From museum exhibits, trade shows to shopping malls and visitor centers, multimedia kiosks can be very expensive to implement and maintain. Fortunately, there is a new solution available that utilizes an iPad, a cleverly designed kiosk enclosure and accompanying software. This new solution substantially lowers the cost of the Multimedia Kiosk by reducing the number of required components to two–an iPad and an enclosure. Traditionally, a multimedia kiosk requires most of the following components: enclosure, computer, touch screen monitor, communication device and UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply). The iPad already incorporates the computer, the touch screen, three communication devices (Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G) and an internal battery that works as a UPS when a power failure occurs. Since the number of components is reduced, hardware and maintenance costs are reduced.
We had the opportunity to evaluate this new kiosk solution in the form of a countertop iPad Kiosk enclosure and the KioskPro application offered by beyondKiosks.com. The enclosure’s front bezel is made from a heavy-duty Kydex body; however, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G radio frequencies are capable of traveling through this material. The body and base of the kiosk enclosure are made from heavy-duty, powder-coated steel. The front bezel restricts the use of the iPad’s home button, volume control and power button. The kiosk technician can access the volume control and power button by using hidden holes located on the frame of the front bezel.
The kiosk feels sturdy, very well made, and solid. It is an elegant and professional looking enclosure. It invites the user to approach the unit and interact with the software loaded on the iPad. The iPad kiosk is available in countertop, wall mount, and freestanding versions. They all look stunning.
The software “KioskPro” that came pre-installed with the demo unit and available through the App Store offers a set of tools that turns an iPad into a kiosk capable of being maintained remotely. The KioskPro app is a Safari browser-based program that can access web pages and media remotely or from local files stored on the iPad. Web sites can run full screen with no navigation, no status bars, and without Google search fields. An idle timer can be set to allow the kiosk to return to the start page if it detects no user activity.KioskPro allows the deployment of global settings among multiple kiosks in different locations by using an external settings file.KioskPro can also notify you immediately of a power loss by sending an email specifying which kiosk is in trouble. KioskPro is available in Pro and Lite versions.
The following is a summary of some of the features of the Pro version: The kiosk software supports landscape and portrait modes and allows you to enable or disable the following features: Google search field, sleep mode, address bar, navigation buttons and the standard iPad zoom and pinch modes. Additionally, it can be configured to limit the amount of time a user can spend using the kiosk. There is an option to enter a white list for allowable domains. The software can be configured to send an email on power supply loss and recovery. KioskPro uses an external XML file to change global settings, allowing for great flexibility and ease of maintenance by allowing settings to be changed remotely. The program is able to store and view web pages and media files directly from the iPad.
I recommend this bright and professionally executed kiosk solution for your next kiosk project. For more information access the links below: