Multimedia Kiosks - What's it all About?
What is a Multimedia Kiosk?
A multimedia kiosks is a computer terminal for public usage which can perform multi functional services with multiple media applications. Therefore a multimedia kiosk can deliver visual information in the for of text and images, audio which might include music, talking, or sound effects and it can also show videos.
As the name suggests a multimedia kiosks enable the kiosk to utilise a number of media applications.
Who Uses Multimedia Kiosks?
Multimedia kiosks are generally placed in a public place where people can access the information that the kiosk contains. In today's society with the Internet generation, a multimedia kiosk is the ideal way to information across to young people quickly, easily and effectively.
Where you might find a Multimedia Kiosks…
Self-service kiosks in Supermarkets
These kiosks talk, and show moving images and well as still images and text.
These can show videos and text information as well as interactive quiz's.
Shows images and plays audio and allows users to download music.
Why Multimedia Kiosks are Used?
Multimedia Kiosks are brilliant for delivering information in a fun and exciting way. Reading text can be very dull and long spells of text information can be very monotonous.
A picture can speak a thousand words – so the says goes. So to have a multimedia kiosk with images can convey the message much quicker than text alone. Additionally, images and photo are a universal language that everyone can understand.
A multimedia that has audio and video is a great tool for people who are disabled, dyslexic, or have hearing or visual problems.
For most of us we enjoy the delivery of our information in a multimedia way because with television and the Internet, this is how we are used to receiving information.
Radio and Media Kiosks
If you work in the media you will know how important it is to gather the opinions of the general public to help report the events. Gathering information isn’t always easy and at times can take a long while as information is recorded in text form, filmed or recorded with audio equipment. A multimedia enabled media kiosk can speed up the process and can capture information in multiple formats.
How the Media Kiosk works...
The multimedia-enabled kiosk is taken to where the information or data is to be collected - a busy high street maybe. The busier the location, the bigger the sample of recordings will be. The kiosks then need to be erected. The kiosks are mounted on large stands that can be set up in ten minutes or so, including safety checks. The kiosks can also be supplied with ‘Phone booth’ type portable boxes, which offer some soundproofing, and privacy for the kiosk user.
The kiosks would then need to be set to collect the information, this might mean that a survey or a few short questions are programmed into the machine. You would also need to specify which mediums you would like to use to record the results – Text, Video or Audio. The kiosk is now ready for the public to use.
The kiosk will display some information to say what is about to happen and what the information is being collected for, as well as stating that the kiosk owners will own the copyrights to all material collected by the kiosks. This information will appear visually as well as via audio.
Members of the public should be invited and ushered to the kiosk to leave their feedback.
With Internet networking becoming more popular, the public are comfortable and receptive to using multimedia enabled touch screen media kiosks, and are happy to leave they comments in either video, audio or plain text formats.
Furthermore the kiosks are able to gather responses in a private way, which means that users leave more honest and frank feedback because they feel that they are anonymous. This is particularly useful if you are collecting information about subjects of a delicate nature.
Media Kiosks can not only collect thoughts and responses, but are also able to collect Music request, dedications, and messages for radio stations. And because the media kiosk booth is large and eye-catching, the public comes over for a closer look, which in turn results in more information being collected.
Media kiosks could also be used at large events such as concerts, graduation days and weddings for guests to leave video messages to their hosts. The video messages all in digital format could later be written to DVD for later viewing. Alternatively the video could be uploaded to a Blog or Facebook.
The Technical Benefits of the Media Kiosk...
The information can be stored on the kiosk for analysis or usage later on, or the information can be accessed straight away. Not only can the information be access immediately, but also it can be accessed remotely by a computer back at the studio, for example. So as the kiosks are collecting radio dedications and requests, they can be played on the radio in moments.
Want a Multimedia Kiosks?
With multimedia kiosks becoming more and more popular in retail and as information points in public places, Kiosk manufacturers are becoming more numerous. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and manufacturer and supply multimedia kiosks, and its hardly surprising considering their new-found popularity. However, not all kiosks manufacturers will have the same kiosk experience and expertise as other kiosk manufacturers, so how can you tell which kiosk supplier is the best company for the job?
Read The Guide to Kiosk Manufacturers for more help on choosing the right company to work with.
A Guide to Kiosk Manufacturers
With touch screen kiosks becoming more and more popular in retail and as information points in public places, Kiosk manufacturers are becoming more numerous. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and manufacturer and supply touch screen kiosks, and its hardly surprising considering their new-found popularity. However, not all kiosks manufacturers will have the same kiosk experience and expertise as other kiosk manufacturers, so how can you tell which kiosk supplier is the best company for the job?
As with anything, one of the best ways to tell if a Kiosk manufacturer is going to provide you with a good and serviceable kiosk is to as for references or testimonies from previous customers. With most companies now having an Internet presence, it is relatively easy to find reviews and references of a business or company. Good companies will have testimonies featured on their own websites for everyone to read they may even feature case studies of previous projects they have worked on with other clients. Reading this information will give you an idea of what their capabilities.
