News Archive 
SSKA Industry News
Monday, 30 April 2007
At Build-A-Bear Workshop, our mission is to bring the Teddy Bear to life. An American icon, the Teddy Bear brings to mind warm thoughts about our childhood, about friendship, about trust and comfort, and also about love. Build-A-Bear Workshop embodies those thoughts in how we run our business everyday.
Posted by: AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
LAS VEGAS ·  This year's Self Service Expo, put on by KioskCom, wrapped on April 26. About 2,500 exhibitors and attendees made their way to this year's show, which was touted by exhibitors to be one of KioskCom's best.
 
Displays covered a range of technology, from self-checkout and financial self-service solutions to digital signage and gaming. The offerings were diverse.
 
From a financial perspective, companies like CreditCall Corp. say they're branching out and expanding their services into the kiosk arena. The payment-gateway provider, well known in the ATM space, is working with companies in the United States and Europe to enhance transaction processing. In the kiosk realm, the opportunities are vast, said Peter Alcock, CreditCall's marketing director.
 
"We've been working in this space for some time now," he said. "As kiosks offer more diverse transactions, like payment acceptance, we see real opportunity for growth."
 
England-based Felix Corp., provider of the Max Box · a hybrid ATM/kiosk that offers everything from cash dispensing to digital photo printing · and CreditCall have worked together in the United Kingdom for about a year. Now the two are initiating deployment in the United States.
 
Andy Egan, Felix's chief executive, said the U.S. market is ready for more diverse self-service offerings, like those offered on the Max Box. He expects Max Box to make its U.S. debut this summer.
 
"It's a revenue opportunity for the retailer, and there really is no risk," Egan said. "The retailer gets about 50 percent of the profit from the transactions, and the Max Box gives them a chance to offer services they wouldn't otherwise provide, like digital photo printing."
 
Through the "Everyone's a Winner" promotion, Max Box offers consumers rewards, for transactions. Users pay a fee for cash or digital photo printing, but with each transaction a reward from one of Max Box's partners is offered. The rewards range from retailer discounts to free hotel stays. Consumers can select the rewards they want.
 
The advantage for the retailer, Egan said, is that Felix offers the rewards through partnerships it establishes · freeing the Max Box deployer from finding sponsors for those incentives.
 
"We find the sponsors," he said. "The retailer doesn't have to do anything, so it truly is a win-win."
 
Egan expects to launch the full Max Box line in U.S. gas stations, convenience stores and pubs · locations that been successful in the U.K. The line includes the Max Box midi and mini, digital retail kiosks, and the Max Box maxi, an ATM hybrid that includes all digital-retail functions in addition to cash dispense.
 
KIOSK Information Systems will manufacture the enclosure for the U.S. deployment. CreditCall will process the transactions.
 
"Having international coverage is an advantage for us, especially when it comes to working with companies like Felix," Alcock said. "The Max Box can be deployed in the U.S. with the same processor, so expansion overseas is easier.
Posted by: Tracy Kitten AT 04:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: US Airways said Thursday it will hire more than 1,000 people, upgrade about 600 check-in kiosks and make other customer-service improvements to ensure passengers' winter of discontent doesn't spill into summer doldrums. The moves, announced along with respectable quarterly earnings, follow winter storms and a reservation-system meltdown that stranded thousands of passengers along the East Coast, especially in Philadelphia and Charlotte.

Read more

Posted by: AT 04:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
Electronic Systems Services, Inc. is a single source technology provider of hardware installation, cabling, site surveys, on-site service, preventative maintenance, hardware procurement, staging, depot repair and parts and supplies for the restaurant, hospitality and retail industry.
 
At ESS, our focus is on your bottom line. We`re not just selling POS service and products - we`re selling hard dollar savings, peace of mind, and flexibility in industry`s where downtime means lost efficiency, lost revenue and lost customers. We maximize system performance and uptime - offering a complete solution to thousands of customers across the country.
 
Our staff provides the POS related skills and services that are vital to the success of our clients, but not strategic for our clients to possess. By providing a high level of consistent, reliable service and support, we allow our clients to focus their effort on their own talents. Where others simply talk about it, ESS does it.
Posted by: AT 04:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
Nj.com: For Deb Johnson, waiting in line to pay for something is so 1999. The 24-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich., resident is all about helping herself, which makes her a big fan of self-serve, touchscreen machines. Devices that let you help yourself are spreading, from movie theaters and airports to government agencies.
 
Posted by: AT 04:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. · Canada's busiest airport is providing a new level of convenience by installing advanced self-service check-in kiosks for United States-bound travelers departing from Terminal 1. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, says it expects to install 92 new common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks to streamline trans-border passenger operations.
 
According to a news release, 60 of the new kiosks have been placed in Pier F. The installation was overseen by ARINC Canada and its partner, IBM Canada. Another 32 kiosks are destined for Terminal 3 operations later this year.
 
The Pier F kiosks are located in a common check-in area and may be shared by as many as 15 airlines.
  
"The use of kiosks is a major part of Air Canada's multichannel self-service operating strategy, not only at Pearson, but wherever we have access to them. We are very satisfied with the reliability of the new kiosks, and the system is helping significantly with transborder passenger flow," said John Segaert, Air Canada's general manager.
 
The new units offer 2D barcode printing and scanning to reduce operating costs and handle new applications.
 
The GTAA has completed a 10-year modernization program and operates an airport-wide Internet-protocol network supporting a range of advanced network and wireless applications for airlines, vendors, airport management and passengers. By 2010 the airport expects to handle more than 35 million passengers a year.
Posted by: AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. · Canada's busiest airport is providing a new level of convenience by installing advanced self-service check-in kiosks for United States-bound travelers departing from Terminal 1. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, says it expects to install 92 new common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks to streamline trans-border passenger operations.
 
According to a news release, 60 of the new kiosks have been placed in Pier F. The installation was overseen by ARINC Canada and its partner, IBM Canada. Another 32 kiosks are destined for Terminal 3 operations later this year.
 
The Pier F kiosks are located in a common check-in area and may be shared by as many as 15 airlines.
  
"The use of kiosks is a major part of Air Canada's multichannel self-service operating strategy, not only at Pearson, but wherever we have access to them. We are very satisfied with the reliability of the new kiosks, and the system is helping significantly with transborder passenger flow," said John Segaert, Air Canada's general manager.
 
The new units offer 2D barcode printing and scanning to reduce operating costs and handle new applications.
 
The GTAA has completed a 10-year modernization program and operates an airport-wide Internet-protocol network supporting a range of advanced network and wireless applications for airlines, vendors, airport management and passengers. By 2010 the airport expects to handle more than 35 million passengers a year.
Posted by: AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. · Canada's busiest airport is providing a new level of convenience by installing advanced self-service check-in kiosks for United States-bound travelers departing from Terminal 1. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, says it expects to install 92 new common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks to streamline trans-border passenger operations.
 
According to a news release, 60 of the new kiosks have been placed in Pier F. The installation was overseen by ARINC Canada and its partner, IBM Canada. Another 32 kiosks are destined for Terminal 3 operations later this year.
 
The Pier F kiosks are located in a common check-in area and may be shared by as many as 15 airlines.
  
"The use of kiosks is a major part of Air Canada's multichannel self-service operating strategy, not only at Pearson, but wherever we have access to them. We are very satisfied with the reliability of the new kiosks, and the system is helping significantly with transborder passenger flow,"� said John Segaert, Air Canada's general manager.
 
The new units offer 2D barcode printing and scanning to reduce operating costs and handle new applications.
 
