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More from the floor of Self Service Expo
ARCATECH SYSTEMS announced the addition of two new PIN pads and a high-end check scanner, filling out the company's suite of kiosk-specific products. The company's current lineup includes PCI-PED-approved Interac PIN pads and check scanners that handle multiple documents and allow kiosk owners to capitalize on Check 21/remote capture. The company also provides cash and coin dispensers specifically designed for kiosks.
 
D2 SALES, known best for custom enclosures, is expanding its work with turnkey kiosks. At the show was D2's digital signage unit, which is being deployed at malls operated by General Growth Properties, the second-largest mall builder. About 2,500 of the screens, each of which can be fitted with a different fascia, are going into the malls. Also in the booth was the MyPatient Express, a patient-services kiosk more than two years in the making and rolling out rapidly across hospitals and clinic groups. The kiosk was a finalist in the Self Service Excellence Awards.
 
DT RESEARCH released its Rugged Fixed-Mount Tablet at the show. Geared toward industrial applications, the kiosk/digital sign can be mounted in emergency vehicles, forklifts, warehouses and watercrafts and programmed for companies' specific business processes. Also on the floor: its popular DS1500 and DS1700 digital screens ready for demonstration. At the booth the screens were equipped with the ShoptoCook application, which helps shoppers match recipes with in-store items.
 
HP is offering self-service kiosks that are individually designed to meet the needs of business customers. The kiosks offer a variety of functions, such as order entry, ticketing, bill payment, check-in, maps and directions, or human resource applications.
 
MEDIATILE had a large booth in The Digital Signage Show, a co-located show operated by the owner of KioskCom, and a presence at the IBM booth. The cellular digital signage provider exhibited its Kiosk-in-a-Box Marquee Edition solution, which combines a large digital signage display with an IBM Anyplace kiosk. The system is available in MediaTile's "Tusk" display enclosure, which gives the display a very modern look.
 
"The attract loop on the top screen brings people in, and then the kiosk experience is down below on the bottom screen," said Keith Kelsen, CEO of MediaTile. "Our new Kiosk-in-a-Box delivers the same breakthrough in the kiosk market that our Digital-Sign-in-a-Box system brought to the digital signage industry — a fully integrated solution that can easily be deployed and operated by simply adding power."
 
The biggest advantage of the Kiosk-in-a-Box is that there is no extensive set-up, software licensing or cabling. If the deployer should choose to connect the kiosk to a network, it can be done through MediaTile's cellular connectivity.
 
MEI showed its new cash recycler, the Cashflow BNR, which will be available for purchase this summer. It makes accepting bills easier and less expensive by accepting four denominations, not the usual three. (Most deployers prefer ones, fives, tens and twenties.) In addition, to prevent costly replenishment runs, the acceptor maintains a reserve of ones. To help develop the right mix of cash-acceptance capacity, MEI contracted with college students to watch over spending habits at c-stores. They provided more that 250,000 data points, according to spokesman Alec Shekhar.
 
NETKEY, a provider of applications, management software and turnkey solutions for kiosks and digital signs, was a co-creator of the EyeSite Kiosk, which won three Self Service Excellence Awards. At the show, the company announced a partnership with HP to help develop self-service projects for the computer giant.
 
NEXTEP SYSTEMS, a provider of customer self-order solutions to the QSR, fast casual, concessions and casino markets, displayed its Deli Express Kiosk, an application used by Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace chain, home to some of Michigan's highest volume deli counters.
 
Deli Express allows customers to order deli meats and cheeses from a touchscreen kiosk when they first enter the store. Customers continue with their shopping and pick up their deli orders about 10 minutes later. Customers also have the option of receiving a text message on their mobile phone when their order is ready.
 
PLANAR EMBEDDED showed its kiosk side with a line-up of embedded hardware for use in kiosks. All of Planar's screens for kiosks are touch-enabled, and both open-frame and enclosed models were on display.
 
Many deployers move toward financial services or cash-accepting kiosks without fully considering the necessary backroom management. So says Gloria Grand, who represented PDNB at the show. The company offers complete services, including customized solutions, payment settlement and vault cash.
 
PRACTICAL AUTOMATION showed a new printer that can be mounted at right angles to kiosks, saving space for deployers. Full release of the product is expected soon.
 
PRO-TECH displayed a new height-adjustable pedestal made of stainless steel and raised and lowered by an accentuator (a corkscrew-style lift). The pedestal can be used for ADA compliance or at truck-stop fuel stations where various sizes of rigs pull up for gas. A subway system in Europe will deploy them soon.
 
Software-security provider PROVISIO demonstrated its SiteKiosk 6 software, designed for protecting public-access terminals. SiteKiosk 6 protects kiosks from computer vandalism and provides remote-management functionality, while at the same time securing systems with virus protection and automatic logouts. The new software is Vista compatible.
 
PROVISION gained a lot of attention at the show for its holographic displays, which make images seem like they are floating from the screen. Holovision currently is being used for interactive POS advertising, in-store retail networks, transaction kiosk and trade show displays.
 
At the show, the Holovsion was integrated into two different kiosks: the Mini 3DEO Rewards Center kiosk, targeted to the grocery store market channel, and the stand-alone Google merchandising kiosk.  
Representatives from RHOMBUS SERVICES were on hand to discuss the company's digital signage service and maintenance plans. In 2007, Rhombus was commissioned by Borders and RippleTV to install screens and do site surveys for them in 80 Borders locations in 10 days.
 
The company also installed 1,900 paint-selection kiosks, designed by 5point, for Behr paints in Home Depots from October 2006 to April 2007.
 
Both the Swanson Services Corp. Cobra Kiosk and the Alltel Wireless bill payment kiosks, housed at the SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES booth, were finalists at this year's Self Service Excellence Awards.
 
Source Technologies also announced that it has opened an office in London. "This was a critical move for Source Tech's long term growth," said Bill Lynch, Source Technologies' vice president of strategic development.
 
TOUCHMATE showed three kiosks it has developed as a result of a recently announced relationship with Par Technologies, with Par providing the electronic innards for TouchMate's boxes. The first two deployments initially will involve ticketing applications, with additional uses being considered.

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