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SSKA Industry News
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 Its Oct. 31 earnings report extends Kodak's longest streak of losses in at least 10 years. In moving to digital technology from film, chief executive Antonio Perez plans to cut as many as 27,000 jobs, put the health-care imaging unit up for sale and set up printing kiosks in busy locations like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
"The growth in that business has been exceptional,'' Ulysses Yannas, a broker at Buckman Buckman & Reid in New York, said of the kiosk business before the earnings report came out. He has watched Kodak for more than 30 years and owns some shares. "�That's where the money is.''
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Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a democrat who has been a critic of the no-fly list, said her staff had booked her a one-way ticket from Boise, Idaho, to Cincinnati through Denver. But they were prevented from printing her boarding pass online and at an airport kiosk. Sanchez said she was instructed to check in with a United employee, who told her she was on the terrorist watch list.
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Posted by: AT 10:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006
SAN ANTONIO · The winners of the 2006 Self-Service World Outstanding Achievement Awards were announced Friday morning in a ceremony held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
The awards presentation, part of the Self-Service & Kiosk Show, took place immediately after the show's keynote speaker, When Customers Talk author T. Scott Gross.
Applications were submitted in six categories: retail, financial, healthcare, public sector, travel & hospitality, and a catchall "other" category. In addition to the category awards, two special awards were given: a Readers Choice award, chosen by the readers of Self-Service World magazine and; and the Platinum Award, given to the deployment with the highest overall point total from the judges.
(Read more about the applicants, the judges and the judging process here.)
And the winners are "�
  • Gold · Shopping Solutions/Giant Food Stores (St. Clair Interactive)
  • Silver · Build-A-Bear Workshop's gift card kiosk (Nanonation)
  • Bronze · Photo.Teller (Whitech USA)
  • Gold · MediKiosk (Westchester Medical Group, Galvanon)
  • Silver · PhreesiaPad (Phreesia Inc., Analytical Design Solutions Inc., KioWare)
Public Sector
  • Gold · DMV Self-Service Kiosk (Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, JCM American)
  • Silver · Cash machines for social payments (Bundesagentur fur Arbeit, Wincor Nixdorf Intl.)
  • Bronze · City of Milwaukee Automated Payment Center (Citation Management, Pay-Ease LLC)
Travel & Hospitality
  • Gold · Amtrak Ticketing Kiosk (Amtrak/SITA, KIOSK Information Systems)
  • Silver · Continental Properties Kiosk (Nanonation)
  • Bronze · Alamo Check-in Kiosk (Alamo Rent-A-Car, KIOSK Information Systems)
  • Gold · DMV Self-Service Kiosk (Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, JCM American)
  • Silver · Cox Communications Xpress Pay Kiosk (Source Technologies)
  • Bronze · Avery Dennison Human Resources Kiosk (Netkey Inc.)
Readers Choice Award (overall winner selected by readers)
  • PhreesiaPad (Phreesia Inc., Analytical Design Solutions Inc., KioWare)
Platinum Award (overall winner selected by judges)
  • DMV Self-Service Kiosk (Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, JCM American)
Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006
Forbes: A new supply-management system for Selexyz was developed and introduced in an effort to reduce labor costs, advance the art of stock control out of a database of 900,000 titles, bring visibility to the supply chain, increase purchases and make the store's customer experience more rewarding. With this goal, kiosks give the customer both book location (by section and shelves) and ordering capability - allowing a natural language search of the store's database to identify any book.

One of the rewards to Selexyz has been a 50 percent increase in sales by customers using the kiosks. Part of this increase is due to the system's ability to instantly notify customers seeking a book that it is in the store.

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Posted by: AT 10:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006
Versatile Systems Inc. a technology provider that is uniquely positioned to deliver business solutions to both horizontal and vertical markets. The solution sets encompass technologies needed for business to succeed in today's globally competitive world. They provide software tools to revolutionize the way retailers manage their credit and sales processes. Versatile creates software that extends their customers back office to the most distant end point — the mobile worker. In addition, the company delivers technology systems and services that are at the core of many of the Fortune 1000's business infrastructure.
Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006 Oakland is losing $2 million a year because of missing or broken parking meters, according to a city audit. The city is considering replacing most of the meters with multimeter kiosks.
Posted by: AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006 A new Forrester report examines customer satisfaction and self-service efficiencies. At Air Canada, a customer who uses its kiosk to check in costs only 16 cents. That same customer checking in with an agent costs $3. A Forrester report also finds that 50 percent of retail customers are comfortable with online self-service.
Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006
The Philippine Star: State-run pension fund Government Service and Insurance System is spending more than P70 million ($1.4 million) to install wireless kiosks allowing users to apply for loans using contactless cards to identify themselves.
Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 October 2006 It's another nail in the coffin for the album and may spell the end of the music megastore. Victorians are now able to walk into a store, cherry-pick individual songs from albums using a digital kiosk and make their own compilation CDs. Video clips are also available.
Posted by: AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 27 October 2006
BELLEVUE, Wash. · Coinstar Inc., operator of self-service coin counting kiosks, announced its new Coinstar Direct Coin Deposit service that will allow bank and credit union customers to electronically transfer coin into personal accounts, complemented by Coinstar's new Madison coin-counting kiosk specifically designed for retail financial institution branches. Coinstar's new product line has been developed to enhance customer acquisition and retention strategies for financial institutions while reducing the costs inherent with self-service coin counting.

"Banks are learning that one of the keys to more effective selling at the branch is the intelligent use of automation with self-service devices. The use of appropriate technologies to let customers help themselves at the branch allows staff to focus more on the relationship aspects of banking," said Jerry Silva, research director of retail banking and delivery channels at the TowerGroup.

Posted by: AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 27 October 2006
The (Madison, Wis.) Capitol Times: Sears is highlighting its Lands' End brand in 100 stores, and is set to launch its 100th "store-within-a-store" by next week. The special departments feature a kiosk for online branding and shopping.

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Posted by: AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Casio offers a centrally managed kiosk solution at a price point that no other provider can match, creating entirely new markets for self-service. We offer the industry's leading administration tools providing control, reporting and menu/pricing changes within seconds as well as both indoor and outdoor (NEMA-rated) kiosks for implementations from food courts to stadium concessions. It is a tightly integrated solution, including online ordering and digital signage.
Posted by: AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 October 2006
MILAN, Italy — Custom Engineering, provider in the electronic-device sector for retailing and self-service systems, and Ingenico Italia, developer of electronic payment systems, have signed a distribution agreement.

According to the deal, Custom is expected to become Ingenico's exclusive distributor in the industrial sector for the new Ingenico i9400 system. The system is designed for electronic payments on all self-service devices.

Ingenico will continue marketing the solution to the banking sector.

The i9400 system includes terminals that can be easily incorporated into unattended systems, enabling the unattended systems to accept payments with bankcards. The system is suitable for use in applications such as ticketing, multiservice kiosks, parking lots, public administration departments, gas stations and vending.

Posted by: AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 October 2006

Huntsville (Ala.) Times: Jeff Sikes Mazda has opened the 56th Mazda Retail Revolution facility in the United States. About 100 Retail Revolution locations are now completed or are in the construction or planning process, said Jim O'Sullivan, president and chief executive of Mazda North American Operations.

The $2 million, 20,000-square-foot facility features computer kiosks with Internet access, for customers who want to comparison-shop among brands, a coffee cafe and interactive displays. The open-architecture showroom also features an elevated vehicle display.

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Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 October 2006

Orlando Business Journal: Galvanon, an NCR Corp. company, has signed contracts with Emergency Health Center LLC of Houston and MedCenter One of Bismarck, N.D., for its self-service patient check-in kiosks. The value of the contracts was not disclosed.

The kiosks have been credited with streamlining the check-in process, resulting in shorter wait times for patients, improved efficiency and reduced administrative costs, said Galvanon president Raj Toleti.

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Posted by: AT 10:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 October 2006

TechWeb News: MOD Systems has developed software that lets consumers download and pay for digital content from kiosks directly onto portable media players - with no cables attached.

MOD Systems chairman Anthony Bay, who built and ran Microsoft's digital media division, said his company will support an unnamed electronics retailer that signed on to deploy kiosks using the software under a hosted services model beginning early 2007. The store will install between 40 and 50 kiosks in about six locations, redefining the layout of the stores' music section. MOD Systems will manage the content, licensing rights and billing.

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Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
BURNABY, British Columbia · TIO Networks Corp. announced the deployment of 27 self-serve automated kiosks in Cincinnati, Lexington. Ky., and Louisville, Ky.

With these new deployments, TIO Networks has surpassed the milestone of more than 1,000 deployed kiosks in partnership with tier-1 convenience-store chains and wireless retail outlets in 29 states.

The touchscreen, cash-accepting and authenticating kiosks enable cash-paying customers to pay their wireless, utility, cable and other bills in real-time by inserting the cash directly into the terminal. Transactions are securely completed and payments are posted with time-sensitive urgency to the customer's account. Customers have the option to print and/or e-mail their receipt.

In addition, the company has signed up more than 200 locations in the past 60 days to participate in "TIO Express," its clerk-assisted payment program. These locations offer patrons real-time bill payment services by leveraging TIO's Web processing client. The "TIO Express" program combines the convenience of in-person customer service with real-time posting to personal accounts.

"Breaking the 1,000 kiosk mark gives TIO the critical mass to be truly recognized as a national network," said Hamed Shahbazi, chairman and chief executive of TIO Networks. "This achievement along with the rapid growth in TIO Express is garnering great enthusiasm among consumers and our deployment partners. TIO will continue to pursue a disciplined but aggressive network expansion of its TIO services by leveraging its growing distribution options."

Posted by: AT 10:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 October 2006

SAN DIEGO · Asteres Inc. has received its first patent. According to a news release, Asteres' ScriptCenter is the first technology operating in the retail market today that is covered by a patent focused on the delivery of finished prescriptions to consumers.

Asteres develops secure self-service kiosks for the storage and delivery of consumer products. Asteres' premier product is ScriptCenter, a prescription pick-up kiosk for retail pharmacies.

The Asteres patent contains 94 separate claims covering various methods for delivering finished prescriptions directly to consumers, including claims covering its high-volume, auto-dispensing technology, ScriptCenter.

The company said it intends to "pursue aggressively additional intellectual property development and protection, including numerous patent applications pending in the United States and worldwide."

"We are very pleased to be awarded this breakthrough patent," said John Beane, Asteres' co-founder and vice president of strategic product development. "Next to the employees, our intellectual property is our greatest asset. In an emerging market, it is critical to be the first mover and have substantiated patent claims with freedom to operate. This patent cements Asteres' position as the market maker and market leader."

Posted by: AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 October 2006
SAN FRANCISCO · Pay By Touch, supplier of biometric authentication technology, personalized marketing and payment solutions, announced the immediate availability of its Rapid Enroll Kiosk. The new Internet-enabled retail kiosks speed and streamline enrollment for loyalty and rewards programs. The system allows for quick and easy customer sign up, and reduces enrollment processing time and expense for grocers and retailers.

"Pay By Touch is committed to providing retailers with innovative solutions that improve the customer experience and make business sense," said John Rogers, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Pay By Touch. "The new Pay By Touch Rapid Enroll Kiosk simplifies loyalty program enrollment for customers and reduces costs associated with enrollment for merchants."

With the new in-store, Internet-enabled enrollment kiosks, customers can sign up quickly, accurately and securely using an integrated "phone number look-up" application. To use the system, customers simply enter their phone number and a secondary identifier · such as the last three letters of their last name · and their address information is populated automatically. Customers can also choose to manually enter their information through a simple touchscreen process.