The GTAA has completed a 10-year modernization program and operates an airport-wide Internet-protocol network supporting a range of advanced network and wireless applications for airlines, vendors, airport management and passengers. By 2010 the airport expects to handle more than 35 million passengers a year.
Posted by: AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. · Canada's busiest airport is providing a new level of convenience by installing advanced self-service check-in kiosks for United States-bound travelers departing from Terminal 1. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, says it expects to install 92 new common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks to streamline trans-border passenger operations.
 
According to a news release, 60 of the new kiosks have been placed in Pier F. The installation was overseen by ARINC Canada and its partner, IBM Canada. Another 32 kiosks are destined for Terminal 3 operations later this year.
 
The Pier F kiosks are located in a common check-in area and may be shared by as many as 15 airlines.
  
"The use of kiosks is a major part of Air Canada's multichannel self-service operating strategy, not only at Pearson, but wherever we have access to them. We are very satisfied with the reliability of the new kiosks, and the system is helping significantly with transborder passenger flow," said John Segaert, Air Canada's general manager.
 
The new units offer 2D barcode printing and scanning to reduce operating costs and handle new applications.
 
The GTAA has completed a 10-year modernization program and operates an airport-wide Internet-protocol network supporting a range of advanced network and wireless applications for airlines, vendors, airport management and passengers. By 2010 the airport expects to handle more than 35 million passengers a year.
Posted by: AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ZDnet.co.uk: Barclays has been working on a contactless system for taxis, and now the U.K. bank and Computer Cab have teamed to develop a near-field-communications-payments system for taxis. Passengers can pay for fares by pressing their NFC-equipped credit or debit cards against the readers.
 
Posted by: AT 04:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ATLANTA · Wine Market Tech announced the release of its Wine Market Kiosk application at the FMI Trade Show in Chicago.
 
Retailers can view the Wine Market Kiosk application at FMI May 6-8 in the NCR Corp. and StoreNext/Retalix booths.
 
Wine Market Kiosk is a second-generation wine, recipe and cheese-pairing kiosk that provides grocers and specialty-wine retailers with content from WinesandRecipes.com to support their wine-marketing programs.
  
Wine Market Kiosk enables retailers to select from three application modules to best suit their environments.
 
The new application is designed to be scalable to any retail environment and provides full integration with a retailer's PLU and POS servers.
 
With wine-industry sales expected to grow by 62.5 percent over the next three years, many retailers are actively developing strategies to expand total wine sales and market share.
 
"Wine Market Kiosk addresses the full scope of needs and requirements our grocery and wine retailers have asked for. This enables our retail partners to leverage the wine category, which is the ninth-largest category for retail grocery, and one which is highly profitable," said Jon Holland, president of WinesandRecipes.com.
Posted by: AT 04:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. · Audio/Video Interactive (AVI) announced the availability of a new version of its content management software. The new Digital Associate content management system is accessible through the Web and allows users to access a library of audio, video and pictures, create playlists and schedules and distribute them to a device or network of devices. The system also allows users to monitor devices and generate reports on playback statistics.

Posted by: AT 04:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
LINCOLN, Neb. · Nanonation announced the further expansion of its staff and capabilities at KioskCom's 11th Annual Self-Service Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.
 
Nanonation announced the addition of Bryan Fairfield as vice president of sales. Fairfield joins Nanonation after service as executive director of Invest Nebraska Corp., a business advisory firm, and Dreamfield Partners, a private equity firm. In both positions he helped businesses develop their sales and operating strategies, as well as raise capital to realize rapid growth.
 
Fairfield's hiring coincides with the promotion of Brian Ardinger to senior vice president and chief marketing officer. In the last six months, Nanonation's sales growth has led to over 35 percent increase in developers, designers and support personnel.
 
"We're proud to be blazing new trails in the world of interactive marketing," said Bradley Walker, president and chief executive. "Our expansion of talented staff is just another step in being able to offer better service to our clients and more solutions for their customers."
Posted by: AT 04:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
MEQUON, Wis. · D2 Sales announced that it won the Self-Service Excellence Award for Best Digital Signage Deployment at KioskCom's Self-Service Expo in Las Vegas. The award recognized D2 for the Palm Treo 680 Times Square interactive installation.
 
The award was accepted by D2 founder Sandra Nix at the during an awards ceremony at KioskCom.
 
"The KioskCom award is a special honor that is both professionally rewarding and personally exciting for the entire AKQA/Palm project team," said Nix. "This award recognition is especially meaningful because it is awarded by our peers in the industry."
 
The winning entry was part of a larger national campaign that also included installations in Los Angeles and San Francisco to promote the launch of the new Palm 680.

Posted by: AT 04:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. · Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions reported that it has been recognized by CA as the 2007 North American Distributor of the Year.
 
"Arrow ECS is honored to receive this recognition from CA," said Kevin Gilroy, president, Arrow ECS. "This prestigious award underscores Arrow ECS' commitment to helping our supplier partners grow their channel through dedicated sales teams and value-added services to provide a high level of support to partners."
 
Arrow ECS was selected to receive the Distributor of the Year award based on its proven track record in supporting CA's business and was cited for its strength in customer service, particularly in order processing, financial options and time-sensitive orders. This is the second time that Arrow ECS has received this distinction since helping to launch CA's enterprise solution provider program in 2005.
Posted by: AT 04:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 30 April 2007
Last week, a small group of friends and business associates gathered at the Wine Cellar at the Rio in Las Vegas. They shared food and wine and toasted St. Clair Interactive, the software company that just turned 25 years old.
 
Doug Peter, president and founder of St. Clair, said he was managing a portfolio of marketing services and advertising companies in 1981 when he saw his first touchscreen.
 
"The light bulb lit up," he said. "I saw that this was a way to deal with people one at a time instead of throwing mass media at them."
 
Over the course of its 25-year history, St. Clair has developed and deployed more than 520 unique software products and installations. Today, its portfolio centers around a set of 35 "Application Software Templates," remote management and content tools that allow the staff to develop custom solutions rapidly.
 
"They are a class act and have always produced kiosk applications that are the benchmark against which all others are measured," said Francie Mendelsohn, president of Summit Research Associates. â"I think that's the highest praise I can give for a company whose quarter century of existence speaks to its capabilities and talent."
 
In Sept. 2006, Peter was inducted into the Self-Service & Kiosk Association's Hall of Fame. His company has consistently been recognized by KioskCom and Self-Service World awards.
 
Business technology has changed a great deal since Peter started his company in 1982. He said better, faster and cheaper technologies have made an impact, and clients have become increasingly aware of the challenges of doing self-service right. But, he said there is still the notion that if a device looks simple it must be simple to make.
 
Peter said the coming years will see more of an emphasis on multichannel delivery "multiple device and multiple locations on one content and data platform" and more integration of self-service and legacy client systems.
 
And for St. Clair? "More international business, and 25 more years," he said.
Posted by: James Bickers AT 02:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 27 April 2007
KioskCom's Self Service Expo, being held in Las Vegas from April 25-26, opened its doors to plenty of praise for the wide range of exhibitors and high volume of foot traffic.
 
Held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, KioskCom is hosting approximately 170 showcasing their latest hardware or software.
 
"This has been an excellent show so far," said Lawrence Dvorchik, general manager of KioskCom. "The quality of attendees has been tremendous."
 
Many exhibitors said the number of visitors to their booths was high and constant.
 
James Kruper, president of Kioware, said "The amount of people coming by is above my expectations and I'm very pleased. We've gotten some very good leads."
 
"I'm extremely satisfied with the volume of traffic we've had come by," said Kirk Nelson, OEM products manager for Arcatech Systems.
 
