Continued coverage of Self Service Expo
More than 160 companies were part of Self Service Expo 2007. Because of the impressive amount of exhibitors, Kiosk Marketplace was forced to continue its extensive show coverage.
 
To read about the featured exhibitors, click here.
 
Listed below are many of the exhibitors, listed alphabetically as Hardware, Software or Total Solutions providers and deployers.
 
HARDWARE PROVIDERS
 
The MicroTouch DST and MicroTouch M150HB were 3M TOUCH SYSTEMS products on display. The DST is designed for digital signage applications and features "touch position" technologies, which calculates a finger's touchpoint when its interrupts an optical field, infrared light beam or acoustic wave. The M150HB excels in high ambient light environments where standard displays could wash out.
 
FIVEPOINT displayed its latest line of kiosk enclosures, labeled the Aspect series, all equipped with a wide array of modular features and an industrial design with a more modern look. The Aspect Series includes the Aspect and the Aspect Lite. The Aspect may be used indoors or outdoors as a freestanding unit or freestanding unit with a canopy, or may be mounted in a thru-the-wall configuration. The Lite is desgined specifically for thru-the-wall configurations.
 
Featuring a billpay/transaction kiosk as well as custom kiosk hardware and software is ALLKIOSK.COM. This company's kiosk line is customizable and modular.
 
ARCATECH SYSTEMS displayed a wide array of currency, coin, check and document scanning components. The company is a supplier of components to the retail and financial marketplaces.
 
CASIO INC. brought its all-wood kiosk enclosure to the show. Made from oak, this kiosk is designed for high-end applications that prefer not to use metal for the deployment.
 
COIN FREE displayed its Basic Unattended Micro-Payment system (BUMP), a debit/credit card acceptor which may be attached to amusement games. Coin Free also displayed The House, a central receiving station which wirelessly collects payment information from any BUMP system deployed.
 
CUSTOM ENGINEERING came to Self Service Expo with an array of dedicated printers and printing solutions designed for kiosks.
 
D2 SALES presented its line of Brand Builder kiosks. D2 focuses on highly branded, custom-designed kiosks which are configurable and appropriate for indoor/outdoor use. Among its offerings was a kiosk incorporated into a faux tree.
 
DFI TECHNOLOGIES introduced its 15- and 19-inch VS Series of computers, which are available in either a low-power, low-heat option or a high-performance, dual core platform. The system may be configured with an optional touchscreen and up to 2GB of memory.
 
ELO TOUCHSYSTEMS displayed in acoustic pulse recognition technology which, said Geoffrey Brown, Elo's global director of product management, is ideal for outdoor kiosk applications and harsher environments. The system uses sound waves to register and follow a person's touch on the screen as they interact with the advertising or information.
 
Norwegian company EWAIT featured its line of communications terminals for wall or counter mounts, as well as terminal or table installations. Each is available with a configurable PC.  is WiFi- and BlueTooth-enabled and is equipped with a credit card reader.
 
EZSCREEN debuted the Wavelength, its line of weather-proof infrared touchscreens. Available in sizes ranging from 8.4-to 50-inch the Wavelength, according to the company, is "the most rugged touchscreen available in the industry." It features full sunlight operability, no-drift performance. It is scratch proof, water resistant and will remain operational in temperatures ranging from minus 42 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
FELIX GROUP PLC (dba Felix Corp.) and CREDITCALL CORP. showed off the Max Box deployment. Read about the Max Box.
 
Displayed in the FLEXTRONICS booth was the Smart Auto Management (SAM) kiosk, which was a nominee in the Best New Innovation in a Kiosk Deployment category. The SAM enables car owners to have their 1996 or newer car analyzed for any problems in roughly 10 minutes for $10. The SAM analyzes over 2,000 vehicle fault codes, reveals the severity of any problems and provides any equipment or vehicle recalls. The SAM is equipped with a credit card reader and thermal printer. Flextronics' manufacturing partner Parata featured the latest in automated prescription pill dispensers.
 
