Digital kiosks continue to be a fantastic piece of digital signage technology. With a host of great features that are supercharging the way organisations operate, it’s no wonder these screens are in high demand. From digital wayfinding in universities to advertising products and services in large shopping centers, digital kiosks do it all.
This guide includes everything you need to know about digital kiosks. We’ll tell you what they are, the different types of kiosks that exist, and some top uses that you can apply to your organisation today. In addition, we’ll even show you how you can add a digital kiosk to your digital signage network.
Use our interactive contents table below to easily navigate our guide.
- What is a digital kiosk?
- How do digital kiosks work?
- How much do digital kiosks cost?
- Types of digital kiosk
- Our top 5 uses
- How to add a digital kiosk to your digital signage network
What Is A Digital Kiosk?
Part of the digital signage hardware family, they are essentially freestanding portrait screens. Sometimes known as digital totems, these screens can be purely aesthetic or can include touch screen integrations. The popularity of digital kiosks can be attributed to their high levels of versatility and functionality they provide in comparison to other types of screens. Typically, these freestanding displays encourage more engagement from their users. In addition, this drastically increases engagement levels between your organisation and your audience.
These displays range in size from 43″ to 86″ and can be purchased for indoor or outdoor purposes.
How Do Digital Kiosks Work?
Most kiosk screens are simply “plug and play”. This means all you need to do is connect your digital totem to a power source and the internet. Once connected, your content will begin to play. All you need is a suitable power source and a strong internet connection. This can be WIFI or ethernet.
The content on your screen will be powered by an android media player. This a small black box that sits out of sight, inside the display. If your software solution is cloud-based, you can begin creating and sending content to your digital signage network, as soon as you have an internet connection. The media player will grab the content from the cloud and play it on screen.
Supporting digital kiosks is easy. Thanks to the internet, remote support software such as TeamViewer can be installed. This means support teams can log on remotely and solve any issues your screens may have. As a result, there is minimal downtime on your screens.
How Much Do Digital Kiosks Cost?
Many people think that a digital kiosk will cost them an arm and a leg. This is often because it’s a digital technology and is often used by larger brands with deep pockets. However, thanks to falling prices in digital signage, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This has made it more palatable for businesses of any size to add a kiosk to their screen network.
Pricing for digital kiosks will all depend on what kiosk you want. Price is ultimately dependent on size, touch integration, and whether it is indoor or outdoor. In other words, the more features a kiosk has, the larger the cost.
To control your content, you will need also need digital signage software. Prices for software start at £18 per month per kiosk. Therefore, your organisation can forge great-looking digital signage content for less.
Choosing the right software is important. There is an ocean of digital signage software providers that will require different levels of technical expertise and suit different end-user needs. Therefore, it’s important to see which software best suits you. Each software will also come with different features. For example, live data integration for digital dashboards. Another good feature to have is digital signage scheduling. This allows you to set content to play in advance. As a result, it can save your content team hours of time each year.
To power your digital totems, you will also need a media player. The media player sits inside the screen and connects the screen to your digital signage software. Media players can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Be careful when choosing your media player. Although some can seem great because they are small, they can lack the power to play complex content such as live data dashboards or video. We recommend Android media players. These players are small and pack a punch. They are able to play all your kiosk content with no buffering or crashing.
A media player is often a one off cost of just £165. You’ll need one of these to power each kiosk display.
Types Of Digital Kiosks
Freestanding Non-Touch Displays
These kiosks are essentially portrait digital screens. Sometimes called “digital posters” these kiosks do not have touch screen abilities. However, this means they are perfect for advertising and internal messaging. It is popular for shopping centers to install a digital kiosk network for advertising as they are more tamper-proof in comparison to other solutions.
Freestanding Interactive Kiosks
These displays do exactly what they say on the tin. Therefore, they are freestanding digital displays that can be interacted with. The addition of touch screen interaction brings an ocean of features that supercharge the way organisations operate. Uses range from digital wayfinding and information hubs to automated check-in points and fully functional shopping catalogs.
The layer of interactivity between the organisation and its audience can drastically improve the audience’s experience. For example, a digital wayfinding system may save the postman 15 minutes delivering a parcel. The automated check-in screen might help a tired traveler beat the queue. The digital product catalog may help the shopper find their dream pair of shoes and have them ready for delivery or collection in seconds.
Thanks to a high level of functionality and versatility, there are literally an unlimited number of uses for touch screen kiosks.