A feature of this year's tradeshow is "Self-Service Street: The Real-Life Kiosk Experience." Technology from six companies; Pay By Touch, IBM, Source Technologies, United States Postal Service, ecast, Motion Computing and In-Touch Survey Systems, are deployed in a "real-life" environment ranging from a post office to a supermarket. Visitors are encouraged use the various kiosks, allowing them to experience how their respective kiosks work and how a consumer may interact with them.
 
The show features a Tech Talks Theatre. Interactive discussions on a variety of topics and problems are being conducted throughout both days. Some of the topics discussed on the opening day of the show were "What Every Manager Should Know About Self-Service," "Closed Loop Cash Management Process" and "Efficiently Managing a Nationwide Self-Service and Interaction Digital Media Deployment End to End."
 
"It's all about the exhibitors," Dvorchik said. "I believe they're seeing the quality and quantity of the attendees they need in order for the show to be successful for them."
 
To read about the annual Self-Service & Kiosk Association meeting, held in conjunction with the show, click here and here.
Posted by: Marvin Lazaro AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 27 April 2007
 

ST. PAUL, Minn. · Infonox and Elan Financial Services have partnered to develop a multifunction ATM that allows consumers to perform multiple financial transactions, including bill payment, deposits from remote locations, cashing payroll checks, transferring funds, and buying money orders and prepaid cards.

Through the Pass+ ATM/kiosk line, financial institutions, independent sales organizations and retailers can use Infonox's Active Payment Platform in conjunction with transaction processing from Elan. The PASS+ comes preloaded with Infonox's software.

"We see a huge market opportunity in offering solutions to our client base to help them deliver a variety of kiosk-based financial services," said Janet Estep, president of Elan Financial Services. "With declining ATM-transaction volumes, new delivery methods become necessary for tapping into new revenue and new service offerings from different transaction types and new customer segments."

According to a news release, the line is the first "plug-and-play," end-to-end system certified with back-end service providers that provide functionality and services. Elan provides marketing, back-office, cash management, EFT processing, settlement services, and vendor management. Infonox provides the software, device management and driving, switching, monitoring and support functions.

"We are pleased that Elan Financial Services and Infonox will work together to expand their reach and take a leadership position in the emerging self-service kiosk market," said Safwan Shah, president and chief executive of Infonox.


Posted by: AT 04:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Greg Swistak, director of custom solutions for Elo TouchSystems, was named to the Self-Service & Kiosk Association Hall of Fame at an association luncheon in Las Vegas.
 
The member and deployer luncheon was held at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center and coincided with KioskCom's Self Service Expo, also held at Mandalay Bay.
Greg Swistak recieves the Hall of Fame award from SSKA Chairman Dick Good.
 
A past president of Factura, Swistak has been active in the kiosk industry for more than 18 years. From 2003 to 2005, he was executive director of the association and helped lead its renaming to the Self-Service & Kiosk Association. Membership increased under his leadership, and the Web site for the association received a complete makeover and rededicated emphasis to timely, member-significant news and information.
 
"The first kiosk I made had an Apple IIe in it with an amber screen," Swistak said, describing the early days of kiosk development.
 
Other Hall of Fame members include Doug Peter of St. Clair Interactive, Alex Richardson of Selling Machine Partners, Lawrence Dvorchik of KioskCom, Francie Mendolsohn of Summit Research Associates and Sylvia and Peter Berens of Apunix.
Posted by: Bill Yackey AT 05:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007
The Self-Service & Kiosk Association hosted its semi-annual Advisory Board meeting in Las Vegas, coinciding with KioskCom's Self Service Expo. The meeting was held at Mandalay Bay, the site of the annual tradeshow.
 
David Drain, SSKA executive director, facilitated the meeting.
 
Elections were held for positions on the SSKA Executive Board, which meets once a month through conference call. Last year's president, Alex Richardson of Selling Machine Partners, was unanimously re-elected.
 
The board approved an increase of the number of vice presidents from three to six, with three being vendor members and three being deployer members. V. Miller Newton of NetKey, Cortlandt Johnson of IBM and Ed McGunn of Corporate Safe Specialists were elected to the three vendor vice-president positions.
 
Two deployer positions were filled by Janet Webster of the U.S. Postal Service and Gregg Kaplan of redbox.
 
Special emphasis was put on the continued effort to involve deployers in the Association. Drain reported that two other deployers have joined the Advisory Board: Robert Plante of BMW North America and Dave Watkins of Build-A-Bear.
 
There were also discussions about the involvement of the Association in the digital signage market, with the Board deciding to continue increasing industry awareness and becoming a resource for digital signage deployers and vendors. David Drain informed the board that a digital signage council will be formed as a sub-committee of the Association. The council will have its first meeting at the Digital Signage Expo in Chicago in May.
 
The meeting preceded an SSKA luncheon and the Executive Deployer's Summit, a roundtable discussion by kiosk deployers put on by KioskCom.
Posted by: AT 05:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Since 1775, the United States Postal Service and its predecessor, the Post Office Department, have connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. An independent federal agency that visits more than 144 million homes and businesses every day, the Postal Service is the only service provider delivering to every address in the nation. It receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of $70 billion, it is the world`s leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world`s mail volume-some 212 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year-and serves ten million customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide.
Posted by: AT 05:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Winners were announced yesterday for the 2007 KioskCom Self Service Excellence Awards. Below are finalists by category, with winners indicated. In the coming weeks, we will profile the winners in a special series.

 
Special awards also were presented.
 
Self Service Street People's Choice Winner: United States Postal Service
 
Innovator of the Year: Alex Richardson, managing director of Selling Machine Partners and president of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association
 
Industry Supplier of the Year: Richard Corwin, owner, Vital-Signz
 
Industry Deployer of the Year: Tyler Best, senior vice president and CIO, Vanguard Car Rental USA
 
A best-of-competition award was given to the Polo Ralph Lauren Interactive Shopping Experience.
 
Best retail deployment
 
Gilbarco and Intermedia: Delivering excellent experiences in retail convenience
Polo Ralph Lauren Interactive Shopping Experience (winner)
The Scentsa Fragrance Finder Kiosk
 
Best financial services deployment
 
CitiBank Kiosk Deployment
Quorum Federal Credit Union Self-Service Banking Kiosks (winner)
Umpqua Bank: Discovery Wall
 
Best government/education/non-profit agency deployment
 
ARMP MPOG (Multi Player On-Line Gaming) Kiosk
Swanson Services Corp.: Cobra Cashier Inmate Account Deposit Kiosk (winner)
United States Air Force Memorial
 
Best travel/hospitality deployment
 
Amtrak/SITA Quick-Trak Ticketing Kiosk (winner)
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: Spa & Fitness Center Information Kiosk
SITA Airport Services Custom Self Check-in Kiosk: AirportConnect Kiosk
 
Best entertainment/gaming deployment
 
ACI: Gen II & Player Club Kiosk
ARMP MPOG (Multi Player On-Line Gaming) Kiosk (winner)
iSports Stand: ISI and AWI Manufacturing, Inc. 
 