GTT CO. LTD. unveiled a new glass bonding technology which improves the contrast of digital signage and allows a wider viewing cone.
 
Featuring a line of stainless or painted steel kiosk enclosures with laser cut backlit signage suitable for indoor or outdoor applications was HERITAGE INDUSTRIES. A first-timer to Self Service Expo, Heritage has provided enclosures to the ATM sector for more than 20 years.
 
Digital signage provider JUPITERBAY INC. displayed its FusionCast wayfinding solution, which features intuitive search methods, a multimedia platform and enclosures which may designed to suit any environment. The FusionCast is currently installed in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
 
ITAUTEC is breaking now into the U.S. market. A manufacturer with experience in South America, the company showcased its line of modular enclosures.
 
ITS ENCLOSURES, a provider of protection equipment for electronic displays and computers, highlighted its Viewstation line of enclosures. Designed to protect the digital signage often incorporated into kiosk deployments, the Viewstation protects 32-inch and larger displays and may be used in indoor or outdoor applications.
 
Israel-based KADOURI INDUSTRIAL DESIGN is hoping to break into the U.S. market with a U.S.-based distributor. This company featured its Strata kiosk which is modular and customizable.
 
KIOSK LOGIX INC. introduced its BizLogiz self-service kiosk. Aimed at the business traveler who wants to conduct business on the go, the kiosk can be equipped with an array of peripherals including a printer, fax machine and scanner.
 
LARCO MANUFACTURING exhibited its line of sensing and security products. Designed to prevent identity theft at kiosks deployed in the financial and human resources markets, they may be used for the gaming and entertainment industries.
 
Next door to DVDPlay and the provider of its enclosures was MAYSTEEL. The sheet metal and kiosk enclosure manufacturer has only been in the self-service business for two years, but has done work with some major kiosk companies. Maysteel also showed units from customers IBM and CSS, as the company created the enclosures for both units.
 
Maysteel also recently opened a fully staffed tech center at their Wisconsin headquarters for prototype design and testing.
 
MICROCOM also showed a special application kiosk printer that prints boarding passes, wristbands and tickets. Microcom's printers are also used for a number of postal applications.
 
SMART POWER sales manager Dana Davis spent the show giving small presentations about power protection at the Smart Power booth.
 
Smart Power makes power filters, surge protectors and uninterrupted power supplies designed to protect kiosk hardware from everyday power spikes and surges that can cause disruption, degradation and eventually destruction of internal kiosk hardware.
 
"Regular surge protectors reduce high power spikes, but still allow ‘let thru' which can cause damage," Davis said. "Our power filters instead clamp the electric noise at one-half volt."
 
Ticket printing was a theme among the many kiosk printer companies at Self Service Expo. SWECOIN showed its TTP 200 ticket printer, which prints airline and movie tickets as well as bag tags and wristbands. The TTP 200 will be out in May. Swecoin printers are integrated into kiosks by KIOSK Information Systems, Olea, Frank Mayer and Coinstar.
 
SONICWALL showed its Virtual Private Network technology, a security box that sets up a firewall for secure credit card transactions. The VPN solution uses a cellular wireless card to transmit signals and can be coupled with remote monitoring software to protect information sent to kiosks in remote areas.
 
VERIFONE showed a new multimedia movie-preview application as part of its MX870 payment system. When not in use for payment, the MX870 displays movie titles and customers can use the touchscreen to view previews of the featured films. The unit has built-in speakers, and components such as a card acceptor, contactless-card reader and barcode scanner may be added.
 
SOFTWARE PROVIDERS
 

APUNIX unveiled the Scentsa kiosk, which was developed in conjunction with IBM and Crescent House Publishing. The Scentsa uses a database of over 7,000 scents to help retail store associates find fragrances. To read more about the Scentsa, click here.