Posted by: AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 October 2006 The iPod name came from an earlier Apple project to build an Internet kiosk, which never saw the light of day. On July 24, 2000, Apple registered the iPod name for "a public internet kiosk enclosure containing computer equipment," according to the filing.
Posted by: AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 October 2006

CHICAGO · Source Technologies, provider of integrated solutions for managing financial transactions and other secure business processes, announced the release of e-DocSecure Version 1.5. As part of Source Technologies' family of disbursement-management software, e-DocSecure features extensive security for Internet-based remote check printing.

e-DocSecure Version 1.5 benefits lenders by extending check printing to MICR printers at agent locations while maintaining centralized approval and control. This remote check issuance capability gives lenders a competitive edge by allowing them to offer a fast, cost-effective, and secure way for their title companies, mortgage brokers, and closing attorneys to issue checks on-demand.

"Lenders have traditionally seen remote check printing as too risky because there has previously not been a way to securely manage the process, but our security is unsurpassed," said Rodger Morrison, vice president of payment solutions for Source Technologies, "Data sent over e-DocSecure to our MICR printers is fully protected using triple DES encryption. The data is not decrypted until it reaches the printer at the remote location."

Posted by: AT 10:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 October 2006
MONTREAL · Switzerland-based Neo Advertising has acquired digital-signage company DAN Media, which operates screens in 65 shopping centers in Canada and the United States.

Neo operates more than 1,000 digital screens throughout Europe. DAN Media will continue to operate under its existing brand name.

Posted by: AT 10:36 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 October 2006

Advertising Age: The technology inside mobile phones is now so complex that it deserves an advertising medium that reflects its processing power. Airport passengers in Lisbon have been able to experience such a medium, thanks to a new campaign from Nokia. The interactive street-furniture installation is for Nokia's N-90. The moment it detects a pedestrian, it springs into life. The monolith-like installation first swivels either right or left to ensure that the creative message is directly in front of the consumer. It then snaps a photograph of the person and displays it on a screen.

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Posted by: AT 10:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 October 2006

WEST CHESTER, Pa. · MEI announced that new Pay E Mail Internet kiosks, designed and patented with a slim footprint so that they can be easily swapped into existing payphone enclosures in airports, hotels, convention centers and rest stops nationwide, will use its Series 2000 Combo Acceptors to let users pay with cash, credit or debit cards.

Pay E Mail kiosks are vandal-resistant, constructed of heavy-duty steel and aluminum, and have a 15-inch flat screen and full-sized keyboard with a trackball mouse.

Pay E Mail kiosks provide business and leisure travelers convenient access to e-mail and Web surfing. Internet access is now the No. 1 request for new services at hotels, which represent the largest market for this device. The company will deploy more than 120 kiosks in the Atlanta Airport by year's end. Additional installations are underway at airports in San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Orlando, Fla., and Pittsburgh.

Posted by: AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 October 2006

Commercial Appeal: An electronic kiosk designed in Memphis measures forces on the bottoms of people's feet and uses the data to recommend one of 14 shoe inserts for foot pain or other problems. The new machine shows how Schering-Plough Corp., which bought the Illinois-based Scholl company in 1979, still uses the old doctor's blend of science and salesmanship in developing its foot care products. The machine recognizes common problems like flat feet and recommends that you buy one of the inserts, which hang on attached racks and differ in size, shape and density.

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Posted by: AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 19 October 2006
HERTFORDSHIRE, England - BAA, the world's leading airport company, has awarded a new seven airport Internet kiosk contract to Spectrum Interactive plc, estimated to be worth £5m (U.S. $9.3 million), following a competitive tender process. Spectrum already operates over 200 Internet kiosks within the BAA estate and also provides payphones to each airport. The new contract will commence in 2008.
The agreement also includes rights to install new units into Heathrow Terminal 5 which opens in March 2008. Terminal 5 alone is expected to service around 30 million passengers per annum by 2010.
"We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract," Spectrum Interactive chief executive Mark Lewarne said. "BAA is a long standing Spectrum partner, and we have worked extremely hard to offer a superb package of good design, service and operational support to suit the demands of some of the busiest airports in the world. Securing this contract and extending our relationship with BAA into Terminal 5 allows Spectrum to invest further in new design and product features. We look forward to a long continued association with our partner BAA."
Posted by: AT 10:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 19 October 2006
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The fashion, music or computer industries usually set retail trends. However a titan in the battery industry is testing an "extreme customer service" concept that will rival the look of high-end retail stores. Interstate All Battery, a division of Dallas-based Interstate Batteries, is testing its "I World" concept in a Fort Worth, Texas suburb and Des Moines, Iowa.
The "I World" prototype, at the Interstate All Battery Center (IABC) stores in Euless and Des Moines, provide an animated shopping experience with modern, high-tech interiors and digital applications. The store includes wood floors, plasma monitors and a "Find It" kiosk, which helps customers find the power solutions they need. The kiosk supports Interstate All Battery's pledge to "Have it - Find it - Build it" - literally guaranteeing they will have, find or build a battery from the ground up in order to solve every battery need (up to 13,000 are available).
Led by a team of internal marketing and operations personnel, the new store took 12 months to research and complete and is designed to appeal to a younger and broader demographic, including females, which drives a significant portion of America's passion for personal digital gadgets.
"We're extremely excited about the results so far," said Terry Schulze, Director Operations at Interstate All Battery. "In fact, it's going so well that we plan to incorporate the high-tech look and feel of the prototype stores into all our new Interstate All Battery franchise stores going forward."
These test stores come during the company's aggressive retail development plan to build 400 new IABC stores by 2010. Interstate All Battery has received 800 applications for their 400 proposed franchises.
Last year was Interstate All Battery's most successful year where both company-owned and franchisee stores experienced double-digit revenue increases. Currently, there are 60 one-stop battery replacements stores in 26 states including stores that will soon open in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Posted by: AT 10:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 October 2006
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Pinnacle Corporation announced a new partnership with RMS-TOUCH, a pioneer in restaurant POS systems. Pinnacle's Palm POS interfaces to RMS-Kiosk, a multi-media touchscreen customer-activated ordering system designed for busy supermarket delis and convenience stores.
"We are excited in joining forces with The Pinnacle Corporation to supply our technology in an integrated solution. Acceptance of self-service kiosks in the convenience store industry is reaching new highs. RMS-Kiosk extends the power of the Palm POS system to the end-user," said Richard Adler, president of RMS-TOUCH.
RMS-Kiosk allows customers to order sandwiches and cold cuts, increasing overall deli sales, boosting the number of transactions during peak hours, and reducing customer wait. Customers walk up to the RMS-Kiosk system, place a custom-made sandwich or deli order, pay the cashier, and pick up the order when they are finished shopping. With the POS interface, cashiers scan a bar code printed on the kiosk receipt to recall the order on the POS, saving time by not having to re-enter the order.
"As food service offerings continue to escalate within the retail convenience store industry, innovative ways to meet consumer needs without impacting speed of service is critical," said Drew Mize, vice president of retail solutions for Pinnacle. "By integrating RMS-Touch's kiosk solutions to Pinnacle's Palm POS, the consumer receives an enriched ordering experience. In addition, our clients are provided with an opportunity to cross and up-sell to their consumers by offering feature and graphic-rich ordering options."
Palm POS is the fastest in-store point-of-sale system available today, running under the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. It has more interfaces than any other open architecture POS in the industry. From training to PLU input to scanning, an intuitive touch screen makes every task fast and easy. Palm POS interfaces to a variety of devices including pole displays, security cameras, lottery, and video confirmation. Nationwide, it is used to process upwards of $9 billion in total convenience store sales and is certified on seven different credit payment networks.

Posted by: AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 October 2006
LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Horizon Technology, an ISO 9001:2000 certified integrator specializing in display solutions, announced it has been authorized by NEC Display Solutions to participate in the NEC Display Solutions Integration Select program. The NEC program provides customers with high-quality NEC LCD monitors integrated with various upgrades by authorized NEC Display Solutions Select Integrators. The upgraded monitors, ranging in size from 17-inch to 46-inch, are used in various applications including digital signage, kiosk, POS, retail, financial, military, medical, and industrial installations.
"The combination of NEC's reputation for delivering leading edge display products of unsurpassed quality and Horizon's customer centric business model promises to deliver a superior customer experience", added Kurt Johnson, chief executive of Horizon Technology. "Horizon offers a better customer experience through unparalleled customer responsiveness, flexible solutions, consistent reliability, and a quality management system in line with NEC's high standards."
Horizon's range of display solutions provided for the NEC monitors include: touchscreen integration from 17 to 15-inch, including SAW, optical, capacitive, and resistive technology and security glass integration.
Posted by: AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 October 2006 The new electronic poker tables at Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles require no dealers, as the players select all their actions via the touchscreen in front of them. The system even takes away from a floorperson's job, as there is a kiosk where players can put themselves on a waiting list for a table. All of this is handled via an ID card, which has a magnetic stripe similar to a credit card.
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Posted by: AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 October 2006
Kiosks and ATMs may not have resided in the high-voltage, skin-themed booths of energy drinks and adult magazines, but they managed to pack their own punch Oct. 8-10 in Las Vegas at the 2006 National Association of Convenience Stores show.
Amid mammoth exhibits hyping one of the dozen or so high-octane beverages at the event·where cheek-baring models wrestled one another or were dropped into dunking booths at the whim of giant fuzzy dice·several self-service innovations called out to the 25,000 or so c-store owners and operators who attended.
Mike Hudson, general manager for NCR EasyPoint, stands beside the Tidel 3050, a new ATM designed for the replacement market.
Self-service was on the minds of show organizers as well.
Jeff Lenard, a NACS spokesman, said kiosks and similar technology are increasingly important to c-store executives, especially as they court younger customers.
"Young people are used to dealing with technology and expect it," he said. "They think your business is more progressive and quality-oriented if you have kiosks."
The key to sustaining growth, Lenard said, is deploying kiosks not merely for the sake of deployment.
"There are two factors: First and foremost, they have to be convenient. Second, they have to take the labor equation where it needs to go," he said. "It's not about reducing the workforce.
It's about letting machines do what machines do best, and people do what people do best."
Scott Hartman, NACS board chairman, told attendees in the opening general session that demand for convenience has never been stronger, a fact that presents both challenges and opportunities for convenience store retailers.
"Time is money, and time is really what we sell," Hartman said. But convenience is a commodity virtually every other channel is trying to feature, too, he noted.
"Clearly, technology will play an ever-increasing role at our stores. And it already is in Asia. The cell phone you have today acts nothing like the ones they are using in Japan and Korea. But you will soon see them here," Hartman said, noting that they already serve as electronic wallet, personal scanner and personal navigation system and locator.
"Customers will receive offers on their phones, redeem electronic coupons with their phones and Web applications will allow them to find the lowest priced products between them and their next destination," Hartman said. "As retailers we will market our gas prices to customers as they drive down the highway and customers will have their cars programmed to seek out food offers they prefer. The in-car convenience store billboard is closer than you think."
NACS is doing much more than looking at the future of technology; it is helping shape it, Hartman said.
"At NACS, we believe that technology is an investment, that if you make it wisely, it should yield a competitive advantage," he said.
Referencing an industry pain point, the huge and growing problem of interchange fees, Hartman asked attendees to "give out one big industry boo!"
NACS is actively fighting to reduce them and "is poised to push the issue even further in the next Congress," Hartman said.
"While we continue to be on the forefront in battling these ridiculous interchange fees, the NACS Card Processing Program that we introduced in 2003 at the NACS Show also has allowed smaller independent operators to reduce their expenses to the tune of more than $4,000 per store, per year," Hartman said. "Because other card processors dropped their rates to be competitive with ours, we estimate the net savings overall to our industry is upwards of $60 million."
Some show exhibitors:
Blackstone and InComm, players in the prepaid market, showed kiosks that will enable customers to pay bills in addition to paying in advance for services.
Julia Shih, marketing director for Card Scanning Solutions, demonstrates a new version of ID Scan, which can scan, read and transfer to database information from driver's licenses from all 50 states. The scanner, which will go to market in January, does the job in about one second.
Card Scanning Solutions introduced a new version of ID Scan, its driver's license scanner, which can read information from IDs from all 50 states while rejecting counterfeits and putting solid data in database fields.. The software and scanning technology in the new iteration completes the scan and read in about one second, beating by nine seconds the time of the previous model.
Coinstar, known best for its green, coin-counting kiosks at the front of grocery stores, announced it had received the 2006 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Leadership for its e-payment products category-management program. The program uses analytics to fine-tune prepaid efforts, including wireless, long-distance, and cash and gift cards.
Corporate Safe Specialists featured its new Brinks-friendly kiosk, which debuted last month at The Self-Service & Kiosk Show. The self-service device is compatible with the key system used by the armored car company, enabling c-store operators to host cash-accepting kiosks without creating a security weakness; employees need never touch the money.
NCR EasyPoint, formerly Tidel Engineering, showed several machines, including the Tidel 3300 and Tidel 3600, which incorporate Windows CE and, in the case of the 3600, an integrated NCR bill dispenser. The Tidel 3050, built without a dispenser, is designed for the replacement market, enabling deployers who need Triple DES compliance but have youthful De La Rue SDD 1700 dispensers they want to keep to upgrade without unnecessary cost. (To read more about the NCR acquisition of Tidel Engineering, click here and here.)
Self-service newcomer Pan-Oston showed its Utopia line, applications that can be custom-configured for the small spaces typical of the c-store environment as well as for big-box food retailers. Units can be positioned on the floor, with or without a security scale, or tabletop, with biometric capability. "The biometrics can be used to reduce the number of keys and cards c-store operators have to give employees," said Russell Strickland, self-scan project manager for Pan-Oston. "They can be used for loyalty programs as well, when they're customer-facing."
Triton Systems provided a preview of its new low-cost ATM, the RL2000, which will formally debut in 2007. The ATM provides more functionality than traditionally found on low-cost machines. Featuring the Win 5.0 operating system, the RL2000 has a large storage capacity for journaling and comes with an optional 8-inch VGA color display that supports improved advertising and screen-customizing capabilities.
The NAMOS cash-management solution from Wincor Nixdorf includes a nifty conveyor belt that brings coins into a sophisticated counter. The device can recognize counterfeit and sort non-coin items such as keys and paperclips with such accuracy that banks can accept funds inside the machine as already on deposit.
Germany-based Wincor Nixdorf demonstrated its NAMOS cash-management solution, which is in its first year of U.S. release. Using the iCash family of software and cash acceptors, the kiosk can be used either employee- or customer-facing. It accepts random stacks of bills and fistfuls of change, sorts them and accepts them into the till while rejecting counterfeit and pocket debris. Some banks will even credit the funds inside the kiosk as deposited cash. Watch for the tiny conveyor belt that moves coins into the system. It is a marvel of engineering done the way only the country that also brings you BMWs and Mercedes-Benz can do it. Zehr gut!
Information also compiled from NACS press releases.
Posted by: Joseph Grove AT 04:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 "Today" consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman tracked down the bacteria travelers encounter at airports and hotels. First stop: the check-in monitor. A swab of the kiosk revealed lots of bacteria and some mold. Morbach also found penicillium, which can cause allergic reactions.
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Posted by: AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 October 2006
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Fred Zercoe likes to get a good reading on his health without the help of a nurse or doctor. He can check his blood pressure, pulse and other vital signs with the HomeMed Wellness Center. "You can do it with your eyes closed after you've used it a few times," said Zercoe, a retired claims adjuster. The kiosk works with the swipe of a card.
Posted by: AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 October 2006