Best human resource deployment
 
Avery Dennison
Baptist Healthcare System, Inc.
Employee Central Kiosk (winner)
 
Best food service deployment
 
Eat'n Park Restaurants Touch Screen Kiosks
Gilbarco and Intermedia (winner)
Sonic Drive-In
 
Best other kiosk deployment
 
SRP PayCenter: Bill Payment and Prepay Payment Processing
Swanson Services Corp — Cobra Cashier Inmate Account Deposit Kiosk
T-Mobile Fave 5 Grassroots Campaign (winner)
 
Best digital signage deployment
 
D2.Palm Treo 680, Time Square NYC Digital Signage (winner)
Harley-Davidson: In-Store Branded Media Program
Umpqua Bank: Discovery Wall
 
Best overall software solution
 
Pro-Tech Kiosk: Digital Signage Optimization (winner)
Photo.Teller: CREATIVE
Apunix: Complete Kiosk Software Solution
 
Best hardware/enclosure design
 
Carnegie Mellon Children's Pediatric Entertainment Kiosk
iTouch (winner)
SAM Smart Automotive Management Self-Service Kiosk
 
Best new innovation in a kiosk deployment
 
RFID Self Checkout Retail Kiosk (winner)
SAM Smart Automotive Management Self-Serve Kiosk
US Open Interactive Store Window
Posted by: AT 05:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007
PADERBORN, Germany · Wincor Nixdorf has had integration of its store software TP.net in SAP for Retail officially certified by SAP. Certification of the interfaces means that Wincor Nixdorf has taken a further step toward securing the future success of the software, which maps all store processes. The solution is already integrated in SAP and being run by many international customers.

TP.net is a platform solution for all checkout processes at retail stores and has numerous interfaces to merchandise-management systems from leading vendors such as SAP, Microsoft and Aldata for custom solutions. Seamless integration between the central ERP and local POS solution at the store is essential to creating end-to-end transparency in retailers' processes throughout the supply and demand chain.

"Wincor Nixdorf has traditionally been an active driver of standardization in retail IT. Wincor Nixdorf Retail Consulting and SAP have worked to certify this online data transfer with SAP and accomplished it within a very short time," said Dr. Michael Schulte, head of software marketing at Wincor Nixdorf.

Certification of the interface to SAP for Retail means that TP.net now has a further module for rounding out the solutions it offers for international retailing companies. It enables central parameterization, campaign design and analysis of key commercial indicators and, when linked to the central merchandise management system, is a necessary addition for providing seamless support for typical retail processes. Online communication between the local and central components of TP.net and direct integration with merchandise management means that retailers can respond effectively to internal and external influences and implement strategic measures promptly.

In the past three years, 37 retailing companies from 19 countries have decided in favor of the TP.net store software from Wincor Nixdorf, tantamount to more than 40,000 licenses sold worldwide.

"Clarendon Reports, the world's leading provider of technology market data for the retail and hospitality sectors, published its key figures for the retail software market for the first time 2006. These placed Wincor Nixdorf as a market leader in software applications for retail stores," said Schulte.
 
The study's assessment was based on sales generated from software solutions in 2005. According to Clarendon's Worldwide Data Book 2006, only Microsoft posted higher software sales, mainly from operating system software, in this segment in Europe. Wincor Nixdorf was ahead specifically in the areas of POS software and store support software, i.e. software applications that support store automation.
Posted by: AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 26 April 2007
PISCATAWAY, N.J. · E-Z Movie Rental, headquartered in Utah, used to have an established video rental service in the Foodland grocery store chain in Hawaii and in other states across the continental United States. In an attempt to streamline its business and reduce costs, E-Z Rental is slowly phasing out the shelf rack rental model and replacing it with ELO's automated DVD rental Kiosks.

"When you consider the costs of purchasing the titles, the labor involved in stocking the shelves and the fees paid to the store, the movie rental business has become less attractive as we have seen returns diminish overtime. Now, with these kiosks, we provide our customers the same great service but we increase our profit margins substantially," said Don Smart, chief executive of E-Z Movie Rental. "We have managed to squeeze a 200-300 square foot space into the DVmatic 550 that has a foot print of only 9 square feet. It is really unbelievable."

Smart has been successfully operating the DVmatic kiosks at a few Foodland prime and is contemplating replacing his shelf space with ELO's kiosks at all of his locations. The kiosks are Web-based and allow customers to reserve movies on-line and then go pick them up at the machine.

The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas (Maui, Hawaii) has also adopted one of ELO's DVD rental kiosks to provide the rental service to vacationers who are staying at the resort.

"Resorts must compete for vacationers by differentiating themselves," said Jeff Swanson, owner of the machine. "By providing this DVD rental service we accomplish two things · make the resort more attractive to vacationers and hopefully sell more time shares, and eliminate the hassle of dealing with patrons renting and returning movies while allowing the machine to do all the work."

The rental price at the resort is a whopping $6.00 per day. Jeff says that since resorts have a captive audience, customers are willing to pay a high premium for convenience. "Also, since there is not much foot traffic, we must charge a high price to make this a profitable business," he said.


Posted by: AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
ROANOKE, Va. · IntelliMat announced that it will change its go-to-market brand to LevelVision to reflect its digital media strategy and its diversity of digital media solutions.

"Our extensive patent portfolio covers digital media displays for use on level surfaces and the name LevelVision communicates this distinction," said Jim Currie, company president and chief executive. "LevelVision represents our intended evolution to a media company."
 
The company, which holds 19 U.S. and foreign patents for digital solutions on level surfaces such as floors and counters, also announced two new media products, CounterVision and IntelliMat. CounterVision is a smaller, countertop version of the company's IntelliMat digital floor display.
 
"Our displays communicate the right advertising messages at the right time and at the right location, where 75 percent of decisions are made," said Currie. "We bring advertising and information to the precise location where and when it can be most effective."
Posted by: AT 05:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
VMSD: Three digital signage installations · a casino, a salon and a bank · have a common thread in their strategic approach to planning. In the case of Postbank, the implementation of different types of display and interactive technologies is leveraged to create a more "human" environment. The function of the Grand Casino systems is to deliver a range of messages as efficiently as possible, while also creating excitement in appropriate areas. And the long content loop in the Oddysée de Loft salon is a narrowcast engineered to support a fashion brand in a nimbus of lifestyle visuals.
 
Posted by: AT 05:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
BRACKNELL, U.K. · 3M announced the appointment of rear projection specialists Paradigm Audio Visual as a 3M Digital Signage reseller in the U.K., Ireland and mainland Europe. Vikuiti Rear Projection film from 3M will be marketed and resold on a consultancy basis by Paradigm according to the specific application requirements of customers in the corporate, retail and leisure, advertising, formal travel information displays, control rooms and CCTV, TV and medical markets.
 
"We envisage Vikuiti Rear Projection film playing an incremental role in the development of Paradigm's existing rear-projection product portfolio," said Greg Jeffreys, business development director for Paradigm Audio Visual. "We have an ethos of not selling ‘one size fits all' but work closely with customers to sell the best-suited product for a given application. Owing to its sharp images and excellent performance in high ambient light, we have found the Vikuiti film from 3M to be excellent rear projection technology for in-window applications today, particularly in retail environments."
 
Paradigm is currently working on a major project to install Vikuiti Rear Projection films into the BBC's new Glasgow headquarters. Audio-visual is regarded as integral to the building and content has been in continuous development since the early design phases. Vikuiti film from 3M was selected over alternative rear projection screens and will be used to deliver high impact visual communication to the large number of visitors passing through.

Posted by: AT 05:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Techworld: The next big trend in restaurant technology might be the replacement of existing POS systems with open architecture devices that are extensible. For instance, unstaffed order stations can be configured as self-service kiosks, complete with card-swipe readers. These have been popular at a deli chain that's doing a pilot because customers can customize orders and ensure they're right.
 
Posted by: AT 05:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
LAS VEGAS · Pay By Touch announced the immediate availability of its Reward and Gift Card Kiosk. The new self-service kiosks enable retail customers to design, print and purchase personalized gift cards and obtain loyalty-program cards, without merchant personnel assistance.
 