Computing solutions provider ARROW ELECTRONICS supported the new MICROSOFT EMBEDDED operating systems, the Windows Embedded Point-of-Sale system. Many kiosks currently use the Microsoft XP Embedded operating system, but Arrow demonstrated the WEPOS as Microsoft's recommendation for retail operating systems, as opposed to Linux.

The WEPOS has been out for about a year with a moderate adoption rate, according to Scott Figg, solutions architect for Arrow.
 
"We want people to know that Microsoft makes great embedded systems," Figg said.
 
CHETU made its appearance at Self Service Expo in order to let potential customers know about its wide variety of kiosk applications. The company's main attraction was a kiosk-based, virtual interactive golf game.
 
"The traffic we saw throughout the show was just phenomenal," said Terry Owen, director of sales.
 
ECAST appeared at the show with its interactive, broadband touchscreen digital media player, MoJO. Ecast is trying to break into retail applications.
 
Euro Touch's software can put 3D images on filmed items.
EURO TOUCH KIOSKS
made a splash at Self Service Expo with its 3D Total Immersion software. Total Immersion takes the faces of users and portrays them on-screen. Using digital mapping the software then depicts the user wearing various masks such as a Stormtrooper's helmet from the popular Star Wars movie franchise.
 
Total Immersion users may also take any flat surface and, after it is digitally mapped, will see on-screen a moving 3D image depicted on it.
 
FLYTECH TECHNOLOGY CO. LTD. presented its multimedia kiosk, iBon. The iBon originally rolled out in 2006 to Taiwanese c-stores. The company was hoping to attract a U.S.-based distributor.
 
GESTURETEK had candy and coffee cups dancing around attendees, thanks to its interactive digital signage. The technology projects people's images on-screen where they become part of the ad. One version showed Skittles candies flowing around passers-by as they walked through the camera angle.
 
INTAVA CORPORATION displayed its Sprint interactive screen campaign, which is currently in use at over 2,500 Sprint stores throughout the country.
 
IN-TOUCH SURVEY SYSTEMS featured its line of interactive marketing kiosks, including its lead generation kiosk and grocery kiosk. In-Touch provides retailers with survey-based marketing.
 
Gina Kruper and James Kruper introduce the Kiosk 2.0 software.
KIOWARE
and LIVEWIRE INTERNATIONAL teamed up and formally unveiled Kiosk 2.0, which is the alignment of both companies' products in order to deliver a comprehensive line of services and software offerings to the self-service market.
 
MEI demonstrated its Series 2000 and SC Series bill acceptors which are available with optional with USB ports, as internal kiosk hardware more and more resembles that of a PCs.
 
"Customers are looking for components that are easier to integrate into existing systems," said Christine Hirtzel, sales manager, retail.
 
MEI also introduced the GEO stackerless bill acceptor, which deposits bills into bigger cash box and does not limit the number of bills accepted by using a cassette. The GEO hardware was developed by ValTech International, while the international bill-recognition software was developed by MEI.
 
NETKEY provided the software behind the Pitney Bowes mailing kiosk, a finalist in the Self Service Excellence Awards. The mailing kiosk has already been rolled out to corporate centers, college campuses and mailing stores.
 
NetKey also designed the software for the Avery Dennison HR kiosk, which was nominated for an Excellence Award. The HR kiosk gives employees in the large Avery Dennison factory access to benefit and compensation information. NetKey also displayed kiosk solutions for Bank of America and Nationwide.
 
PRO-TECH demonstrated its software development arm with its Digital Signage Optimization solution. The kiosk project, an integration of digital signage and self-service, also won the Excellence Award for Best Overall Software Solution.
 
Demonstrated at the show was an interactive kiosk selling Go-Lite trail running shoes. As a customer makes his selection on the touchscreen, advertisements are shown on the digital sign based on the selections by the customer.
 
"Digital signage is just a message on a screen, but we have the ability to give the right message at the right time directly to the customer," said Steve Gregorie, vice president of Pro-Tech.
 
For example, if a customer selected a men's trail running shoe, the event-driven software would play an ad with a young male running through the woods. A button is also available to call an attendant.
 