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the members of the KioskCom Advisory Board flew to New York to participate in a day-long planning session. The result was the groundwork for the 2007 conference program to be presented April 25 - 27 in Las Vegas.

The premise of the upcoming KioskCom Self-Service Expo will be to highlight innovative work and/or case studies from deployer clients from a wide variety of industries. Specific presentations are sought in the following topic areas:

  • Defining success criteria in a pilot program; full-scale deployment rollout; and post deployment updates and upgrades
  • Kiosk "course corrections"
  • Common issues/experiences facing deployers in all industries
  • Understanding your customer and how they will (or will not) use self-service kiosk technology
  • Business analytics (gathering, mining, segmenting valuing and analyzing multichannel data)
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Payments (contactless technology, micro payments, mobile payments)
  • RFID vs SMS/text. Why is RFID important in POS
  • Wireless deployment
  • Measuring multi-channel customer value and leveraging content across multiple touchpoints
  • Reducing wait time; line busting
  • Understand full realm of self-service and assisted technology

If you are interested in speaking, visit for a submission form and guidelines.

Posted by: AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 October 2006
ZDNet UK: A new RFID tag has been designed and its inventors claim it could improve airport security by tracking passengers as they mingle in the departure lounge. The plan is to issue every passenger with an RFID tag at check-in so human traffic can be monitored around the airport.
Posted by: AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 October 2006 At a time when the country's information-technology sector is facing high attrition rates, Tata Consultancy Services has come out with a way  to counter attrition by implementing the Infinity Channel. The Infinity Channel is an in-house digital-signage network that enables information sharing and increases TCSers' awareness about its own company across countries, cities and offices.
Posted by: AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 October 2006
Pittsburg Tribune-Review: Sammi Ryan giggled as she watched the pink dragon, which she had digitally painted with her fingertips, bounce across the screen while an animated green dog chased a purple cat with a vacuum cleaner hose.
The "magic coloring book" game helped Sammi, 14, to forget about her stomach pain as she waited for results of gallbladder tests in the emergency room at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Oakland.
Posted by: AT 10:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 October 2006
BRANFORD, Conn. -- Netkey Inc. has been named to Deloitte & Touche's Technology Fast 50 Program for the Connecticut region, a ranking by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the area. Rankings are based on the percentage revenue growth over five years from 2001—2005.
"We're pleased to be recognized by Deloitte for the third year," said V. Miller Newton, chief executive of Netkey. "This honor validates Netkey's mission of providing businesses worldwide with the software and services they need to deliver successful kiosk and digital-merchandising initiatives. We attribute our success to the hard work of our employees and the support of our customers, investors and partners."
The average revenue increase among companies that made the Connecticut list was 51 percent.
To qualify companies must have had operating revenue of at least $50,000 in 2001 and $5,000,000 in 2005, be headquartered in Connecticut, and be a company that owns proprietary technology or proprietary intellectual property that contributes to a significant portion of the company's operating revenue. Companies also may devote significant proportions of their revenue to technology research and development.
 "We applaud the successes of Netkey and acknowledge it as one of the very few to accomplish such a fast growth rate over the past five years," ," said Alex Discepolo, a director at Deloitte Tax LLP and chairperson of the Connecticut Technology Fast 50.
Winners of the 16 regional Technology Fast 50 programs in the United States and Canada are eligible to be entered into the Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 program, which ranks North America's top 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences.
Posted by: AT 10:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 October 2006
China Daily: Foreign banks in China have accelerated the expansion of their ATM networks as they prepare for the full opening of the country's retail-banking sector at the end of the year.
Citigroup Inc., the world's biggest financial-service company, teamed with 7-Eleven licensee Guang Dong Sai Yi Convenience Stores Ltd. to install ATMs in select convenience stores in southern China. Citigroup is the first foreign bank to sign such a deal.
Posted by: AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 October 2006 One team developed a wristwatch MP3 player. Another created an automobile media player that included a phone and global-positioning technology. And they were all high school students. One student company, HiQu, came up with "Vendertainment," a kiosk from which a purchaser can download music and video content to a laptop, iPod or other storage device without a high-speed Internet connection.
Posted by: AT 10:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 October 2006 Macrovision and Sonic are the first to offer software that uses digital downloads of films from Hollywood studios to create copyright-protected DVDs with artwork and bonus features. Buyers get a physical copy of a movie that can be played in home-DVD players.
Read more
Posted by: AT 10:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
JENKS, Okla. - Visitors to Jenks High School will soon be greeted by a new school-safety tool called LobbyGuard. LobbyGuard's visitor-management kiosk can instantly check all campus visitors against national and state sex-offender registries and other criminal databases, and notify appropriate school and district personnel if a match is made.
"One of the most challenging areas for most of the nation's schools is the monitoring of who is coming into our children's buildings," said Roger Wright, executive administrator of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness for the Jenks district.
LobbyGuard operates in hundreds of public and private schools and administrative facilities across the United States. The demand for visitor background checks came from school systems themselves, even before states started passing the Jessica Lunsford Act, which requires schools to screen campus visitors against criminal databases.
LobbyGuard requires a driver's license to sign in, runs an instant background check on the visitor, and matches the visitor to any student he or she is allowed to pick up.
Posted by: AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
The Chicago Tribune: Walgreen Co. is getting into the movie rental business. The nation's largest drugstore chain teamed with Redbox Automated Retail LLC, a McDonald's Corp. joint venture, to test DVD-rental vending machines at 38 stores in the Chicago area and Greater Houston. The fee is $1 and can be paid with a credit or debit card.
Posted by: AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
The Oregonian: A robbery Oct. 10 at a Northeast Portland ATM couldn't have gone better for the victim.
He was across the street from a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, and deputies were just rolling in to start the night shift when the crime occurred. The victim had just withdrawn $100 from a U.S. Bank when two men showed him a butcher knife and demanded the money.
Read more
Posted by: AT 10:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
Qlinks America provides a proven, cost-effective marketing method to increase revenues and profits for neighborhood, regional, and national retailers. Through patent-pending QBux Marketing Systemâ„¢ kiosks, strategically located at convenience stores and high-volume retailing hubs, consumers are given retailer discounts (via e-coupons) that motivate buying at or near the point of sale. This solution set is replicable (nationally and internationally), providing significant revenue and profit growth for Qlinks America and it's business partners.
Posted by: AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
LAS VEGAS·The annual tradeshow of the National Association of Convenience Stores opened yesterday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The number of exhibitors focused on kiosks and ATMs remained small among about 1,400 vendors of soft drinks, energy drinks candy bars, adult magazines, cup racks and car wash systems. But the c-store world continues to adopt not only the technology but the philosophy of self-service.
"You're seeing more companies be very aggressive with self-service," said Jeff Lenard, a spokesman for NACS. "I don't know that we're at a tipping point yet, but it's hardly unique anymore.
Pan-Oston produces many self-checkout units, including this tabletop unit that includes biometrics for use in loyalty programs or other applications.
While pay-at-the-pump and the ATM are the mainstays of c-store self-service technology, other applications are gaining ground.
Radiant Systems has deployed self-ordering terminals in WaWa, Sheetz and Rutter's c-stores. Spokesman James Hervey led booth visitors on a whirlwind tour of the various applications his company has developed for their fast-food products, calling the deployments a great fit for the c-store space.
"The ROI is almost automatic," he said. "First of all, your food waste goes to zero almost instantly."
In addition, Hervey said, the self-service applications are three times more successful at up-selling items like cheese and chips. "The machine never forgets to ask, and there is no embarrassment factor for the customer saying yes."
The self-ordering terminals link to the POS terminals, eliminating the need for a second cashier at the food station.
James Hervey demonstrates the self-ordering application Radiant Systems developed for the fast-food products of BP c-stores.
Self-checkout is moving from the grocer to the c-store. Self-service new-comer Pan-Oston showed its Utopia line, applications that can be custom-configured for the small spaces typical of the c-store environment as well as for those of the larger food retailers. Units can be positioned on the floor, with or without a security scale, or on table tops, with biometric capability.
"The biometrics can be used to reduce the number of keys and cards c-store operators have to give employees," said Russell Strickland, self-scan project manager for Pan-Oston. "They can be used for loyalty programs as well, when they're customer-facing."
For more stories about c-store applications of self-service and ATMs, follow the links.
NACS is an international trade association representing more than 2,200 retail and 1,800 supplier members. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 140,600 stores across the country, posted $495.3 billion in total sales in 2005, $344.2 billion coming from motor fuel sales.
Lenard expected about 25,000 people to attend the show, which was first produced in 1961.
Posted by: Joseph Grove AT 04:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
The Star Online: Dropzone has developed in-house ATM multifulfillment payment centers, which will be set up at shopping complexes, airports and petrol stations. The company hopes to offer the ATM service nationwide by year-end. The machines will allow customers to settle various types of bills, including those for credit cards, loans and mobile-phone services.
Posted by: AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Roku entered the digital sign market with the announcement of its BrightSign digital sign and kiosk controller. BrightSign is designed for small businesses, merchandising departments and retailers that want to use flat-panel displays for point-of-purchase promotions.
At $299.99, it offers an economical and turnkey solution for businesses to promote their messages on flat screen and HD displays in stores, at trade shows or other locations. BrightSign is made to be setup without an IT department. Content can be created using familiar, off-the-shelf photo or video editing tools. Common tasks like playing a looping video or slide show are accomplished by simply dragging-and-dropping files onto a CompactFlash card. But the real power of BrightSign shines with customers who want to create interactive experiences.
In addition to flexible media playback, BrightSign supports BrightScript. Roku created this easy scripting language specifically for digital-sign and kiosk applications. BrightScript enables new interactive features for digital signs. For example, a simple, repetitive video loop can be turned into an attract loop that lets customers choose to receive more information on a particular topic through the touch of a button.
