolution and product training. After employees receive their basic cash handling training, the company can provide them with thorough induction about the company’s history, philosophy, mission, vision and values as well as detailed information on products and services that will assist them in providing consistent service to customers. Higher service levels will improve customers’ perception of the company as caring and client focused. A bill payment kiosk has the potential to enhance the overall way a business operates and how it is viewed by customers and prospects alike.

Increased Options for Customers

Options are everything in business and a bill payment kiosk adds options for customers. A client who knows they can pay their bill quickly, on their way to or from work, without lining up, or being delayed by trainee employees, will likely select the service based on having this alternative. The same customer may one day need the counter staff to discuss service upgrades, exchange or buy products and pay their bill at the same time. A bill payment kiosk adds the freedom of choice.

Any company can advertise a bill payment kiosk as a feature to their service. With the rise in ATM machines, self-serve fueling and grocery store check-outs, customers appreciate the ability to pay for their products and services in a fast and convenient method. A bill payment kiosk can improve business through increased efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.