Kiosks traditionally serve the purpose of allowing customers to check out or access information without the assistance of a customer service representative. They should be viewed now, more than ever, as an additional piece to the customer service puzzle.
Mountain climbers can prepare for their next adventure without scaling anything.
Ellis Brigham, a mountaineering and ski equipment retailer in the U.K., recently deployed a kiosk that tests users' altitude levels.
"The pod is a fantastic addition to the store and will give customers the opportunity to improve the preparation for their next challenge," said Mark Brigham, Ellis Brigham's marketing director, who used the kiosk to help him train for his climbs to Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro.
The kiosk, developed by EVOKEinteractive kiosks employs technology from The Altitude Centre, an altitude training company in the U.K. It has a 19-inch touchscreen and is compact in size, measuring 1400mm x 650mm x 500mm. It uses a technique of breathing short bursts of mountain air through a mask, alternated with normal air and is the quickest way to adapt to the low oxygen levels found at high altitudes, said Dean Ward of Evoke.
How it works
The user purchases a test card for about $40 or a 10-session card for about $130 and receives a free mask to attach to the kiosk for his test/training sessions.
The user swipes the card, which tracks who he is and test results, sits in a chair, plugs in his personal altitude mask and immediately experiences being in the mountains.
At the end of the 12-minute test, the kiosk displays a detailed report on the screen showing the user how his body reacted to the changes in altitude.
From there, he can start a training program based on the results. For example, someone hoping to get their body more used to breathing at a higher altitude in preparation for a mountain climb may decide to do 10 sessions at the kiosk. Each session, which are 40 minutes, will deliver intervals of regular air and the mountain, helping the body get used to breathing at the higher level.
"Combining both the system hardware and software into a single purpose built kiosk has allowed The Altitude Centre to provide a safe, compact unit, suitable for the retail environment and which is easy for retailers to manage and maintain," Ward said.
The kiosk can also test users' fitness levels. For example, a cyclist may don a mask and ride a stationary bike for several minutes. The test will measure the amount of energy used to complete the exercise, the heartrate, acclimation and recovery rate.
The kiosk cost is included as part of an overall business partnership between Ellis Brigham and The Altitude Centre, said Claudia Barozzi, marketing executive, The Altitude Centre. She could not comment on the details.