REALTIME SHREDDING showed its self-service shredding kiosk, which has already been deployed in banks, grocery stores and malls to fight identity theft.
 
The shredder can handle larger stacks of paper than household shredders, using customized software to determine how much paper is inserted each time. The receptacle features a glass door so customers can see their documents being shredded.
 
"People feel good seeing their paper shredded and falling into the receptacle," said Johnny Podrovitz, vice president of business services for RealTime Shredding.
 
THE REDMON GROUP is a digital media organization that has begun developing content for digital signage.
 
"We're turning kiosks into digital signage systems by using the Web," said John Redmon, principal of Redmon Group.
 
Most recently, they have developed e-learning kiosk software designed for helping American soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq.
 
Also showing in the LiveWire booth was partner SENTEGRA. The company displayed a small handheld device called the meWallet that is biometrically secure and interactive. The meWallet System works with any device that is USB, RFID or infrared enabled.
 
Using a small fingerprint scanner embedded in the unit for security, meWallet stores payment and loyalty information. It is also programmable and customizable.
 
WORKING SOLUTIONS (Creative I.T.) displayed its Acquire kiosk middleware at the show, a combination remote monitoring and content management software for networked kiosk systems.
 
The Acquire software allows users to manage what content will be shown on any kiosk in a network, down to the second and from any computer. Acquire also supports the manipulation of rich media such as audio and video, which allows small businesses to skip the step of using a design company.
 
"It's as easy as creating a PowerPoint slide or using your Outlook calendar," said Neil Farr, managing director.
 
TOTAL SOLUTION
 
Headlining the show floor for GILBARCO VEEDER-ROOT, which acquired Intermedia Kiosks Inc. in February, was the Express Ordering kiosk. Gilbarco was also a nominee in the Best Retail Deployment category and a winner in the Best Food Service category.
 
GLOBAL SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS was at the show with an array of Internet kiosk software applications as well as several models of kiosks packaged with software.
 
KING PRODUCTS & SOLUTIONS INC. unveiled its new kiosks, the Tavalo and Presenza. The Tavalo is designed for table-mounted applications, may be color- and finish-customized and has a resistive touchscreen. The small footprint-Presenza is a modular, stand-alone model.
 
Brandon Webb, Matt Kohut, David Annas and Kevin Kent show the interworkings of a Meridian kiosk.
MERIDIAN KIOSKS
showed its Monarch, Enterprise, Enterprise II, Enterprise Wall Mount and Hurricane Desktop Lines of kiosks, each of which may be configured to house touch or non-touch LCD or plasma screens. Meridian designs, engineers and manufactures all of kiosks in-house. Meridian also displayed its DS Line of kiosks. Labeled the DS32, this kiosk features a 32-inch vertical digital touchscreen housed inside a black powder-coated metal enclosure. The DS32 was shown branded with the Red Bull logo. Also sporting the Red Bull logo was the Monarch kiosk, which has received praise for its simple yet sleek tilt-back design.
 
SONY showed its Snap Lab at the booth of partner USA TECHNOLOGIES. The snap lab is a photo kiosk that is also available to consumers as a print-at-home solution.
 
"The Snap Lab is perfect for the weekend warriors and independent photographers," said Richard McNinch, Sony's account manager for digital photofinishing.
 
The unit functions as a standard photo kiosk with a 4-by-6 or 5-by-7 printer and retails for under $13,000. Sony also offers an optional attachment with a card reader and printer for use in convenience store applications.
 
OLEA's double-decker booth housed several new kiosk projects. New for the show was the Tucson XL, an updated version of the Tucson, which was introduced last year. The Tucson features either the IBM Anyplace or Planar monitor. Tucson deployments last year included an informational kiosk at condominium complexes and a deli ordering kiosk.
 
Last year's prototype of the Metropolis kiosk went into production this year, with a deployment at a church secure-give station. The Metropolis can support additional peripherals such as a lightbox on top of the unit.
 