Unlike DVD players or PCs, BrightSign with BrightScript is designed specifically to control digital signage and in-store point-of-purchase displays. BrightSign has no moving parts and does not run a full-scale operating system, making it much more reliable than other display options. It easily mounts to walls, shelves or cabinets. It connects to both standard VGA LCD monitors and high-end HD displays, and comes loaded with other connectivity options like component video, USB keyboard, analog or USB speakers, touchscreen, custom button panel, IR remote control, Ethernet and serial ports.
Posted by: AT 10:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — KODAK Remote Business Manager software, powered by Esprida Enterprise, is now available for KODAK Picture Kiosks. Retailers can use RBM to centrally manage their Kodak Picture Kiosk networks to maximize equipment availability, increase profitability, and enhance the consumer experience.
KODAK, the world's largest retail-photo kiosk provider, has more than 80,000 Picture Kiosks installed at retail locations worldwide. The Picture Kiosks provide self-service-lab quality prints in seconds.
Key retailers around the world who own and operate KODAK photo kiosks are installing Esprida software. Automated functionality makes managing various marketing, sales and advertising programs, including event-related pricing and the frequency of in-store promotions, both easy and efficient. RBM collects and delivers production data, generates reports on sales volumes on single stores, groups of stores or an entire chain, anytime, anywhere. 
To minimize equipment downtime and staff intervention, the system proactively monitors and controls in-store equipment to ensure consumables are replenished in a timely manner. It automatically detects diagnoses and self-repairs based on pre-determined business rules.
"We are committed to supporting KODAK and its retailers with software that improves the operation and viability of the vast network of KODAK Picture Kiosks around the globe,"� said Anila Jobanputra, president of Esprida Corp.
Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006
It takes more than cable to connect retail information networks.
On September 7, the Self-Service & Kiosk Association signed a deal with the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards, officially recognizing the PCATS standard for use in kiosks and self-service devices. Technology standards committee chairman Ed McGunn, also chief executive of Corporate Safe Specialists, announced the deal during his presentation at the September advisory board meeting preceding The Self-Service and Kiosk Show at San Antonio, Texas.
PCATS' standard for coding and communicating data, called PCATS-NAXML, is a type of XML code specially formulated to hold data about convenience and retail stores. The PCATS standard allows devices, c-stores and vendors to use an interchangeable communications medium, with which they can add or subtract features from a single universal framework, rather than making every such project a custom job.
PCATS executive director John Hervey said the primary benefit to stores that use this universal standard is the ability to interface with vendors interchangeably. In legacy systems, changing a product vendor could mean completely redoing proprietary software and data standards specific to each vendor. PCATS consulted with several popular vendors including Pepsico and Anheuser Busch while formulating their standards.
"Number one is the ability to buy best of breed that can plug and play with other people who use the standards because you're not locked into a particular vendor's standards," Hervey said. "We're trying to create an opportunity for retailers to be able to buy best-of-breed that interoperate with one another so you can take one out and put another one in."
Hervey said the standard not only makes commerce easier, it creates efficiencies that improve software applications because time that would've been spent reinventing how systems communicate can be used for creative innovations instead. And, though PCATS creates a generalized framework, Hervey said the company is exploring specific uses that can directly benefit store operators, like how to directly interface with state gaming commissions to reconcile ticket sales among stores in multiple states, or to install a new loyalty program more easily.
"You can look at specific applications like loyalty, or payment, or something of that nature," Hervey said. "We're not creating a loyalty program, but we're creating a framework for communicating loyalty data."
McGunn spent two years researching the standard before the SSKA and PCATS allied. The arrangement includes a membership trade in which each entity will be a member of the other's association. The SSKA will share knowledge of kiosks with PCATS, and PCATS will educate the SSKA in the use of its standard.
McGunn told the SSKA advisory board that allying with PCATS made sense, as opposed to other standards, because users don't have to pay for the standard and, given that it's a c-store standard, it translates into general retail applications as well: a segment in which kiosks are prevalent.
"Don Allison CEO of Town & Country Food Stores said, ‘I have a dream, that all of the devices in my stores could be connected and communicate with each other and the home office,'" McGunn said. "He said that in 1993 and since then people have been working on that dream. The problem is that most self-service systems data is not integrated, so additional on-site procedures and head office controls have to be implemented and often-custom systems are written to close the gaps."
McGunn's briefing on the SSKA/PCATS alliance was well-received by the advisory board, though some members voiced desires to explore other standards, like Common Use Self-Service, which is gaining popularity in travel ticketing applications. McGunn made it clear that the deal between the SSKA and PCATS does not preclude the SSKA from exploring and adopting other standards.
"We're pleased to be entering into a relationship with PCATS," SSKA executive director David Drain said. "Their technology standards have the support of the convenience store industry. We could learn a lot from them and provide SSKA members with valuable information in the process."
Posted by: Bryan Harris AT 04:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006
Kioskpros was founded in 1999 to provide kiosk and desktop-based solutions for organizations wanting to offer their customers an easier method of accessing information and complex databases for use in government, health/medical industry, real estate, hotel/tourism, gaming/casino and human resources.

Kioskpros also offers complete turnkey packages for securing and managing kiosk systems or public-access computers. In addition to kiosk design, manufacturing and sales, Kioskpros offers nationwide installation and on-going support for all its kiosks. Site inspection, site preparation, shipping, installation, custodial services, help-desk support and replacement parts also are available.

Posted by: AT 11:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006
SKOKIE, Ill. — The In-Store Marketing Institute has released the complete list of award winners for its 2006 Design of the Times Awards Competition, held in conjunction with the In-Store Marketing Expo in Chicago. Winners were announced Sept. 27.
Presented by P-O-P Times, the Design of the Times Awards Competition recognizes the in-store marketing industry's best displays and retail promotions. More than 100 brand-marketing and retailing executives judged the entries based on creativity in design and engineering, the innovative use of materials, the compatibility of the display to its retail channel, its ability to enhance the brand's image, and the realization of sales and marketing objectives.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 Kiosk Program earned the Best of the Times award, the highest award in the annual competition. The kiosk was produced by Design Phase Inc. of Waukegan, Ill.
"I was surprised by the win," said Michael Eckert, president of Design Phase. "I think you always are. I knew we had a great product with an incredible story behind it, so our chances were good, but there were several very nice programs entered this year that could have also won."
Eckert went on to boast that his winning program, had the highest product attachment rate in the history of video games the first month of sales in the United States and Europe. Beyond the typical video-game interactive kiosk, Design Phase offers downloadable consumer content for personalizing the game experience with personalized audio jacks for an enhanced retail-demonstration experience.
The program also was designed to be flexible with in-store maintenance in mind. Custom L.E.D. lights were used for longer burn-life, and exotic plastic composites were incorporated into panels to insure the 4-to-5 year life of the kiosk.
Posted by: AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006
SKOKIE, Ill. — The In-Store Marketing Institute has released the complete list of award winners for its 2006 Design of the Times Awards Competition, held in conjunction with the In-Store Marketing Expo in Chicago. Winners were announced Sept. 27.
Presented by P-O-P Times, the Design of the Times Awards Competition recognizes the in-store marketing industry's best displays and retail promotions. More than 100 brand-marketing and retailing executives judged the entries based on creativity in design and engineering, the innovative use of materials, the compatibility of the display to its retail channel, its ability to enhance the brand's image, and the realization of sales and marketing objectives.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 Kiosk Program earned the Best of the Times award, the highest award in the annual competition. The kiosk was produced by Design Phase Inc. of Waukegan, Ill.
"I was surprised by the win," said Michael Eckert, president of Design Phase. "I think you always are. I knew we had a great product with an incredible story behind it, so our chances were good, but there were several very nice programs entered this year that could have also won."
Eckert went on to boast that his winning program, had the highest product attachment rate in the history of video games the first month of sales in the United States and Europe. Beyond the typical video-game interactive kiosk, Design Phase offers downloadable consumer content for personalizing the game experience with personalized audio jacks for an enhanced retail-demonstration experience.
The program also was designed to be flexible with in-store maintenance in mind. Custom L.E.D. lights were used for longer burn-life, and exotic plastic composites were incorporated into panels to insure the 4-to-5 year life of the kiosk.
Posted by: AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006 Felix Corp. is rolling out the first wave of its Max Box kiosks into pubs across the English North West and Midlands. The multifunction kiosk includes an ATM, instant digital-photo processing, mobile phone top-up and mobile-content downloads, a digital jukebox and Felix's Everyone's A Winner game, which guarantees a prize worth at least double the cost of playing.
Posted by: AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006 The market for business software that handles data generated by radio-frequency-identification chips is predicted to reach $192 million in 2010, a big increase from the $24 million the nascent market generated last year.
Posted by: AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 October 2006 A gang in Dubai is targeting people who use street-side ATMs, police warned Oct. 8.
Posted by: AT 11:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 October 2006
DUBAI, U.A.E. · Emirates customers will be able to enjoy time savings, convenience and 500 bonus Skywards Miles when they use online or self-service check-in facilities between Oct. 4, 2006, and Nov. 30, 2006. 

The promotion also gives large groups the flexibility of being able to check-in up to nine passengers two to 12 hours in advance. 

Skywards, the frequent flyer program of Emirates and SriLankan airlines, offers three tiers of membership · Blue, Silver and Gold · with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges. 

Gold and Silver members are entitled to wait-list priority for all classes of travel, priority check-in and airport lounge access.

Members earn Skywards miles for each mile they fly on Emirates, Sri Lankan or partner airlines, or when they use the program's designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners.

Skywards miles can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards, including free tickets on Emirates or SriLankan and other Skywards partner airlines, flights upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions, and exclusive shopping.

