A kiosk or an electronic kiosk has a built-in computer terminal that employs software coded to function while simultaneously preventing unauthorized users from accessing the system functions. Computerized kiosks store their data locally or retrieve it from a local computer network. Some computer kiosks provide a free public service providing important information while others serve a commercial purpose. They are used as industrial appliances, eliminating paper, improving efficiency and service.
There are different types of kiosks depending upon the applications such as: ATM and banking kiosks for carrying out banking transactions, ticketing kiosks found at bus terminals, parking lots, movie theatres, railway stations, etc. which enable the prospective customers to purchase tickets for a movie or may be for a fun-ride. Check-in-kiosks are the kiosks that are found in lodging for serving the traveler in place of a receptionist that authorizes their identity. Once authorized, the kiosk terminal provides the room key. These kiosks are a kind of second contact devices because the customer has already contacted the hotel before and made the payments. Another type of kiosks is a self-checkout kiosk that is installed at retail outlets along with some security measures like cameras, to permit shoppers in purchasing tangible products unassisted. Food ordering kiosks are installed at dining places that allow consumers to place orders related to food items.
In the U.S., post offices one can also come across postal kiosks that permit customers to carry out their daily mailing tasks without the need for postal workers. Such kiosks are different from vending machines that are used to dispense stamps and are found at certain locations. There are also other types of kiosks installed for general purposes, which include information kiosks, way finding kiosks, DVD rental kiosks, etc.
In today’s fast-paced world, our society is become dependent on tea and coffee to keep the wheels turning. One always expects it to be available whether it is hospital cafeteria or airport lounge, a late night session at a university or at work. Therefore in such a scenario, such services in daily life need to be automated without negotiating on quality of such beverages.
Since transactions are expected to grow by millions every year, the kiosk market is expected to boom in huge numbers. In a country like U.S., the demand of interactive kiosks is huge and occupies more than half of the market share, globally. However, lack of technology could be a major roadblock in the growth of this technology driven market. The reason for this being that these kiosks cannot offer personalized solutions to their prospective customers. For e.g. if there is any current offer on a product, a representative can easily explain the offers to prospective customers along with the necessary finance options. This gap could result in an inferior customer service and the company may incur a huge loss. This challenge needs to be overcome at the earliest.
Some of the key players in the KIOSK market are Vend-Rite, which is majorly into soap vending headquartered in the U.S. Other players include Westomatic, headquartered in UK, Maas International headquartered in Netherlands, Coin Acceptors, Inc. headquartered in Missouri, U.S., Crane Merchandising Systems headquartered in U.S, Fuji Electric Retail Systems having head office at Tokyo, Japan and Glory Ltd located at Hyogo, Japan.
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