However you can also find consumer review written on review websites or forums. ‘The Review Centre’ is an excellent website for reading and posting reviews of companies. Remember it does pay to do your research, you don’t want to be dealing with a company who won’t deliver the kiosk to suit your individual needs.
Have a look at their previous and current Clients. Again websites usually feature this information on their website, or will be happy to tell you if you ask them. If they have worked with some big brands, it probably means that they won a tender for the contract. This may reassure you to know that the company was chosen by a known brand to supply their kiosks. Also, see if the kiosk manufacturer has worked with organisations which sell similar products or services. Alternatively for public services see which organisations such as councils, police service or NHS the company has worked with previously.
Get to know the Kiosk manufacturer’s products and have a good look at their website to see what kiosk product designs they currently have on offer. If they have a few kiosk models and numerous kiosk software applications, this is a good indication that they have been producing kiosks for a while and have gained experience of how to design a robust and serviceable kiosk. Kiosk manufacturers will often be able to provide additional features for their kiosks such as privacy filters, keyboard, telephones and printers.
If you are looking for a bespoke kiosk and want to have a lot of involvement with the design of the kiosk, is it better to choose a company to work with who is able to meet with you on a regular basis. Having access to the kiosk manufacture will enable you to keep a close eye on developments. This ensures that you get the kiosk that you want, because you are at the front of the decision making every step of the way.
Most kiosk project have a software as well as a hardware element and you will find that some kiosk manufacturers specialise in provide a complete solution. Don’t forget the true cost of a kiosk project will include the time for project management, internet access and any training required for end users or administrators.
Once installed you will want your kiosk system to continue to provide value and use for your users for many years to come and this will be helped by the kiosk manufacturer offering ongoing support and maintenance. Remote monitoring is a great advantage if offered as is remote fault fixes or software updates as required.
Before selecting the kiosk manufacturer you wish to work with spend some time thinking about the issues mentioned but also about what you are trying to get from the kiosk and how the kiosk manufacturer will work with you to achieve your goals.
Because Touchscreen Kiosks Are Ideal For Interactive Media
Interactive touch screens are ideal for use on touch screen kiosks and information points, because it allows users to navigate through the content kiosk by simply touching the screen - what could be simpler?
The kiosks are data points that are often in the public sphere and therefore must be durable and withstand high traffic use. Because the general public includes all shows should be very easy to use and easy to use, for the computer novice can access information as easily as a child computer genius, so that the touch screen is perfect for use with kiosks.
Due to the nature of flat-screen kiosks, interactive "buttons" on-screen virtual buttons, rather than using a physical keyboard. The software runs on the kiosk recognizes parts of the screen as buttons that activate other features. The monitor can contain as many buttons as are needed. Because there are no mechanical keys to the press, it means there is less material on the machine that could be damaged in daily use and abuse. Therefore, the flat-screen kiosks save money because they have fewer mechanical inputs that can be vandalized or misused.
The lack of a keyboard on a flat screen kiosk means that the machine is easier than other stands. Great if you want a seat on the wall or if you do not have much space to accommodate a compact counter, freestanding.
If you find later that you need an extra button on your application, a flat-screen kiosk software can be relatively easily modified to include more buttons. This would not be possible if a limited number of hardware buttons available, and will probably be replaced by a unit of a kiosk that provides more keys, or greater flexibility.
When the touch screen kiosk software is developed, designed in a simple way, which assumes that the user has no experience in computer technology. Touch screen buttons are big and bold and makes clear what will happen if the user presses the button. The screens are kept tidy with minimal text both to continue using the machine to its simplest form itself. It also includes screen panels and invited him to help new users find their way around information and access to areas that are of most interest to them.
Because of a touch screen kiosk requires less material, they can be done in a form portable, ideal for groups, clubs or meetings. The portable booth can contain all the same software as a kiosk-sized, but it has the advantage of mobility, so it can be for users.
Touch screen devices are becoming a familiar place in everyday life mobile phones now use touch screens and touch-screen EPOS systems now available in many supermarket customers.
However, there is a limit to how easy it is to a button using the touch screen keyboard will be compared to having a real physical keyboard. For people with difficulties to specialist physical keyboards are available with brailed letters on the keys. While some work can be done with contrasting colours and large buttons on the screen, for some, a physical keyboard is the only practical option.
At the time of writing, new technologies are seen on the market, by which a user can interact with the kiosk by simple arm or hand movements and one can assume that this is a matter of time before this technology will be displayed on the touch screen kiosks as well.
Who are Kiosks4Business?
As an operating division of Sequoia Technology Limited, a small to medium sized business based in Reading, kiosks4business was created to public access computing solutions for local authorities and public organisations. We have built and installed Parent Information Point systems in more than 15 councils across the UK and hundreds of other systems into automotive dealerships and other applications.
Our products are installed in many councils including: Bournemouth, Cumbria, Flintshire, Kirklees, Wrexham, Oldham and many others. Many are keen to act as referees of our products and services, and we'll happily put you in touch with them if you require this.
If you would like to find out more about how kiosks4business systems can help you deliver your services then please call us today on 0845 451 2020 or visit our website - www.Kiosks4Business.com
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