Kiosk applications and other self-service systems are rapidly growing business areas. Internet connectivity, a greater variety of interface equipment, and prices that continue to drop enable the cost-effective deployment of an ever-widening array of applications. Hardware is available for a broad spectrum of requirements. Vendors such as NCR and 5point can meet almost any need.
Kiosk Software application development is relatively straightforward. Many kiosk applications now use an ordinary PC attached to various accessible interface equipment such as touchscreens, card readers, special keyboards, and trackballs. Equipment and kiosks can be purchased for either indoor or outdoor usage; outdoor equipment is noticeably more expensive. Outdoor kiosks have special needs due to weather, water, and sunlight.
Usually, either .NET or Java is used as an application language. The operating system is either Linux or Windows XP. Kiosk applications can be specialized website programs or more traditional client applications. There are special security programs for controlling access and monitoring the kiosks, such as Kioware. These programs prevent access to the computer or any application other than those expressly permitted. Touchscreen applications are much like any other, except the interface elements typically have to be much larger. This can be incredibly challenging when working with spreadsheets like programs or interfaces. Most interface hardware available today has a well-defined software API and can usually interact seamlessly with the programming.
Unidev recently completed two separate kiosk applications. One application allowed visitors to search an extensive database of products and images to obtain detailed information about the products and pricing. The vendor can interact with all potential customers by automatically providing this information round the clock, even when salespeople are unavailable. The other application provides an automated method for filling out and validating data entry forms by customers. This application saves a considerable amount of labor and ensures the data is correctly filled out and validated while the customer is on-site, saving substantial rework. Both of these applications communicate with a central server to obtain code and data updates, send report information to the server, and monitor. The server applications provide a central data collection point for management reports.
Self-service kiosks have proven to be a cost-effective tool for labor savings and improving customer service levels. Contact our team if you have questions about application development!