Posted by: AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 October 2006

ABC 7 Chicago: The Chicago Department of Aviation has installed a touchscreen kiosk that offers travel information to visitors at O'Hare International Airport. The kiosk, which officials are calling a "virtual concierge," provides airport, hotel, transportation and weather information in seven languages. Information is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Read more

Posted by: AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 October 2006
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - ImageXpres Corp., a digital imaging and printing solutions provider, announced it has concluded a major sale of its iPrint Digital Kiosks, and related LitePix Digital Display products, to Miami, Fla.-based New Imaging Technology Corporation, a digital systems distributor.

The initial order calls for 100 iPrint Digital Kiosks, of several configurations, and 50 units of the LitePix Digital Displays, 25 each of the P19 Display, and 25 each of the P27 Display. The initial sale represents hardware revenue in excess of $2,000,000, and annual software media sales that represents a minimum of $500,000 per year.

Posted by: AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 October 2006
SYRACUSE, Ind. - RV manufacturer Ameri-Camp is beginning to use interactive kiosks to showcase its RV product lines, the company announced in a news release.

The Syracuse, Ind.-based company is employing the interactive information centers for use in dealer shows, meetings, RV sales centers and even inside the RV units.

Ameri-Camp worked with Video and Sound Productions to create, develop and produce interactive marketing, videos, CD-ROM's and information centers as part of its aggressive marketing strategy.

Ameri-Camp also introduced the information center at its recent dealer meeting and the concept received an enthusiastic response.

"Customer trends are adopting this technology and it's important we give them the latest tools to help in their decisions," said Dave Raphael, Ameri-Camp marketing director. "These interactive information centers are able to deliver information to customers in a fun, effective and affordable way."

The self-contained interactive kiosk features product videos and information, floorplans, picture galleries, page turning brochures and information on the Ameri-Camp company, all accessible from a touchscreen.

RV Manufacturing Enterprises LLC, under the name Ameri-Camp, manufactures a range of travel trailer and fifth-wheel recreational vehicles, and has dealers located throughout the United States and Canada.

Posted by: AT 11:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 October 2006

A few short decades ago, the "store of the future" was a catalog showroom where customers filled out paper forms on clipboards, then waited while their products were rolled down the line to the checkout.

IBM's view of tomorrow's retail store is very different; paper gives way to digital display, conveyor belts give way to bottom-of-basket scanners and wireless payment mechanisms.

Actually, there is still a conveyor belt in IBM's future, at the heart of its new Model 171 self-checkout unit. While most large-format self-checkout units so far have used a carousel for bags, the 171 uses a long conveyor belt and in many ways resembles a conventional checkout. The new linear construction allows full maintenance access from the front of the machine, making it possible for the first time to put them back-to-back; a shielded front and non-weight-sensitive metal enclosure mean kids will no longer upset the weighing mechanism by leaning against the device.

The 171 was just one component of IBM's "Store of the Future," a special exhibit that was the lynchpin of the Self-Service & Kiosk Show, held Sept. 28-29 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. It shared a room with two other special pavilions, the Photo Kiosk Gallery and the C-Store Zone (read more about the c-store zone, and the foray of Casio into the kiosk industry).

Digital signage figures prominently in IBM's future store; the exhibit was surrounded by bright displays, delivering marketing messages and touting the benefits of an integrated self-service approach to retail.

Nearby, traffic was brisk at the Cyphermint display, where the payment processing company demonstrated its PayCash Mobile, which allows customers to make payments at a kiosk or other device using their cell phones. Mix & Burn was on hand with its music-burning kiosk, stocked with major-label entertainment content. And St. Clair Interactive was on hand to offer details from its integrated solution for the Giant Food grocery chain.

One of the most interesting technologies at the IBM pavilion was the LaneHawk by Evolution Robotics. Using a high-end camera and sophisticated image-recognition software, the LaneHawk takes a photo of the contents of the bottom of a shopping cart, looks up the UPC codes for the products and sends that information to the POS. It's a high-tech way to cut down on one of the most low-tech forms of loss — the accidental (or intentional) omission of bottom-of-basket products from a sale.

JD Events, owners of KioskCom, recently acquired the Self-Service & Kiosk Show, making this the show's official swan song. Other highlights of the show included a keynote presentation by When Customers Talk author T. Scott Gross; the induction of St. Clair Interactive's Doug Peter into the Self-Service & Kiosk Association's Hall of Fame; and the presentation of the 2006 Self-Service World Outstanding Achievement Awards.

"Judging by the comments we received from both exhibitors and attendees, the show was an enormous success," said show director Terry Thompson. "I‘m happy to say we lived up to our marketing promise that this would be our biggest and best show ever."

On the show floor

ADFLOW Networks' "booth" was really a large stretch of carpet populated with comfortable contemporary chairs and their futuristic kiosk and digital sign products. The booth included a white retail display and kiosk featuring all-white Addidas Adicolor shoes that are packaged with markers to let the buyer color them by hand. The kiosk, developed with Artisan Complete, is a prototype that allows customers to choose colors from a touch palette and tap them onto different sections of a shoe on-screen before hand-coloring them permanently.

Apunix showcased its UNIX-based kiosks. These included the Electronic Sales Associate, a kiosk that shows DVD-quality product demonstration videos, and the "Leap to Riches" casino loyalty video game, which customers could swipe a loyalty card to play and, if they win, be entered into a cash drawing.

At APW's booth, the company's enFocus and enVite kiosks, both part of the I-engage family of self-service offerings. The enFocus digital-photo-printing kiosk is a free-standing unit that uses Bluetooth for wireless access. APW introduced its new and improved enFocus kiosk, which allows users to print 8X10s, during the show. enFocus sells for about $14,000, fully loaded.

The enVite kiosk, which APW introduced last year, is still an eye-grabber. The multifunctional kiosk can offer a variety of services, including bill-payment. Without software, it retails for between $5,000 and $7,000.

Arrow Electronics, a complete kiosk-hardware solutions provider, designs solutions for original equipment manufacturers · so its brand isn't as distinguishable as its products. During the show, Arrow touted its full line of kiosk parts, including embedded PCs, sunlight readable displays and protective glass. Arrow's three key offerings include design and engineering, systems manufacturing and post-manufacturing, said Arrow's Julie Benefiel.

Ceroview displayed its myriad kiosk designs and its latest offering, the 19-inch xCargo mobile digital sign, shown for the first time in the U.S. The xCargo, mounted on a backpack, can be carried by a model or spokesperson, or mounted on a mannequin. The xCargo's screen is then visible over the wearer's head, from the front. Video content for the xCargo can be carried in an iPod or similar device. The unit's total weight is 24 pounds, including its four-hour battery. The xCargo is available to purchase or rent.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide offered its special handling services, including transportation and setup of self-service devices. Handling features include air-ride, blanket wrap, lift gates and decking. Other services include inventory management, assembly, expedited transportation, storage, crossdocking, point-of-purchase display assembly, job site inspections and rollout programs.

Comark Corp. displayed its Multi-Touch indoor/outdoor kiosk featuring multiple processors, outdoor ticketing and stainless steel keyboard. It was the first time the kiosk has been displayed, according to product sales manager Patrick Wallace, who also passed out literature on Comark's new uninterruptible power supply for harsh environments.

"It's geared toward any kind of severe environments," Wallace said. "Hot, cold, dust, subway, this is completely sealed. It's liquid cooled."

Corporate Safe Specialists showed its Brinks-approved Self Out System, a secure transactional kiosk that stores cash spent at the kiosk in a secure environment built to Brinks' standards. The kiosk includes a touch screen, camera, HTML-based interface, card reader, bar code scanner, currency acceptor, PC/CPU and patented lock system. The vault is made of half-inch thick steel and can resist an attack by tools for 15 minutes. The kiosk is made to have its cash inventory serviced directly by Brinks' personnel, much like an ATM, and will be part of Brinks cash management solution.

CreditCall Corp., a recognized name in the payments space, is bringing its message to the kiosk industry by providing a gateway for card payments. CardEaseXML is now recognized throughout the world as leader in payment services for unattended terminals. CreditCall is PCI Data Security Standard-certified.

D2 Sales demonstrated its now-familiar Tree of Knowledge, a tree-shaped kiosk demonstrating non-traditional kiosk branding, and the BioPark park access security kiosk. D2 also highlighted its KIT human resources kiosk including signature pad for completing tax forms online, printer for pay stubs and work-related documents, and headphones which allow users to watch training videos with relative privacy. The unit is available with our without a touch-enabled screen.

Diebold Premier Services proffered its network of maintenance services for self-service devices. Diebold recently announced an exclusive service agreement with Source Technologies. Services business development manager Kevin Mickle discussed the arrangement from the show floor.

"(Source has) some good products," Mickle said. "And it fits into a lot of things we're trying to do."

DynaTouch exhibited its modular government, healthcare and human resources software system, consisting of 80 modules for a variety of uses from military recruitment to personal online financial tracking. The standardized kiosk onto which the system is deployed can be branded for a variety of different uses by many different entities.

Electrone Americas LTD Co., which designs and manufactures data-input products like mini kiosks and bill validators, says it's targeting the low-cost, entry-level market. The company customizes printers, kiosks, keyboards and key displays, and sells LCDs. "We're primarily involved in helping people with components," a company spokesman said.

Electronic Systems Protection, with its power-surge demonstrations, is the one booth that's sure to make exhibitors jump. Showing off its show staples, power filters and surge protectors, came as no surprise. But one new offering did: The MinuteMan MN series UPS · a battery backup that ESP is now distributing for MinuteMan. The UPS complements ESP's product line, said ESP's Mike Honkomp. If the power supply goes down, the MN UPS's power-management software saves open files to a temporary directly and safely shuts down the system.

Elo TouchSystems showcased touch solutions for 15-, 17- and 19-inch mounted units, which included controller and monitor rolled into one. The plastic and rugged LCD, which Elo calls its kiosk/gaming monitor, uses iTouch Touch-On-Tube Surface technology. The monitor hit the market a year ago and sells for between $480 and $600, depending on the volume ordered and the screen size.

Enhance Electronics offered its Remote Access Power, targeted at kiosk deployers who want to avoid costly service calls for simple reboots. The units include 12VDC, 24VDC, 9VDC/6VDC and 5VDC power supplies, AC power outlets, USB power connections and can be managed online via Ethernet hub or dial-up connection.

Epson America Inc. is America's leading POS-printer provider to OEMs. During the show, the company showed off some of the printers it provides to big OEMs like ATM manufacturers Diebold Inc. and Tranax Technologies.

Passersby couldn't miss the Euro Touch booth, which included a mammoth interactive touchscreen supported by Seattle-based Advanced Method, the Seattle digital-signage company that took home the 2005 DIGI Award for its interactive designs. Euro Touch and Advanced Method also designed the interactive touchscreen found at the entrance to the showroom floor. The two companies have been working together for the last few months. Euro Touch focuses on the hardware and antiglare tech for touchscreens; Advanced Method focuses on interactive solutions for on- and off-line applications. (The arrangement between the two companies is not exclusive.)

Ewait, a Norwegian firm that markets high-end kiosks in contemporary European designs, showed its tabletop CT unit, built with customizable wood-trimmed metal finishes. The company also showed new CT accessories: a matching pedestal to effectively make the CT into a standing kiosk, and a matching elliptical pod for housing a printer either separately (sometimes feasible for desktop deployments) or upright, attached to the pedestal's base.

Exemplum, a 6-year-old tech company that's has a steeped history in Web-based applications, is making strides into the kiosk space, said Exemplum president Leigh Huff. "We've been around since 2000, but this (the kiosk show) is new to us. "In the past, we did more stuff on the Web."

Now Exemplum is taking its interactive solutions to market, and it hopes to attract kiosk deployers and financial institutions that are serious about deployment content across their self-service-terminal channels. "We develop custom content. We could design the whole display or just the parts they want," Huff said.