The Internet-enabled retail kiosk lets shoppers create customized store-branded and third-party gift cards with personalized "to" and "from" names and single or multiple design full-color graphics. Gift cards can be purchased and dispensed directly from the self-serve kiosk, eliminating the current requirement of purchasing gift cards at the check-out lane or customer service counter.
 
The kiosks store an unlimited number of graphics, so multiple merchants or brands can be supported on a single kiosk.

Posted by: AT 05:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
AMES, Ia. · Iowa State University's historical Morrill Hall held its rededication ceremony Friday, April 20th. Featured in the newly renovated building is a GreenTouchscreen kiosk recognizing the donors of the renovation and educating visitors about its rich history and many environmentally friendly aspects.
Morrill Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus, built in 1891. Rather than demolishing the building, which closed in 1998 due to deterioration, the university began fundraising for the restoration in 2001. With funding from over 3,000 individuals, the restoration was complete just in time for the university's 2007 VEISHEA celebration. 
 
In order to share the abundant history and many unique features of the building, Morrill Hall displays a GreenTouchscreen kiosk developed by Quality Attributes Software.  Many pages, enriched with historical facts and pictures, renew the culture and spirit of the university. A building directory allows users to easily locate specific rooms and view donor descriptions. Donors can be searched by room, name or donor classification.
Posted by: AT 05:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Heartland.org: Controversy over the use of RFID continues to grow as New Hampshire has reintroduced legislation to regulate the use of RFID chips in consumer products and entirely ban their use in government documents such as driver's licenses. The New Hampshire bill, H.B. 686, would require retailers to label any products, such as food, apparel or appliances, that contain RFID chips.
 
Posted by: AT 05:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
STRONGSVILLE, OH — Bob Martin, independent business executive and former president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, will speak on "Chasing Change" at the IBM Retail User Group Conference. The 30th Annual Conference will be held at the Marriott Resort in Las Vegas May 20 to 23.
 
Martin will discuss how technology has changed the rules of competition and how it is now changing the corporate culture. He will also give his perspectives on using technology to make innovation pay and on the missed opportunities when retailers don't take risks.
Posted by: AT 05:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
MEBANE, N.C. · ArcaTech Systems, a supplier of transaction automation components for the financial, retail and self-service industries, will present a Tech Talk at KioskCom's Self Service Expo discussing what it takes to build a complete transactional kiosk that will meet customers' expectations. ArcaTech is also a sponsor of the conference and is exhibiting in booth 609.
 
Kirk Nelson, ArcaTech's OEM products manager will deliver the presentation, titled "Completing the transaction — What does it take?" The Tech Talk will address the combination of components required to create a transactional environment that the consumer will welcome and the mechanisms that make a potential transaction a reality.
 
ArcaTech will be showing the following products at KioskCom: NCR Cash Dispensers, Diebold Cash Dispensers, CTS Electronics Check Scanners, Reiner Check Scanners and Sagem Encrypting Pin Pads.
Posted by: AT 05:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
SEATTLE, Wash. · MOD Systems, a provider of in-store digital media solutions, announced it will demonstrate its integrated hardware and software solutions for managing, merchandising and fulfilling digital media at KioskCom's Self-Service Expo on April 25-27 in Las Vegas. MOD Systems will be featured in the IBM pavilion, booth No. 255.

MOD Systems will demonstrate its integrated system for retailers to manage, merchandise and deliver digital media to customers. The system supports a wide range of consumer devices and delivery options, including CD and DVD burning as well as downloads direct to media devices such as MP3 players and media-capable mobile phones. MOD Systems' new hardware appliances, the MOD Point-Of-Decision device and MOD Store Server Appliance, will also be on display.
Posted by: AT 05:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
YORK, Pa. · Livewire International Inc., a supplier of interactive self-service software solutions, and Analytical Design Solutions Inc., developer of the KioWare secured browser kiosk software, announced their strategy for ongoing and future product development.
 
Formally named Kiosk 2.0, the alignment of both companies' products will deliver a comprehensive line of services and software offerings to the self-service market. From a secured browser to enterprise-level transactional self-service applications, Livewire and KioWare provide licensed products for self-service deployers, complete systems for businesses desiring turnkey solutions, and hosted software.
 
Kiosk 2.0 products incorporate the architecture of new Web platforms using technologies such as AJAX , RSS and Web services. The Livewire-KioWare software products and applications are built on Microsoft's .NET platform.
 
KioWare Enterprise Server is the first product released since the integration of KioWare's remote-management software and Livewire's content-management/transaction server. Enterprise Server integrates the management of kiosk applications, digital content, users, sales orders, campaigns, product catalogs, point-of-sale terminals and kiosk usage.
Posted by: AT 05:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. · First State Bank and Trust, based in Bayport, Minn., has acquired four self-service shredding kiosks for customer and public use.
 
First State Bank and Trust has installed The Self-Service Shredder in Bayport, Oak Park Heights, and Stillwater.
 
The kiosks, developed by RealTime Shredding Inc., shred paper, cardboard, credit cards, paper clips, staples, CDs, DVDs and floppy disks using a cross-cut method. The shredder can shred up to 200 sheets of paper a minute.
 
"Being attentive to individuals' and business' financial security is our job. The kiosks offer a practical tool in that regard," said Ryan Benson, vice president of retail banking for First State.
Posted by: AT 05:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 April 2007

Canada.com: A coalition of Canadian airlines and airports is putting pressure on Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon to adopt a biometric travel-screening program that would allow passengers to "fast track" through airport security and avoid hassles like taking off their shoes, coats and removing laptops from their cases before boarding planes.

Read more

Posted by: AT 05:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 April 2007
Australianit.news.com.au: Electronic Frontiers Australia has called on the Australian government to demonstrate whether its biometrics access-card system will work. According to EFA, a non-profit Australian organization representing Internet users concerned with online freedoms and rights, the biometric face-matching system has very high error rates.
 
Posted by: AT 05:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
Rfidjournal.com: Touch Automation is using RFID technology in CD- and DVD-rental kiosks. The company has deployed at least 1,000 kiosks, located mainly in grocery stores.
 
Posted by: AT 05:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
Atlanta, Ga. — Vertical Alliance has opened its doors for business and is offering consulting and systems integration services to clients that are looking to add kiosk technology to their operations. This new company has deep roots within the kiosk industry. Vertical Alliance was formed by Peter Kaszycki, the founder and former president of Pro-Tech Solutions, an outdoor kiosk designer.
 
After 17 years of experience within Pro-Tech, and as a veteran of the kiosk industry, Peter saw the need to better assist clients at the front end of the kiosk selection process to insure that their kiosk initiative is successful.
 
"Vertical Alliance provides valuable insight and direction to clients that are considering the use of public-access kiosks within their business model," Kaszycki said. "We are oriented around the premise of providing clients with recommended solution sets that are specific to their stated objectives and goals."
 
Based in Atlanta, GA, Vertical Alliance has partnered with leading kiosk industry specialists relative to hardware, software and support services in order to bring the best solutions to its clients.
Posted by: AT 05:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
"Ideas Supporting Ideas" is the motivational theme behind Chief Manufacturing`s continued effort to be the leader in the new product innovation and customer service. Chief celebrates its 29th annniversary this year as an industry leader in manufacturing total support solutions for presentation systems. Chief`s committment to responding to growing industry needs is evident through a full line of mounts, lifts and accessories for LCD/DLPTM/CRT projectors and flat panel displays utilizing plasma and LCD technologies.
Posted by: AT 05:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
Newindpress.com: An Indian post office has opened its doors as an Internet kiosk. The country's first-ever postal netcafe, PostNet, was inaugurated at the Chandramoulipuram post office. The PostNet's offerings include Web browsing, printing, scanning, CD-writing and webcam/online chatting.
 
