Kiosk Softwares

Kiosks seem to be everywhere these days. Whether you go to an airport and check in, get cash out of an ATM, or purchase groceries in an automated check-out line, kiosks are now an important part of everyday life. However, innovation with kiosks is far from over. With the release of Windows Vista, new technologies will be available to developers that will enable a new generation of retail kiosks. This paper will provide an overview of these new technologies and relate them to benefits that a developer will see for creating rich kiosk solutions. This paper will be the first of a series of papers to be released on kiosk development with Microsoft products and technologies. Future whitepapers and demonstration code will soon be available that will provide more detail on the concepts introduced in this document. This paper also deals primarily with the software development component of building kiosk solutions.

Kiosks in Use Today

Kiosks are already used extensively in retail stores. Kiosks are proliferating as retailers realize the value of servicing customers using automated machines. Kiosks provide the information that customers need in order to make a decision, so that they don't walk out of the store "empty handed.Kiosks can also be placed in retail scenarios where it would be too expensive to hire and train in-store employees to educate customers. For example, a sporting goods retailer may only be able to afford one "golf pro" for a store. By implementing kiosks, a sporting goods store could manage more customers with fewer people, by enabling the consumer to get answers to basic golf questions while the golf pro handles the more difficult consumer questions. Not only can kiosks be used to train customers, they are also useful for training employees. In the golf pro scenario discussed above, the golf pro could learn about newly introduced products from the kiosk, to help his or her golf customers understand the new features of a golf club that has just been released.

Suppliers have also discovered the value of kiosks. Suppliers now work in conjunction with retailers to place vendor-supplied kiosks in a store. These kiosks can be used to answer vendor-specific product questions, or to provide basic services such as refilling a printer ink cartridge. Vendor-supplied kiosks often reinforce a brand by displaying messages to consumers walking by when the kiosk is not in use.

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