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Kiosks – Ringing in a New Age

Interactive Displays & Digital Signs and consumers’ personal handheld devices (including smartphones and tablets) have been steadily converging with kiosks and increasingly changing the market’s landscape.  These devices have caused kiosk vendors to rethink and re-engineer their traditional applications such as product/service information lookup and wayfinding, particularly for consumer-facing organizations. While these applications continue to be popular, organizations are constantly looking for solutions that effectively align with and engage their increasingly technology-savvy consumer base, enhance their in-store experience and improved customer loyalty. Kiosk suppliers are responding to this increased convergence by:

- Enhancing the software solutions set for self-service kiosks – Kiosk suppliers are leveraging relationships with ISVs and SIs to capitalize on the boon of application development in the mobile device and digital signage markets as a means to extend their own platforms. Popular applications include:

    o Smartphone applications (e.g.: RedBox mobile)

    o Online portals (e.g.:  JC Penney’s “Endless Aisle”, Toys ‘r’ Us “Wish List”, Coinstar “Face Cube”)

- Leveraging the same user experiences as some of these next-generation devices - User experience is not just about flashy imagery and music anymore … it’s more interactive.  Retailers are increasingly demanding multi-touch capabilities, particularly for kiosks and digital signage solutions, leveraging the same type of interface many consumers already use. The enhanced capabilities are enabling retailers to further interact with their customers as well as create new sales and marketing opportunities. Examples include Beyond Kiosks & iBracket (build kiosk enclosures for iPads) and IN Media (recently launched IPTV technology based HD kiosk running on an Android platform).

How is the growing surge in tablet sales expected to impact the market for traditional kiosks? Are dynamic software solutions that enable seamless in-store and cross-channel technology integration a must-have for end-users today?  We expect to answer these questions and learn more trends in our coverage of the Kiosk market as a part of the 2011 Customer Engagement Technologies Market Intelligence Service (CET). Stay tuned.

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