Posted by: AT 05:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. · Esprida Corp. has announced the launch of "Remotely Intelligent," a podcast that covers remote-device management for the self-service industry.
 
According to a news release, the program is the first of its kind serving a the remote-device industry.
 
"We hope to make this podcast a useful resource for anyone who needs to find reliable information on a technology that has major implications for businesses and government agencies," said Anubha Parray, director of marketing for Esprida.
 
The first episode serves as a starting point, covering the evolution of technology.
Posted by: AT 05:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
Vnunet.com: A next-generation parking program, located in Milton Keynes, England, will include RFID-enabled smart cards and mobile-phone-based cashless ticketing. By the end of the year, eligible residents will be issued smart cards that store driver information and details about parking.
 
Posted by: AT 05:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
CUMBERLAND, Va. · Visitors to Cumberland County Public Schools will soon be greeted by a school-safety device called LobbyGuard. In an effort to strengthen campus security, the LobbyGuard visitor-management kiosk can instantly check all visitors against national and state sex-offender registries, as well as other criminal databases, and notify appropriate school and district personnel via text-message alerts if a match is made.
 
LobbyGuard operates in hundreds of public and private schools, university campuses, government buildings and corporate facilities across the United States. After a visitor signs in, LobbyGuard runs a background check and prints a photo ID badge with a self-expiring barcode. The photo ID badge lets faculty and staff know the visitor has followed the proper sign-in procedures.
 
"Parents trust us with their children daily, and we feel it is our responsibility to make every effort to create a safe learning environment," said division superintendent Dr. James Thornton. "LobbyGuard will provide a consistent system to track visitors and volunteers while keeping away people who present a danger to our students and staff members."

Posted by: AT 05:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 20 April 2007
MELVILLE, N.Y. · FORTUNE has named Arrow Electronics Inc. number 179 on its annual ranking of America's 500 largest corporations. Arrow increased its placement on this year's list by 30 positions, up from its 2006 ranking of 209.
 
"Our significant revenue growth clearly demonstrates the effectiveness and momentum of our growth strategies worldwide. This growth is the result of the many contributions and dedication of our more than 12, 000 employees, who deliver value each and every day to our customers and suppliers," said William E. Mitchell, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Arrow Electronics.
 
The FORTUNE 500 includes U.S.-based companies filing financial statements with a government agency and ranks those companies by revenue. The list includes company profiles containing the following information: revenues, profits, assets, stockholders' equity, market value, earnings per share, total return to investors, medians and credits.
Posted by: AT 05:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Xpress4me.com: Iris scans will be taken from both eyes of every citizen of the United Arab Emirates as part of security enhancements for a forthcoming national identification card. The card will eventually be required for the 5 million expatriates and citizens in the country and will replace labor, residency and health cards. The cards also will act as an e-gate, ATM card and e-passport when crossing into other Gulf cooperative countries.
 
Posted by: AT 05:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Rfidjournal.com: At La Finca Reebok Sports Club in Madrid, Spain, members use RFID to gain entry to the club, gain to access facilities, and pay for goods and services. All members now carry a card, bracelet or watch with a passive RFID tag.
 
Posted by: AT 05:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Itweek.co.uk: Scottish councils will extend their use of smart cards to allow cashless payments in schools, libraries and leisure facilities. The National Entitlement Card Programme will prioritize smart-card use for registration, cashless catering, and controlled access to computer rooms, libraries, vending machines.
 
Posted by: AT 05:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
CHICAGO · NextWindow, a designer and manufacturer of interactive touchscreen overlays, will give press and attendees an opportunity to interact with its touchscreen technology at the KioskCom Self Service Expo and Express Tour, part of the KioskCom Self Service Expo in Las Vegas. NextWindow's presentation will be held April 27 between 9:00 — 9:45 AM, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
 
"This is exactly the kind of kiosk usage that will illustrate for businesses and end-users alike the benefits of interactive digital signage, and we're pleased to have NextWindow's optical touch-screen technology be part of such a successful installation," said Anthony Uhrick, NextWindow's VP of Sales and Marketing North America, who will be on-site during the tour.  
 
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino installation incorporates an interactive digital signage network to help guests learn more about events and services offered within the resort. NextWindow's optical touch technology overlays are integrated into a kiosk solution provided by Jupiterbay, Inc.
 
The 25-unit, 40-inch display network operates as a "virtual concierge" for guests to locate dining, entertainment, amenities and way-finding within Mandalay Bay. Usage reports indicated that the initial installation was so successful that Mandalay Bay increased the number of original units, and one of the displays is experiencing more than 4,000 unique customer interactions per week.
 
KioskCom Self Service Expo attendees will also get a chance to see and use the NextWindow technology with interactive kiosks at the NextWindow KioskCom Booth #548, and in partner booths including: SeePoint Interactive Kiosk Systems, Apunix, and Jupiterbay.
Posted by: AT 06:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Rfidjournal.com: Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, a group of three hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania, is gearing up to track surgical patients with an ultra-wideband RFID system. The hospital network hopes the technology improves communication among staff and patients' families and friends, ultimately providing better and more efficient care.
 
Posted by: AT 06:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
PADERBORN, Germany · Wincor Nixdorf is supplying up to 10,000 kiosk systems to Reliance Money Ltd., an Indian provider of financial services, through its partner AGS Infotech. AGS Infotech, which is based in Mumbai, India, specializes in IT solutions for retail and banking,

According to a news release, R-Money hopes to enable customers, through the kiosks, the ability to access its transaction portal · a portal that permits secure online share-trading, among other things. The kiosk systems are based on Beetle systems.

"As part of our development strategy for Asia, we view India as a market of growing importance," said Lim Khoon Hong, president of Wincor Nixdorf Asia. Around 2,500 kiosks have already been installed. The remaining kiosks will be installed over the period of next few months."
Posted by: AT 06:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Rfidjournal.com: Hung Cao, a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington's department of electrical engineering, and his team of UTA colleagues have designed and built a device that monitors the carbon dioxide a child exhales. If the infant stops breathing, the device transmits an alert via RFID within seconds. For hospitals and nurses, the system could provide a way to monitor a baby's breathing around the clock, thereby helping fight sudden infant death syndrome.
 
Posted by: AT 06:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. · NEC Corporation of America, provider of IT, network and identity management solutions, announced the debut of its PIDplus identification technology to the civil and commercial markets.
  
PIDplus incorporates NEC's multimodal biometrics technology with fingerprint and facial matching. According to NEC, this is the first time multibiometrics matching technology has been made available for the commercial and civil markets.
 
PIDplus is a suite of software-based development toolkits offering multibiometrics identification solutions that enable system integrators, applications providers and device manufacturers to quickly and seamlessly integrate NEC's biometrics technology into their solutions and products. PIDplus is a software developer's kit composed of modular components to provide flexibility and scalability to meet each enterprise's specific biometrics identification needs.
Posted by: AT 06:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. · VeriFone Holdings announced that its first external contactless-card-acceptance device, the QX100, has been certified by Visa and MasterCard for contactless payments on Visa Contactless and MasterCard PayPass.
 
The QX100 fixes to VeriFone's Omni 3700 and Nurit's payment systems, to name a couple, providng merchants a cost-effective migration to contactless, "tap and pay" card acceptance.
 