Ezscreen showed its 32-inch wide-screen infrared touchscreen, which could be made from three to five millimeter tempered glass, released in the first quarter of 2006. Quality control manager Mark Goodie explained that all of ezscreen's infrared sensors are built into the touchmonitors' bezels.

Fivepoint LLC and KioWare showed off their incorporated hardware and software solutions, which cover a range of applications, including Fivepoint's teller assist solution offered on its inSight kiosk. For KioWare, Phreesia, developed with a different hardware partner, was the focal point. Phreesia is an HR-oriented application that eliminates the need for clip boards in, for example, doctors' offices, said Stephanie Kropkowski, KioWare's marketing analyst.

"In a doctor's office, the application is completely free, since the pages have ads on them sponsored by pharmaceutical companies," she said. "It's there for patients to fill out while at the doctor's office. We do the software that locks down the application."

Graphics Systems showed their customizable digital sign solutions, which could be branded both with digital content, and with traditional sign branding methods. One sign combined a large cutout print of a pizza overlaid with acrylic. A 10-inch digital display showed through a square cutout in the pizza graphic. The company also offers the AdView Network Communicator for loading digital sign content, with 40 gigabytes of storage space and 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio capabilities.

Beyond the Store of the Future exhibit, IBM highlighted six primary innovations in self-service technology from its two exhibit-floor booths. From healthcare to horseracing to retail services, IBM's hardware was on display supporting a variety of applications.

Of special interest was the horse-racing kiosk, rightly named the Advance Racing Information, Wagering and Entertainment platform that IBM and Opera Glass Networks designed for Louisville, Ky.'s Churchill Downs. The portable, mountable device · a customized Anyplace Kiosk, was introduced at Derby 2005. It's a compact and durable system · one that IBM says will live between five and seven years · that allows users to place bets and orders all from the comfort of their seats. Churchill Downs uses 310 of the wagering kiosks.

Opera Glass is now placing similar kiosks in other entertainment venues, including opera houses. "We bring meaningful content from multiple sources to one platform to promote the content to the enduser," said Barry Goldberg of Opera Glassworks. "We deal in real-time environments where the information is needed right away. For instance, we can translate the opera for a user."

Also on display in the IBM booth was IBM's Instant Credit Kiosk, which walks users through the credit application process while their in the store. The platform, designed by Wirespring Technologies, has helped retailers increase their in-store credit-card issuance, said Michael Smith, Wirespring's vice president of sales and marketing. "We've found that people like to use this, because it's fast · between two and three minutes · and it's private."

The deployment has been on the market for 18 months, he said.

Hemisphere West International, which sells currency-validation products, explained to attendees its recent deal with JCM. The two companies are now partnering to manufacture cash dispensers. As the ATM and kiosk industries get more complex, the two companies see opportunity for growth.

ID Tech, a leading manufacturer of smart card, contactless and mag-stripe readers, focused attendee attention on its TriBrid MagStripe, Smart Card & Contactless Insert Reader. As Visa and MasterCard shift more payments to contactless cards, ID Tech hopes to be ahead of the curve, said Justin Ning, ID Tech's product manager.

Beyond contactless, ID Tech introduced its SmartPIN, a Payment Card Industry-certified PIN-entry device expected to hit the market by the end of the year. Most units cell for around $100 and can come equipped with an LCD screen and stainless steel or plastic keys.

Immersion Corp. displayed its tactile feedback flat screens, which give users a satisfying experience when they select a touchpoint on the screen. The screen responds with push-back. The California company, which provides the technology behind most tactile touchscreen deployments on the market today, introduced its feedback monitors at the February 2006 show in Orlando.

Industrial Electronic Engineers has been in the display-automation business for 60 years, taking what it learned early on and applying it to kiosks and ATMs. From its color-graphic ScanVue, a mini-kiosk with a touchscreen and label/receipt printer, to its price-check merchandise, IEE is offering kiosk deployers low-cost alternatives. Its LCDs may be fitted for CRT replacement on ATMs, and its ScanVue mini-kiosk sells for third of what a full-scale kiosk would. During the show, this global ISO 9001-certified supplier showed off its two-way video communications solution for bank tellers · a customized solution that one IEE customer requested.

Infonox is the name behind many solutions, and the brand is well known in the kiosk and ATM spaces. It's specialty: financial transactions. At the Infonox booth, the Active Kiosk Suite, built on Infonox's Active payment platform was the highlight. "We focus on transactions, and we help our customers build an application library that's intuitive," said Randy Johnson, Infonox's vice president of solution engineering. At this show, Infonox showcases its turnkey kiosk platform, a modular set-up that provides an end-to-end solutions infrastructure. It can include everything from biometrics to check-reading.

Intas Co. Ltd. is a leader in LCD open-frame monitors that hone in on the gaming and POS industries. Monitors range in size from 6.4 inches to 42 inches.

King Kiosk showed its adaptable turnkey Internet kiosk. The kiosk can be used for Internet browsing, VOIP, 100-person WiFi hotspot access, or a variety of other applications, including advanced financial functions. King manufactures its own kiosks, which are sold as customizable, out-of-the-box solutions.

KING Products & Solutions Inc. unveiled its security kiosk, designed specifically for airport deployments, during the show. The KAVEO includes a biometric feature, allowing deployers to verify identify with a fingerprint or iris scan or combination of the two for back-up. "It really is meant to be used anywhere that needs security," said Brian Chamberlain, KING's senior U.S. sales director. "We even envision this working in a theme park, where identities need to be verified, and members don't want to carry cards."

The KAVEO also includes a chip-card reader, which complements airport deployments · users can verify their biometric data by comparing it to what's saved on the card.

KIOSK Information Systems showed its bevy of self-service solutions, including the Self-Service World Magazine Outstanding Achievement Award gold medal winner in Travel & Hospitality, the Amtrak Quiticketing kiosk. Its booth also included a catalog-browsing and 3D product demonstration kiosk developed with YES Solutions. The Web-based software included the ability to page through a virtual catalog via touch interface, shown on a KIOSK Stealth.

"It's an interactive way to bring excitement to a product," YES national sales manager Todd Frick said.

Kodak Service & Support, though out in the service and support market for some time now, made its Kiosk & Self-Service Show debut in San Antonio. The company is interesting in spreading its service and support message to the entire kiosk industry, not just the photo side.

LA GARD Inc., a well-known lock brand on the ATM circuit is just beginning to show its wares to the kiosk audience · an audience that's beginning to appreciate the important role a good lock plays, said Orlando Consalvi, LA GARD's national product manager. At the show, LA GARD highlighted features offered on and through Navigator · a Web-based system that allows deployers to monitor online access to their kiosks' electronic locks. The company also showcased its line of electronic locks, the LG Basic and LG Audit.

Garnering additional attention during the show was LA GARD's SmartPoint safe-access biometric system, expected to complete its beta-testing and hit the market in December. With SmartPoint, a deployer can manage up to five locks on each kiosk or safe. The system incorporates LA GARD's SmartLink lock with biometrics technology from Integrated Biometrics. To access the lock, deployers can require a fingerprint scan and a PIN or just one of the two.

Landel Telecom wants to be the go-to provider for remote data-capture. The company is marketing its data-capture devices, which use dial-up connectivity, for credit information, inventories and other applications to small and mid-sized operations, said Bryan McCormick, the company's vice president of marketing and business development.

Landel's data-capture unit sells for about $145.

Livewire International, well known in the kiosk and ATM space for its ticketing-software engine, had some tried and true offerings on display. But it was the company's electronic concierge that took center stage for this season's show. The electronic concierge, set up for a hotel or tourist environment for the show's viewing, uses VoIP and allows users to buy tickets right at the kiosk. It also provides information about area attractions, including restaurants and lounges.

Max International, a well-known thermal-printer provider, showed its new repositionable thermal printer at the show. And no, those weren't sticky notes that donned Max International's booth · the repositionable printer dispenses receipts that can be adhered to any surface, making it easy for order-takers to post tickets over kitchen counters and users to review nutritional facts when they get home. Of course, the user possibilities are endless. The cool attribute is that the printer can dispense receipts that stick without getting all gummed up.

MaySteel highlighted its custom-fabricated steel enclosures, including the Corporate Safe Specialists' Self Out System, which it built. The company also builds a variety of security products, custom electronic enclosures, office furniture and equipment. MaySteel provides manufacturing, integration and supply chain management for IT, retail and service industry companies.

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics showed its DPS photo-processing kiosk. The self-service photo processing system can be used as a desktop kiosk or with a pedestal. The kiosk features instant digital printing, reads from most digital media, incorporates photo editing and enhancement, accepts prepaid cards and can be used in conjunction with a Web-based photo-sharing service.

In-store interactive display developer Nanonation, winner of Self Service World Outstanding Achievement awards for retail and hospitality applications, showed its digital sign and kiosk solutions. Their exhibits included a virtual concierge designed for a 65-inch touch screen on Royal Caribbean ships, to demonstrate spa services (demonstrated on a smaller screen). Vice president of business development Brian Ardinger also demonstrated a conjoined digital sign/kiosk retail solution.

"You can use a traditional touchscreen and it controls the digital signage," Ardinger said as the digital sign changed images while he maneuvered the kiosk interface. "Or, the new feature, cell-phone-activated digital signage."

Netkey focuses on software that meets self-service needs. Netkey enables secure, reliable and cost-effective marketing and human-resource applications on interactive kiosks. Netkey can remotely distribute, schedule and manage content.

New Edge Networks offers broadband connectivity for kiosks. What was most interesting at season's show: the connectivity New Edge provides in the retail space. "We partner with providers for hardware, content, etc.," said Rich Hancock, New Edge's marketing coordinator. "We can point our customers in the right direction, and we make the connection seamless."

Printer manufacturer Nippon Primex showed its wide array of small-form-factor printers, including two new models: the NP 3511 and NP 3512. Both are three-inch thermal printers, 10mm in height with "jam-free" cutters. The printers are made to endure extreme temperatures from —20 to 60 degrees Celsius. The 3511 is built to handle standard thermal receipt paper, while the 3512 accommodates heavier stock for ticketing and similar applications.

Palm Desert National Bank represented its ATM and kiosk cash handling and transaction services. Their booth included a Cricket bill-pay kiosk by TIO, built to accept cash and or card payments on Cricket cellular phone accounts. TIO, one of the largest providers of self-service financial solutions to unbanked clients in North America, has contracted PDNB's cash management services since Dec. 2004.

Parabit Systems marketed its custom-kiosk-building capabilities during the show, including financial kiosks, 250 of which are due to be deployed at Citibank for payments and transactions, according to vice president Mike Pesce. He said their custom kiosks are also used at Chase, Bank of America, casinos and hotels.

"We'll custom build whatever a customer needs," Pesce said.

Pay-Ease highlighted its automatic commerce machine, a scalable billpay, card and sticker printing solution that includes the ability to take checks. One version of the machine, the City of Milwaukee Automated Payment Center, won a bronze Self Service World Outstanding Achievements Award in the Public Sector division.

Japan's PFU Systems Inc., a Fujitsu company that develops kiosks, media terminals and technical solutions, is a relatively new market entrant. As such, PFU is spreading its products and message to and through the United States. One of the largest kiosk manufacturers in Japan, PFU has shipped more than 30,000 units since 1995. PFU showed off its Media Engine — a tight system that runs on Windows CE and attaches to the back of the LCD. It's been on the market about six months, and the company has big plans for its deployment.

Planar Systems handed out CDs that better explained its DS15 integrated marketing solution. The DS15 kiosk hit the market more than two years ago, but it is still relatively uniqueness in the marketplace. The DS15 is a mountable end-cap, shelf or wall kiosk that can act as a payment terminal, digital sign, interactive kiosk or all three rolled into one. It sells for about $3,500, including software.

