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The term kiosk is not new, but today what we see around is far different from what kiosk actually meant in the history. In the medieval era, a kiosk would mean a small pavilion that was often found in the gardens, farms, and at the entrance gates of large edifices or palaces. The kiosks of today can be an interactive ATM (automatic teller machine) at banks; a ticket vending machines at metro stations, airports, and other transportation hubs; at shoppingalls and multiplexes for brand promotion activities, and as a self-checkout POS (point of sale); and at public gatherings and fairs for entertaining the masses.
What exactly is a digital kiosk?
In technical terms, it is a computer terminal, installed at public places, having a specifically designed combination of hardware and software. The technology is typically used as a self-service interactive machine that displays relevant information to the user, such as directories for store and offices, event information, or promotions. A large interactive touch-screen display is powered by a small media player which drives the software that shows the relevant information.
The future of digital kiosks
Kiosks are integrated with technology to create stand-alone self-service machines that can be used as a utility to withdraw cash, purchase tickets, pay your bills, and get all sorts of information. When not in use, they can display relevant information to people walking by, as well as show promotions for local establishments.
With the advent of technology, there are accessible different types of kiosk, designed, developed and proposed by various firms, for various commercial and non-commercial purposes.
The Homeland Security department of the United States has installed kiosks, in which travelers can register their entry and exit in the United States. It helps the government track and control the illegal immigration and trafficking. These self-services kiosks are called Automated Passport Control (APC) units, which ease the travelers with shorter wait and faster processing times. Passengers can scan their passport, take and input photographs, and answer a series of questions to fill up their details; post which, they will get the receipt of their legal entry.
Today, we can see tele-kiosks using which a user can make calls. It is more like the telephone booths of previous generation. After the global standards were set for the 5th generation data services a couple of weeks back, a few kiosks manufacturers have already started planning to setup 5G internet-enabled kiosk machines. The photo kiosks would allow users to print their digital images via Bluetooth. You can also see points that play videos and graphics, known as multimedia kiosks.
Since most kiosk machines are internet-connected, the future explorations are being focused on creating safer, hack-proof kiosk software.