Outdoor Digital Kiosks
Outdoor digital kiosks take all the benefits you get with other kiosks and take them outside. These outdoor digital displays can come in touch or non-touch formats. They can be much larger than their indoor counterparts. This is often due to additional screen casing. This protects the screen from the weather, vandals, and more. Although larger, thanks to advances in technology, these screens still look sleek.
Outdoor kiosks can possess a much larger screen size than indoor kiosks. This makes them great for outdoor advertising. Some users will place their kiosks by busy roads to advertise products and services.
These screens are also popular additions in smart city digital signage projects. Interactive outdoor screens can be utilised for local wayfinding and information hubs. This is a great benefit for tourists. Outdoor kiosks are also being used for smart bus stops. Waiting passengers can be shown live bus timetables, weather information, and advertising. This can add extra value to a passenger’s journey.
Top 5 Uses Of Digital Kiosks
1. Digital Wayfinding Kiosks
As organisations continue to grow larger, so do the sites they operate in. For example, Apple’s recent launch of their new campus is over 2.8 million square feet in office space alone. Imagine being the postman… where do you start?
Digital wayfinding has successfully offered a solution to this issue. For a given location, the user can search for a company or room using the touchscreen. The kiosk will then provide the user with a unique route and instructions from their location to their destination.
Digital wayfinding solutions are popular for large offices, science parks, airports, and universities.
2. Smart Information Hub
Adding an information hub to your organisation is a great way to add value for your customers and visitors. This is great for helping users gain more information about your organisation. This could be helping them learn what’s on?, what the organisation is about, etc.
Smart information hubs can be installed indoors or outdoors. Therefore, they are great for cities that need to provide visitors and tourists with useful information. These screens could display local maps, local history, local shops, or websites.
3. Advertising Kiosks
Advertising on digital signage is huge. Each year more organisations are using the digital channel to reach potential customers. Digital signage advertising has often been accomplished through digital billboards or standard screens. However, in recent years, more organisations have been introducing freestanding advertising kiosks to their advertising networks.
The increase in adoption can be attributed to how easily they can be placed in high footfall locations. For example, a shopping center can place their advertising kiosks in known high footfall locations. This footfall can increase or decrease for different locations throughout the year. The shopping center can easily move the advertising kiosk into a more suitable location.
The physicality of how digital kiosks are designed makes them some of the most eye-catching displays out there. The large portrait screens are often perfectly in the eye-line of those walking buy. This makes them perfect for high foot traffic locations.
These advertising kiosks are also becoming increasingly popular outdoors. The larger weather-proof screens are perfect for advertising products and services to those driving by.
4. Check-In Kiosk
In times when hotels and resorts are busy, the check-in queues can be long. After a long flight or journey, the last thing you want to do is stand in line for ages. You want to get to your room as quickly as possible and begin your break.
More and more hotels are investing in solutions that streamline the check-in process. This includes apps and self check-in kiosks. With a check in kiosk, guests can skip the queue and complete the process themselves. These check in kiosks can also double-up as wayfinding kiosks. Once the guest checks in, the screen can give out directions right to their room.
The benefits of a check-in kiosk extend further than being just for guests. They also help relieve workload and stress on hotel staff who have to manage busy queues. These check-in kiosks could also be used for additional payments for taxis or events.
5. Internal Communication And Messaging
Effective communication is at the heart of any successful organisation. Whether it’s internal corporate messaging, or communication between the organisation and its customers, making sure it is done efficiently can be a huge boost to a smooth operation. Poor communication can result in misunderstandings and unhappy customers.
In some cases, information needs to be updated and distributed quickly. With traditional posters or whiteboards, this task is impossible. Especially for larger organisations with multiple locations. However, with a digital kiosk network, a user can upload and send content to a network of screens in a few seconds.
This has been achieved in airports. For example, British Airways utilise digital kiosks to enhance their passenger messaging at Gatwick and Heathrow Airport. Through a digital solution, important messages and information can be deployed in seconds.
How To Add Digital Kiosks To Your Digital Signage Network
Adding a digital kiosk to your digital signage network couldn’t be easier. In other words, the process is exactly the same as adding an additional screen. After successfully installing the kiosk, simply connect it to the internet. As a result, the content will begin to play. From here you can use your digital signage software to create, upload, schedule, and deploy content to your screens. This process is exactly the same if you were updating content for your other screens.
The installation of your digital totem ultimately depends on which type you choose.
Most indoor kiosks are freestanding and have great mobility. These screens often aren’t drilled into the ground. Therefore, they can be easily installed and moved around if needed.
Projects involving outdoor kiosks often involve more planning for installation. They may require planning permission and in most cases, need to be heavily secured by drilling into the ground.