Provisio CEO Heinz Horstmann demonstrated his company's suite of secured browser and backend remote management software, designed to be as user-friendly as a typical Windows business application. Used by OfficeMax, KIOSK and Verizon Wireless, the platform includes the ability to update content remotely, collect metrics, and do all standard kiosk software maintenance.

"This can be installed, maintained and managed by anyone who has basic computer skills," Horstmann said.

RealTime Shredding Inc. is ripping papers to shreds, and helping retailers and banks turn a profit in the process. RealTime put out the market's first public-access shredder last year in a mall. Since then, said Johnny Podrovitz, vice president of business services, consumers have caught on to the shredder's simplicity.

RealTime had two models on display at the show · The Business Center and Enterprise models. The Enterprise model is designed for more volume and is connected wirelessly to the Internet. The Business Center model isn't network-connected. Each machine can shred 25 pages in six seconds.

RESOLUTE TAP Services marketed its end-to-end kiosk solutions, including conceptualization, building, software development, management and maintenance. RESOLUTE TAP Services offerings include complete project management for kiosk deployments.

"We've been explicitly doing kiosks and kiosk services for 20 years," president Thomas Pappalardo said. "We have a very good grasp of the environment."

Rhombus Services offered its full range of logistical and maintenance services, including its North American maintenance network of field technicians available in technical and non-technical commercial services. Rhombus offers ADA improvements, networking and telecommunications services, data cabling, remodels, retrofits and a variety of general maintenance services, as well as a comprehensive installation and rapid rollout program for commercial installations.

Richardson Electronics specializes in digital displays. At this season's show, the company touted its 3-D 21-inch to 42-inch digital displays, and the grabbed quite a few attendees' attention. The smaller displays are attractive, especially for those who value counter space. "They cost less and they take up less room. It's a good combination," said Richardson's Mike Craig.

St. Clair Interactive proffered its myriad kiosk and self-service software solutions. The company won yet another of a string of awards for its Shopping Solutions/Giant Food Stores: The gold in the retail category of Self-Service World's Outstanding Achievement Awards. Company president Doug Peter was also inducted into The Self-Service and Kiosk Association's Hall of Fame. It also displayed the Media Igloo DVD burning kiosk, from which customers can buy whole videos, or portions of video referenced by scene.

SCAN COIN North America Inc. proves that kiosk deployers can make big bucks from small change. The manufacturer of loose-coin-conversion kiosks has supplies more than 1,400 ScanCoin CDS (Coin Deposit System) to Safeway since 2003. The systems use alloy detection and five points of measurement on each coin to determine how much a customer has dumped in from his pockets. The vault holds about $3,000 in change, and retailers typically charge an 8.9 percent fee for the coin-to-cash redemption service, said Per Lundin, the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer. The ScanCoin CDS, which comes as stand-alone unit or with a mounted touchscreen, sells for between $8,000 and $25,000.

Seiko Instruments showed its line of micro printers: Small form-factor printers for electronic devices, including kiosks. Their offerings include the LTP line of printers made especially for the kiosk market, with small, lightweight design and low-power models available.

SLABB showed its large-format X14 kiosk, which can accommodate a 30- to 67-inch plasma screen mounted either vertically or horizontally, and available in a variety of color schemes. SLABB also showed its XR desktop kiosk, with hospital demo software, a modular unit that can also accommodate an overhead digital sign. The company also announced it can soon wrap kiosk enclosures in full-color printed vinyl graphics.

Source Technologies demonstrated its scalable, multifunctional transactional kiosks, including its Cox Communications Xpress Pay Kiosk, which won two Self Service World Outstanding Achievement Awards this year. The device includes the ability to accept cards, cash and checks and scans bills, transacting payments in 1-1.5 minutes. Source also showed its new Concourse 5-Series, which can include ID scan, biometric identification, camera, triple-des pin pad, RFID reader and signature pad.

StacoSwitch showed its touchscreens with Immersion actuators, which add tactile feedback (a feeling of pushing or moving a graphical switch or button). StacoSwitch marketed its ability to create whole kiosks, or touch screens. It also showcased sealed, rubberized, waterproof keyboards for military, police and first responder use.

Star Micronics showed its OEM printers, which it markets as bringing "the ultimate and flexibility and performance to kiosk printing." Its offerings include the TUP900 Direct Thermal Kiosk Mechanism with a looping presenter meant to provide "jam-free" operation. The printer is marketed for ticketing, gaming, lottery ticket and similar applications.

Tata Consulting Services, a $3 billion IT company, does more than consult. It provides end-to-end kiosk offerings that include bill-payment and tickets.

Tatung Company of America Inc., which designs and manufactures LCD open-frame monitors, some with touch technology, showed off innovative designs that ranged in size from 6.4 inches up to 42 inches. Soon the company expects to push its high-end display up to 50 inches. During the show, the 32-inch open frame monitor, introduced six months ago, was the highlight. It sells for about $1,000.

At TEAMSable, it's all about touch. The company showed off interactive advertising units that included a 50-inch plasma touchscreen.

TECHnical TRANSportation Inc.'s One-Touch program provides a turnkey solution for ATM and kiosk deployers. Tech Trans provides the transportation, logistics and installation throughout North America. Focusing on the enclosure solution is just part of the equation. "Getting your idea out the market is the hard part," one Tech Trans spokesman said.

Technik Mfg. Inc. grew up on the vending side of the tracks, but the 9001-certified mechanism company is taking its payment-acceptance expertise to the kiosk industry. Technik's range of bar-code and mag-stripe readers has been a focus for the last five years. Today, the market is interested in Technik's customizable solutions for vending CDs and DVDs, said Tim Graf, a sales representative for the company. One such device, the CD1, Technik's newest CD and DVD dispenser, was introduced at the show. Like its predecessor, the CDJ, the CD1 costs about $400. The only difference: The CDJ dispenses CDs and DVDs in jewel cases; the CD1 dispenses media in paper jackets.

Telecast Canada's Visionpoint hub manages content delivery via satellite, allowing kiosk deployers the flexibility to upload their content to Telecast's Web site, from where Telecast handles the rest. The company's satellite-driven communications network makes content distribution easy, for large and small deployers alike.

Telequip showed its coin dispensing solutions, commonly found in self-checkout systems, which can handle US, Euro or U.K. currency. Also in the booth was sister-company CashCode, showing cash handling solutions including the Bill to Bill currency management system. Bill to Bill could hold 300 notes for recycling, deposit 1,000 notes into a drop box and accept up to 25 unbundled bills at a time at a speed of one second per bill.

Telpar, an OEM of impact and direct thermal printers, offers a wide array of printers in a variety of form factors, including the MP260, a modular printer that can be customized to the requirements of different applications including gaming machines, and the SP 2021, 8.5-inch thermal kiosk printer, designed to print variable-length documents for a variety of kiosk applications.

Top Global showed its suite of remote enterprise hardware including portable wireless communications gateways, routers, and the pyramid-shaped 3G Phoebus, an integrated WLAN and third generation cellular router for home and home office environments.

TouchMate Interactive Solutions exhibited its kiosks with curving, brightly colored, hand-shaped fiberglass cases. One, shaped like a TV plucked from inside of a children's cartoon, housed a digital display and video game system, and has been deployed in 30 Australian libraries. The units incorporate 3M touchpanels on NEC monitors and 2.8ghz Intel processors, and sell for less than $4,000.

Transaction Network Services is bringing broadband and wireless connectivity, as well as transaction processing, a service it has long offered in the ATM space, to the kiosk industry. "We want to be a one-stop shop," said Kent Phillips, TNS's vice president of self-service solutions. "We'll turn it on and monitor it. We do the management," he said. "This is an emerging side of the kiosk business, which is why we're here."

TNS is helping kiosk deployers by building on its expertise in the vending space, especially where card acceptance is concerned. Synapse Cashless Vending is authorized by Pepsi and accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Phillips said cashless vending options help increase sales.

US Exhibits showcased its complete end-to-end kiosk and digital sign solutions, proffering its ability to conceptualize, build, program, deploy, manage, and market kiosks throughout a project's lifecycle. Their booth included digital signs showing exclusive early trailers of Hollywood films, including Ghost Rider, and a gift-card-dispensing kiosk, hardware and software, which can brand and/or personalize cards on demand.

"Gift cards have become the number one gift in the U.S.," president and CEO Bob Douglas said. "Last year was the first Christmas in 15 years when the sweater was overtaken as the number one gift."

Ventus Technologies offered its proprietary virtual financial network products and remote management capabilities. Ventus manages a network of thousands of ATMs networked wirelessly via cellular routers, enabling the machines to be deployed in remote places that might otherwise be hard to network. Their routers support standard protocols, legacy protocols and cellular WAN connections and include built-in diagnostics and signal strength detection. Their VFN includes the ability to perform fallback routing, in which deployers can configure alternate paths to hosts for disaster recovery.

WebRaiser Technologies Inc. demonstrated its digital sign content management system. The software offers remote management, with a locally available file browser that could be used on-site to manage signs locally. The package included an SQL console and log viewer, and a system of prioritizing content by time and importance. The system also enabled download to the sign, or direct streaming for real-time viewing via the Web, and RSS syndication for news, sports scores and similar content.

White Electronic Designs showed its hardware offerings, including the Pro Series Touch Tablet PC. The ultra-mobile PC features a five-wire resistive touchscreen, Windows XP tablet PC functionality, Motion Speak Anywhere with dual-array microphones that recognize voice commands and cancel background noise, Max-Vu technology to optimize contrast in direct light, SVGA display and Intel Centrino processor.

Although Whitech USA Inc. provides a variety of innovative solutions that are designed for the retail environment, it's Whitech's Photo.Teller kiosk that attracted the most attention. And since the company announced the release of its newest photo-software solution, which includes an array of products like story-book and photo-movie templates, at Photokina last week, Whitech doesn't plan to shift its gears of focus anytime soon.

Whitech also recently released its café system, with includes three terminals in one Photo.Teller kiosk. The larger kiosks are designed for drug store and supermarket deployments, said Whitech's Mark Beckerman.

Posted by: AT 04:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 05 October 2006

The Moultrie Observer: Ag-Networks Inc., a company "dedicated to making everyday life easier for the agricultural work force, especially the Hispanic worker," focuses on large produce farms that require hand planting and harvesting who use migrant workers.

The Ag-Networks solution begins with a mobile office on the farm, one very similar to those found on construction sites. Inside the office are a bank of phones and two kiosks. The company provides the farmer with Visa debit cards for each of his farm workers. The farmer's payroll is then entered into the kiosk, eliminating any cash exchange between farmer and worker.

The worker can then use the debit card to phone home to Mexico, pay bills, track account balances and transfer funds to family members in Mexico. If the worker wants cash, he can use his debit card at any ATM.

In essence, the farmer has established onsite financial services for his workers and the need for handling large amounts of cash is eliminated.

Read more

Posted by: AT 11:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 October 2006

The Register: The United Kingdom consumer group Which? is reporting security shortcomings in Tesco's self-checkout systems that appear to make it easier to pay for groceries using stolen debit or credit cards.

At around 200 of the supermarket's stores, shoppers can scan their shopping items themselves before paying for groceries using cards. The problem is that Tesco doesn't require customers to sign for purchases or enter a PIN code.

Read more

Posted by: AT 11:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 October 2006
TORONTO · Artisan Live introduced its Mobile Affiliate Advertising Program (MAAP), which it is calling the first affiliate marketing program for digital signage.

"MAAP serves as a marketplace for digital signage network owners and advertisers to fill signage and mobile phones with relevant, high impact content that moves the consumer," said marketing manager Kris Matheson.