Olea also showed an H&R Block kiosk that was rolled out for use during this past tax season. The 20 deployed kiosks featured wireless cellular connectivity. Olea also featured billpay kiosks that were deployed in Sprint retail stores.
 
Olea's wood Boston model was on display as a credit application kiosk for furniture stores. The unit was designed in partnership with Showroom Technologies, who designed the credit application software.
 
"We found that people who were pre-approved for say, $2,000 credit before shopping, spent $2,000 in the store," said Rene Olea, executive vice president.
 
SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES shared the latest update to its 3-series line with the Concourse 310i, a retail-assisting kiosk designed for product location and gift card services.
 
"The 310i is unique because components like card readers or barcode scanners can easily be added on in the field," said Bryan Jorett, director of business development. "Customers don't have to buy everything at once. They can see what they need and always add components later."
 
One application shown on the 310i was a product locator for retail storage rooms that directs employees where to find certain styles and sizes, thus cutting down search time and keeping more employees on the floor.
 
ULTIMEDIA, a company that has spent eight years in the U.S. market, drew attention with its innovative and sleek kiosk design. The French company showed a remote touchscreen kiosk, which consisted of a digital sign controlled by a clear glass touchpad that was placed several feet in front of the sign. Ultimedia recently deployed biometric travel kiosks for Air France and Eiffel Tower ticketing kiosks in Paris.
 
WHITECH, a photo kiosk developer, demonstrated its fully-programmable Photo.Teller Creative kiosk. In keeping with the growing trend of electronic scrapbooking, the Photo-Teller Creative can produce hardbound scrapbooks from uploaded digital pictures. The kiosk is powered by an algorithm that can automatically place pictures chronologically in the book.
 
The unit also supports a membership system that works with customer loyalty programs, creating a database of user information for the retailer. Whitech kiosks are deployed in Eckerd Drug Stores, Kenny Drugs, Snyder Drugs and other independent photo stores.
 
DEPLOYERS
 
DVDPLAY unveiled the A55, the newest addition to the company's line of DVD movie rental kiosks. The A55 contains up to 100 movie titles and 501 DVDs. The A55 is cashless with a back-lit display and touchscreen interface.
 
"This unit has plenty of space available for advertising," said Lisa Gerber, manager, PR and marketing for DVDPlay. "We want advertisers to be recognized side by side with new movie titles."
 
PDNB ELECTRONIC BANKING SOLUTIONS, A DIVISION OF PALM DESERT NATIONAL BANK, with TIO Networks displayed TIO's hybrid ATM, which includes TIO's bill-payment function. The hybrid, a Tranax c4000, runs on TIO's custom software. PDNB provides the reverse vault-cash, which allows deployers to pay billers in real-time.
 
"Attendees at this year's show seem to really understand what the hybrid model is all about," said TIO's Sam Shahbazi. "The understand that there is a cross over (from the ATM), and that convergence is on the way."
 
PDNB's Gloria Grand said the ATM industry, which was well represented among the show's attendees, understands it needs to explore product and service diversification.
 
"A lot of people here understand that they need to diversify in order survive," she said. "We are seeing interest in bill-payment, and the prepaid-card component plays a role here, too. We are hearing about a lot of interest in prepaid. It's definitely a hot button right now, and it's something we're working with closely."
 
THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE was also one of the companies featured on Self-Service Street, where the government agency set up a mock post office branch, complete with a self-service kiosk. The Automated Postal Center (APC) was part of a 2004 initiative by the USPS to integrate self-service into branches to cut down on lines and wait times. Since 2004, 2,500 APCs have been rolled out.
 
Michael C. Adams, retail service equipment project manager, said that in the first two fiscal quarters of this year there have been 22 million transactions through APCs.
 
"We have had a lot of success with the Gen X and Gen Y age groups. But even with older people, once they use it, they like it," Adams said.
 
Also contributing to this story were Bill Yackey and Tracy Kitten.

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