Wednesday 18 December 2013

Places Where Self-Service Kiosks Can Come in Handy

First developed back in 1977 by Murray Lappe, a student of the University of Illinois, the self-service kiosk has – in recent years at least – exploded in popularity, becoming increasingly common in all aspects of business.

Lappe’s kiosk, known as The Plato Hotline, was placed into his uni’s Student Union, and allowed people to find maps, courses, bus timetables and other information. It attracted more than thirty thousand different users in just six weeks!

Since then, the technology has evolved at a blistering pace; nowadays we can see self-service kiosks having an impact on nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.

In Airports

Airports quite frequently rely on self-service kiosks to help prevent long queues from building up – have you ever used a self-check-in counter? In many airports you can buy your flight tickets, confirm your reservation, and even check in your baggage, all using a simple kiosk.

Often found by the airline’s staffed check-in desk, the fact that people have the option to do it themselves frequently prevents lengthy queues for everyone.

At the Bank

Again used as a method of cutting queues, interactive kiosks have become almost synonymous with the banking experience. Cash machines (or ATMs) are an example of these that you’ll find all over the place, but more advanced ones are frequently found in-branch.

These versions tend to have a lot more features, allowing you to pay your bills, deposit cash, pay in cheques, make transfers, and all sorts of other useful things.

At Hospital

Similarly used as in the airport, hospitals and doctor’s surgeries can benefit from using a self-service kiosk as a means of letting patients check themselves in. This allows a receptionist to deal with the more serious patients, and can also provide a handy map telling the user which department they should head to.
A patient could use the kiosk to amend personal details or even to register at the surgery, cutting a lot of time from the normal procedures.

In the Shops

Self-service kiosks have taken off in a big way in the world of retail – in particular, the touch screen kiosk is now immensely popular, being utilised in a wide variety of different shops and outlets.

Many are using them in place of cashiers, allowing the staff member to be more gainfully employed in a different manner, although they are also good at working alongside cashiers, helping cut queues in two.
Also, they can be put outside of a store, meaning that customers can continue to browse the wares and potentially even place orders well outside of normal opening hours. Some, like those at Boots, allow customers to use their loyalty cards to find out the latest special offers.

In Museums

Many museums are now using kiosks to help guide visitors around, offering an interactive experience by which the visitors can learn all about the displays in front of them. They often offer audio content as well as visual, so that nobody has to miss out, as well as virtual galleries that let people flick through loads of interesting content.

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