With MAAP, advertisers make content available to leading retail, out-of-home and place-based digital signage network publishers. Campaigns are measured by consumer interaction via mobile phone text messages. Network publishers receive a commission for the interaction.

"The affiliate approach is a model that's been very successful for the likes of Google and," said Artisan Live's Raji Kalra. "Everybody wins. Network publishers receive content that drives viewership and advertisers make the last three feet of their marketing plan highly actionable. MAAP facilitates the whole process with tools that are easy to access and use."

Posted by: AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 October 2006
Dear Readers,
First and foremost, this news portal supports the progress of the self-service industry. The industry is small, with many credible participants, and we prefer to take an open-minded, all-inclusive approach to the statements of industry participants. Very rarely·in fact, the occasion of this note is the first time we can remember·this approach gets us into trouble.
We recently published a story titled "Self-Service & Kiosk Show highlights: U.N. orders 60,000 to 120,000 voting kiosks." The lead item in the digest of show news, as many such show items do, relied on a single source of information; in this case, the source was Steve Kroll, the president of ezscreen, who said his company had signed an agreement with The United Nations to sell 60,000 to 120,000 electronic voting devices. Since then, conflicting information from the United Nations and the original source has raised sufficient doubt about the existence of the deal that we have retracted the story by deleting it.
Mr. Kroll discussed the deal during an interview from the show floor. Many readers who exhibited at the show participated in similar interviews, to discuss their exhibits and company news. It was then that Mr. Kroll said, verbatim and on-the record, "We were contracted by the U.N. to develop a touchscreen voting machine." He went on to explain that his firm would build 60,000 to 120,000 of the machines (to which we referred in standard industry parlance as "kiosks"). Kroll said they measured 19.25" x 19.25" x 5 3/8", that they would be shipped to Nigeria and, from there, throughout Africa. When asked if he had a signed contract to this affect, Mr. Kroll responded in the affirmative, saying the deal was signed two months prior to the show. He said each unit would cost $1,000 to $1,500. We ran the story, based on Kroll's on-the-record statement, as we do most exhibitor news from tradeshows. We planned to follow the initial report with an in-depth feature, given the large scope of the deployment.
After asking the United Nations for details of the "contract," we received the following in response from U.N. communications director Cassandra Waldon, indicating that the UN was involved in no hardware procurement whatsoever:
"Neither the UN nor the UN Development Programme is involved in, or aware of, these voting kiosks for Nigeria," Waldon said. "UNDP is working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on capacity building, technical assistance and support to civil society organizations. We are not involved in any hardware procurement (no kiosk, no ballot paper, no ballot boxes) nor the actual conduct of the elections. There is a national electoral body constitutional assigned this responsibility."
Mr. Kroll, who was not present for a scheduled Tuesday morning phone interview on the subject of the UN voting kiosks, replied to Waldon's e-mail via e-mail.
"I never went into specifics about the United Nation's involvement or deployment plans beyond the intended initial use in Nigeria," Kroll wrote. "I did, however, state that this project was at the prototype approval stage for a final determination on its production of 60~120K for 2007. I did not state we had a contract for production, rather I was very specific that I had a contract for the design of the final prototype."
Given these conflicting statements, we decided to pull the story.
Thank you for reading,
The Editorial Staff of
Posted by: AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 04 October 2006
VERNON HILLS, Ill. - Zebra Technologies Corp. announced its acquisition of all outstanding stock of Swecoin AB, a leading supplier of thermal receipt, ticket and document printers for use in kiosks and other unattended printing applications. With annual sales of approximately $15 million, privately held Swecoin is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a U.S. office in Rhode Island. Terms of the cash transaction were not disclosed.
"Unattended receipt and ticket printing are fast-growing sectors for thermal printing, and are natural adjacencies to Zebra's core on-demand RFID and bar code label printing business," said Phil Gerskovich, Zebra's senior vice president for corporate development. "Swecoin's printers are optimized for tough printing environments, most often in self-serve applications where reliability, durability and ease of use are critical. They offer Zebra an excellent opportunity to provide additional specialty printing solutions to our current customer base."
Zebra Technologies delivers on-demand printing solutions for business improvement and security applications in 100 countries around the world. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Zebra-brand printers. A broad range of applications benefit from Zebra-brand thermal bar code, "smart" label, receipt, and card printers, resulting in enhanced security, increased productivity, improved quality, lower costs, and better customer service.
The company has sold more than five million printers, including RFID printer/encoders and wireless mobile solutions, as well as ZebraDesigner software, ZebraLink connectivity solutions, Genuine Zebra printing supplies and ZebraCare services and support.
Posted by: AT 11:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
Cognitive is a world wide manufacturer of thermal label printer solutions and supplies. Cognitive produces direct thermal and thermal transfer media. The world`s first desktop thermal label printer the Barcode Blazer was built by Cognitive in 1986 and has since created the Barcode Blaster, Code Ranger, Code Courier, Del Sol and Blaster Advantage bar code printers. Cognitive has continued to be an innovative pioneer in the field of desktop and portable barcode printers. Cognitive carries a complete line of bar code printers and accessories including the Barcode Blaster Advantage label printer, Code Ranger wireless printer, Del Sol thermal and desktop printers, portable receipt and bar code printers.
Posted by: AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
Ultimate Technology provides a world-class portfolio of point-of-service products and support services to help retailers automate and manage store-level technology.
Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
Denver —The Denver Newspaper Agency has launched electronic coupon advertising for local retailers and their affiliated product manufacturers., aligns with the DNA's weekly publication,, a website where users post their own photos and stories. is produced every Thursday by the Rocky Mountain News and delivered by the Denver Newspaper Agency to subscribers of the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.
The market launch of YourHubClub, introduced on August 31, offers consumers a free club membership for viewing, selecting, and redeeming electronic coupons within their neighborhoods. The offering of electronic coupons compliments the newspaper coupons and advertising in print, as well as the promotions on websites.
In addition, retailers can go online and see how many consumers have viewed, selected, and redeemed their coupons. This form of feedback is valuable in determining the effectiveness of a retailer coupon and in targeting consumers with the items they are most likely to buy.
For consumers, this new offering gives the flexibility to use newspaper coupons, use electronic coupons, or apply both options to save money. YourHubClub Electronic Coupon solution takes the Internet world into the marketplace and reduces the need for consumers to print web-based coupons for redemption. Coupons can be viewed at convenience store kiosks, while fueling your car, and at other kiosks throughout the neighborhood, or at home ( Participating retailers then redeem the coupons simply by swiping the consumer's membership card or entering their phone number.
Posted by: AT 11:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 October 2006 See an online demonstration of Tablet Kiosk's new i7210 ultra-mobile PC. The tiny touchscreen tablet PC includes a Pentium M processor, a gigabyte of RAM and 60 gigabytes of hard drive space. The UMPC is made specifically for tablet-sized kiosk applications.
Posted by: AT 11:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 October 2006
SAN ANTONIO · One of the new features at the Self-Service & Kiosk show was a dedicated "C-Store Zone." Sponsored by the Texas Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, the Zone featured c-store-specific technology from three leading companies · two of which were familiar faces, Triton and Tranax.
Triton, a titan in the ATM field, demonstrated its road-tested RL5000 ATM, an inexpensive and petite machine that nonetheless boasts a Windows operating system, 10.4-inch color LCD display and room for up to four cassettes. Nearby, Tranax offered a test-drive of its X4000 ATM and the optional HK2000 sidecar that adds TIO Network bill-payment functionality.
But a new name was also on the marquee, one historically associated with consumer electronics and POS systems: Casio. Although the company has been in the POS business for three decades, it has only been in the kiosk business a few short months.
"We think it's a booming market, and we can do it," said Casio's Steve Semones, who said his company's first appearance at a kiosk show was KioskCom in April. "Our touchscreen is technically a kiosk, but up until now we've just been selling it as a POS."
The kiosk in question is the Casio QT-8000, an integrated PC/touchscreen terminal with a very small, portable form factor. The screen is a 15-inch TFT-LCD, with a resolution of 1024x768 and IPX1 water splash-proof construction. The compact machine comes preloaded with Windows 2000, is XP compatible, and boasts the usual litany of expansion ports.
Casio has had success so far with express check-in, restaurant ordering, product information and grocery. Its software partners on kiosk applications have included Nextep Systems, LOC Software and Micro$ale POS.
Keynote Address
Keynote speaker T. Scott Gross entertained a near-capacity crowd with stories and wisdom from his career as a customer service advocate. The author of When Customer Talk and Positively Outrageous Service encourages companies to create disruptive customer experiences · service that is far better than anyone expects · and make those positive experiences appear random.
"There are only two emotions behind every decision," he said. "'I want to feel good,' or ‘I'm afraid if I don't do this, I will feel bad.'"
He also emphasized the need to understand generational differences, boiling them down to one key distinction: "Young people are stuff buyers," he said. "Older people are experience buyers."
The Living Room on the Show Floor
First-time exhibitor ADFLOW Networks stopped traffic with its living room-style booth · that is, if your living room is bordered by almost a dozen high-definition LCD displays. Company president David Roscoe spoke to a seminar crowd about the basics of digital signage and the early questions to ask, with real-world examples from its installations in Office Max and Roots. (For more information, download the free how-to guide, "Digital Signage and One-to-One Marketing," sponsored by ADFLOW.)
Financial Self-Service Discussion
ATM Marketplace editor Tracy Kitten spoke to an afternoon crowd on "The Ever-Changing Financial Self-Service Industry," with an emphasis on making intelligent choices when it comes to offering financial services on an unattended device. She emphasized the fact that while many companies are jockeying to be the dominant provider to the Latino unbanked/underbanked market, the African-American unbanked/underbanked segment · which is much bigger · is largely being ignored.
Posted by: AT 04:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 02 October 2006 Nothing is being done with RFID that isn't already being done with credit cards today, say defenders of the technology.
"There is nothing RFID provides that is not currently [being provided] about a consumer, about a purchase, about a location, about an event, about a credit rating, anything at all," said John Greaves, vice president of the RFID Global Group at NCR.
Posted by: AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 October 2006 Sony has deployed black, obelisk-shaped kiosks featuring PS3 game demos on high-definition Bravia digital displays in Japanese retail stores. Though games are not playable on the kiosks, they demonstrate the graphics that users can anticipate from the next-generation gaming systems.
Posted by: AT 11:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, 01 October 2006
SAN ANTONIO · The Self-Service & Kiosk Association inducted St. Clair Interactive president Doug Peter into its Hall of Fame Friday morning at The Self-Service & Kiosk Show. Peter's firm, a leader in kiosk software development, has operated for more than 20 years.
Association president Alex Richardson presented the award while lauding Peter's efforts. Peter's peers shared Richardson's sentiments. Corporate Safe Specialists president and CEO Ed McGunn complimented Peter's efforts to spread industry education.
St. Clair Interactive's Doug Peter (right) receives congratulations from NetWorld Alliance's Bob Fincher before rising to receive The Self-Service & Kiosk Association's Hall of Fame Award. Peter, whose firm develops kiosk software, is reknowned in the self-service and kiosk industry.
"Doug has been a source of real life experience with his work at Giant Eagle," McGunn said. "I know he has given his time and energy to give his viewpoints to (SSKA) members. He definitely is somebody that is always available to give information on the growing kiosk industry."
As Richardson announced the award during a breakfast presentation, association members and show attendees burst into applause. One of the only people who remained silent during the announcement was Peter himself who nodded once with eyes closed, rose from his table, accepted his award at the podium, gave a brief thanks, and resumed his seat.
His son and marketing director, Chris Peter, congratulated his dad.
"We are elated to hear that Doug has been recognized by his peers for such a prestigious award," Chris said. "After decades of dedication and service to the kiosk industry, many of the principles he has been pursuing and promoting have been accepted industry wide."
Posted by: AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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