With the Internet of Things in full swing, one area of smart technology where integrators will find increased opportunity is the smart kiosk. Using touch screens and internet connectivity, smart kiosks allow users to ask questions, find out what is new and what is happening in a given location, and find directions to services like restaurants and other points of interest. Smart kiosks just make sense. Let’s take a look at the areas where there’s the most opportunity for growth.
Who’s Getting Smart?
Smart kiosks offer real-time information like upcoming events and wayfinding, with messages that can be easily changed remotely and often. For this reason, real-life applications are cropping up anywhere you might find larger groups of people gathering or moving about.
There is a big opportunity here. Wayfinding, what’s happening in the neighborhood, just a place to plug in your phone for a few minutes and learn about the local points of interest – that is a taste of the value added by smart kiosks strategically located in cities. Tourists and residents alike can benefit from this kind of gathering place and point of information gathering.
Smaller cities are looking at smart kiosks as well. In Aurora, Illinois city officials are considering installation of smart kiosks in the downtown area, with little to no outlay from the local government.
As interest and demand increase, integrators will be needed to put all the infrastructure pieces together and make smart kiosks work for towns and cities of every size.
For some university students, the next school year starts with the addition of smart kiosks. CityPosts as digital bulletin boards are becoming more and more common on university campuses. The kiosks might be described as “giant smartphones,” where students can click on the user-friendly screen to learn about what’s happening on and off campus.
Universities are centers of diversity. Now students from around the globe can come utilize these smart kiosks, where information is translated into 9 different languages. And for anyone reluctant to ask for assistance or directions, smart kiosks remove that social barrier.
Business applications for smart kiosks begin with simplifying and streamlining the sale process. Whether it’s ordering a sandwich at a mini-mart, or checking out the description and availability of the dresses you’re considering at the boutique, touch screen and internet-enabled kiosks are helping you make buying decisions.
Smart kiosks can be part of a broader retail strategy that includes using cameras to map hotspots and dead zones in the store footprint, and interactive signage to make customers aware of promotions or provide added information on potential purchases.
Applications for healthcare settings, as well as large corporate campuses are also areas where integrators can find ample opportunity to serve clients.
When considering these smart technologies, security and privacy remain concerns that integrators should be aware of. Not everyone is happy, for instance, about the installation of kiosks in London. Kiosks that are free to the public and not paid for with tax dollars means data collection is the currency that makes these projects work. But the future is here, and integrators can be on the front lines of helping clients navigate the questions around data mining, security, and privacy.
Smart kiosks are here, and they represent a bold move forward in an IoT world. As smart kiosks are being used to connect with citizens, consumers, and students, integrators can be at the forefront of this connectivity.