The QX100 is capable of high-speed encryption using modern encryption algorithms.

Posted by: AT 06:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Cardtechnology.com: With the planned launch in London of contactless retail payments in roughly six months, no merchants have announced plans to use the technology. But the United Kingdom's largest banks, including Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, reportedly support the project.
 
Posted by: AT 06:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Cardtechnology.com: At least 3 million Pasmo contactless smart cards have been sold less than a month after the product's launch. The Pasmo card is similar to the Suica contactless card that is used to pay train fares and make purchases at about 12,000 shops throughout Greater Tokyo.

Read more
Posted by: AT 06:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Good business people know always to be on the lookout for opportunities. They also know the difference between being on the lookout and being a vulture.
 
Based on a horribly timed press release issued by digital signage company Netpresenter, we have a vivid illustration to help identify the latter.
 
Less than 24 hours after the final body count was tallied at the campus, the site of the worst mass murder in U.S. history, Netpresenter issued a press release through a news agency that said, in essence, if the school had deployed its product, fewer people might have been killed.
 
Read for yourself what the company considers good PR:
 
"A community alert system using all available PC screens, digital signs and student notebooks, could have made a difference at Virginia Tech University," says Frank Hoen, CEO of Netpresenter.

In yesterday's news conference, Virginia Tech University President Charles Steger said notifying students immediately about the first shooting incident would have been difficult and impractical. "We know it could have been done -- with the right system the majority of students and staff could have been alerted."
 
The press release appears in its entirety on the Netpresenter Web site, along with convenient links to the Netpresenter Emergency Alert Server.
Here's the thing: Even if Netpresenter's Hoen is right, he has taken advantage of an unprecendented tragedy to sell digital signs. Thirty-three people are dead, the police are still doing their very difficult work, and families are still learning the gruesome details. To Frank Hoen and Netpresenter, it's marketing time.
 
The growing digital signage industry is full of class-act companies. We know now there is one less than we thought.
Posted by: James Bickers AT 06:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Cardtechnology.com: East Japan Railway commuters could download train tickets and recharge their Mobile Suica e-cash purse over the air to their phones, which they can tap to pass through transit gates or make purchases. But 13 months after the much-anticipated launch of Mobile Suica, a contactless mobile-wallet phone in January 2006 only 350,000 customers had signed up for the service.
 
Posted by: AT 06:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Dnaindia.com: Reliance Money is launching what it says is the world's largest kiosk distribution network for securities trading. Based in Mumbai, India, the company plans to set up 10,000 kiosks across India. Like ATMs, these machines will be placed in Reliance Money outlets and prominent locations.
  
Posted by: AT 06:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Sda-asia.com: As the mad scramble for the 2008 Beijing Olympics tickets begins, organizers have announced that high tech methods will be employed to tighten security and fight fraud. According to reports, each of the seven million tickets available for sale will be embedded with a RFID memory chip to help combat pirated tickets. China is expecting 800,000 visitors during the 17-day event.
 
Posted by: AT 06:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Da.wvu.edu.com: Three students at West Virginia University have created a biometric system that allows people to scan their fingertips on a vending machine to purchase a soda.
 
 
Read more 
Posted by: AT 06:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah · Gym rats looking for the right tunes to burn fat, pump iron or pass time on the treadmill are about to hit the jackpot. An agreement announced between Mediaport Entertainment and Power Music will make one million music tracks available to gym customers starting in May on MediaATMs.
 
According to a news report released by the two companies, this deal represents a "first"� for the digital music kiosk industry. Since 2003, when Mediaport introduced its first MediaATM, it has placed manned and unmanned digital music kiosks on four continents, at universities, military bases, retail shops, music stores, truck stops and travel locations.   
 
Trials with the MediaATMs will begin May at several gyms around Utah and eventually expand to about 300 locations throughout the U.S. over the next 12 months.  Workout aficionados will be able to select music from Mediaport's one million tracks and also enjoy more than 300 albums available through Power Media. Power Media currently serves approximately 125,000 fitness professionals around the world in North America, Europe, the Far East and South Africa. 
 
Gym members will now be able to download a personal fitness workout, provided by their personal trainer or various other workouts produced for other fitness experts. Since 2002, gym members have been buying music from music providers like iTunes and bringing it to the gym. This partnership gives gym owners the ability to provide music to their clients and take a share of the $1 billion music download market.
 
Helen Seltzer, chief executive of Mediaport, said the partnership, "breaks open an exciting new frontier in the music kiosk industry. It's a perfect fit between two innovative companies that continue to push the boundaries of musical enjoyment. This puts us closer to an ‘anytime, anywhere' solution to downloading musical favorites."�
 
Richard Petty, chief executive of Power Music, said the agreement with Mediaport "is a monumental step forward for the fitness community. In the near future, gyms around the world will not only be on the cutting edge of technology but we believe MediaATMs will be a value-added service that will attract and retain gym customers."�
 
Music can be downloaded from a MediaATM to an MP3 player in less than a minute for 99 cents per track and $7.99 for a 30-minute workout. Music from these kiosks can also be downloaded to CDs and UBS devices like memory sticks or flash cards.
 
Mediaport was the first company to integrate the idea of a "music store in a box"� with an unmanned digital distribution system. Founder Jon Butler developed the first MediaATM prototype in 2002. Mediaport also has technology partnerships with NeoProducts and IBM and licensing agreements with the top music labels EMI Music, Warner Music Group, SonyBMG Music Entertainment, Sanctuary, Tommy Boy and others.
Posted by: AT 06:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. · MonVia, a firm which helps accelerate growth of early stage start-ups, announced the launch of MobiBucks, a mobile payment solution. With a cell phone number and four-digit PIN, consumers may make free and secure cashless transactions on everyday purchases through MobiBucks.
 
Available in heavily-trafficked consumer locations such as cafes, sandwich shops, gas stations, grocery stores, movie theatres and convenience stores, MobiBucks allows participating merchants and customers to access a payment system that mobilizes consumer cash and gift cards.
 
Features of MobiBucks include the ability to convert cash into electronic payments using a cell phone even if the cell phone may not be on-hand; the use of a ubiquitous mobile phone number as a unique identifier and a secure PIN to conduct commerce; no need to force consumers to purchase a new cell phone and merchants can also keep their existing payment systems; the elimination of critical issues related to cell phone payments such as running out of power and unsafe or unreliable conditions.
 
"By using a device that approximately two billion people already have, MobiBucks' patent pending technology is the ultimate solution and the future of mobile payment," said Dave Barram, co-founder and chief executive of MobiBucks.
 
"Through a soft beta launch, we were thrilled to discover that consumers love MobiBucks because it's a free, convenient and fast way to pay without having their wallet on them," said Jorge Fernandes, co-founder and president of MobiBucks. "As a result, we believe we can convert more than 50 percent of all cash transactions at these high traffic consumer locations."
 
The MobiBucks process involves four easy steps. A one-time registration, topping up, or adding money to a MobiBucks account in-store or online and as often as necessary, making transactions, and finally checking balances and transactions which may be done at any time online or via cell phone.
 
"Consumers tend to spend more when they are not using cash as a form of payment," added Fernandes. "With MobiBucks, merchants will be able to convert cash into electronic payments and ultimately increase sales."
Posted by: AT 06:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Outsourcing is changing the way U.S.-based companies are doing business. NCR Corp. and redbox are two in point and each is reaping the benefits of having someone else do the manufacturing "dirty work" for them.
 
Redbox, based in Oak Brook Terrace, Ill. is a small company that is jointly owned by Coinstar Inc. and McDonald's Ventures LLC. Redbox operates a small army of DVD rental kiosks located in McDonald's restaurants and grocery store chains throughout the United States. The Dayton, Ohio-based NCR manufactures kiosks for multiple applications and businesses, most notably for financial institutions and retailers.
 
Both companies have partnered with the Milpitas, Calif.-based Solectron Corp., a provider of electronic manufacturing services and integrated supply chain solutions, to manufacture either its entire line of kiosks, as is the case with redbox, or only for certain segments of its business, as NCR did. Redbox and NCR, despite their differences in size and focus, have taken advantage of their outsourcing agreements with Solectron, and others, and capitalized on the advantages they offer.
 
Franz Kuehnrich, vice president of engineering for redbox, said designing and building a kiosk from scratch was an option but one that was quickly scrapped. "We were emerging into a new market and emerging quickly," he said. "And the timeframe where you have to establish yourself is fairly short. There really aren't enough years to work yourself into the space you need to be in, manufacture and deploy your hardware and be successful. You have to be out there in weeks, not months, or else the door of opportunity closes."
 
Solectron isn't the only manufacturing giant with toes in the self-service world. In February, Flextronics acquired WebRaiser Technologies, whose Vendi platforms power applications such as bill payment, photography, public Internet access and e-commerce.
 
Flextronics, which manufactures electronics for companies like Dell, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard and Siemens, reported sales of $15 billion in 2006. The company operates factories on four continents and has approximately 99,000 employees. During the third quarter of fiscal year 2005/2006, the company announced profit that nearly tripled from the previous year.
 
Focusing on the core
 
Kuehnrich said in order for redbox to develop, build and manufacture a kiosk suitable for a quick expansion, it would have had to shift its focus from what it already targeted as its core competency, DVD rentals, to something it had no intention of becoming, a player in the manufacturing business.
 
Mike Webster, vice president and general manager of NCR's Self-service Division, said going with an electronics manufacturing services provider "allows us to leverage our providers' experience" and "focus on our core competencies. All of it is done with a keen eye toward benefiting our customers."
 
"There's a better utilization of (the company's) working capital when you can partner with the manufacturing partner that has the capabilities of manufacturing and managing the supply chain," Douglas Britt, executive vice president of Solectron's sales and account management, said. "Is manufacturing a core competency or is it not a core competency? And we've been inviting that discussion to say that it's the time to rethink the strategy to determine what is core and what is not core."
 
Britt cited the high rate of growth in emerging markets Asia and Eastern Europe as another reason companies are turning toward EMS partners. The cost to develop, manufacture and then successfully deploy a kiosk network, including its supply chain and services, is too much for many to handle. The solution, Solectron maintains, is to turn toward an EMS partner which has those resources already in place.
 
"We have worked through our broad spectrum of customers very hard to develop local suppliers in the emerging markets, specifically in this area around the mechanical supply chain," Britt said. "And that's a benefit to the customer as we engage in helping them design the product, not only for lead time but also for cost reduction, to make it a more competitive product."
 
Any company redbox chose to partner with, Kuehnrich said, needed to be strong in its manufacturing capability. It also needed to be large enough so if redbox grew as rapidly as it hoped its manufacturing partner would not be turned "upside down" if the company's potential demand went from 100 kiosks to thousands. The "added value" of engineering support was also a factor.
 
Britt said through programs called "Redesign for Cost" and "Redesign for Lifecycle Extension," Solectron is able to extend a product's life expectancy by years.
 
"We can reestablish that product through a redesign and helping the customer generate more margin into an existing product, where maybe they weren't investing the resources to redesign that product because all their resources were diverted to generating new products," Britt said. "We find that our customers just don't have the R&D resources to do that."
 
Other factors redbox considered were the experience in quality assurance and the added value of engineering support. Experience is the first thing NCR looks for when assessing a manufacturing outsourcing partner, Webster said. "We want a level of experience that aligns with our volumes."
 
Both Kuehnrich and Webster believe the outsourcing model will become more prevalent in kiosk manufacturing. Webster believed it would be due to industry maturation and the consolidation of EMS capabilities. "There's more of a potential and opportunities become more accessible," he said.
 
"Speed is the bottom line," said Kuehnrich, since the lifecycle of products that capture the market is very short.
 
Possible disadvantages?
 
Webster said, there are no disadvantages to outsourcing, saying instead there are "trade-offs" which must be accepted, such as issues with an EMS company regarding flexibility and the speed to market.
 
Kuehnrich said in the DVD rental marketplace, nimbleness and speed were key factors since redbox was entering into a relatively untested retail market.
 
"If a company does not have the in-house knowledge and wherewithal on how to go quickly on a ramp up, than the safer route is to go with outsourcing. But there is a lot of risk mitigation."
Posted by: Marvin Lazaro AT 02:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
LOUISVILLE, Colo. · ZOOX Stations Inc. and RMES Communications Inc. have teamed to bring the first Internet and PC game Cafe to Denver International Airport, according to a news release.
 
Using a booth enclosure, travelers can now go beyond just checking their e-mail and surfing the Internet · the stations also feature PC game titles that are available for local or online play. 
 
The cafes are an upgrade to the present "Shibby" Internet equipment, which have been a mainstay to DIA travelers since 2002.
 
The interface guides users to one of two tiers of use · high-speed Internet or PC gaming. Quick links to popular sites like MySpace, YouTube, and Google are one source of entertainment. The gaming aspect adds a whole new entertainment option, the company says.  
 
The Internet and Game cafe is the creation of ZOOX Stations, a Louisville, Colo.-based division of KIOSK Information Systems.
 
"The single ingredient needed to make this machine a gamer magnet is idle time," said Rick Malone, president of KIOSK and ZOOX Stations. "Our development team has included the highest caliber gaming technology and a full complement of industry-leading title options that appeal to even the most sophisticated gamer. With RMES' attention to quality operation, we are extremely confident it will be a hit with DIA patrons."
 
Main terminals at the airport are expected to integrate the equipment and services by July.
Posted by: AT 06:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. · Select Jewel-Osco locations are premiering redbox's fully automated DVD rental kiosks. Following a deal with SuperValu, redbox is installing its signature red kiosks at Jewel-Osco stores in Greater Chicago . By the end of April 2007, redbox expects to be available at almost all Jewel-Osco locations · nearly 185 stores.
 
"Featuring an unmatched price point, online guaranteed movie rentals and the convenience of renting and returning at your favorite retail locations, redbox is thrilled to introduce Jewel-Osco customers to the redbox experience," said Gregg Kaplan, chief executive of redbox. "Redbox continues to gain momentum in the marketplace as we offer consumers a quick, convenient way to rent their favorite new release titles."
Posted by: AT 06:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
ODENSE, Denmark · FKI Logistex, announced the award of a contract from the Odense Central Library in Denmark for a fully automated item-handling and sorting system.

The Odense Library selected FKI Logistex for its solutions, which will allow the library to reduce waiting lines and manual-item handling by streamlining and extending its self-service and automated sortation capabilities.
 
One of Denmark's largest public libraries, the Odense Central Library operates nine city-based branches and one mobile unit. The cost-effective FKI Logistex solution addresses the library's efficiency goals, which include replacing its existing security gates and automating at least 90 percent of all lending and returning activities.

The Odense contract covers installation of FKI Logistex Library Mate automated check-in and checkout self-service kiosks and an FKI Logistex Compact Sorter. It also includes FKI Logistex Ergo Cart ergonomic book carts and volume containers. The integrated system will handle and sort a wide range of library materials, from books to CDs, DVDs and magazines.

"When compared to other solutions in the market, the FKI Logistex Compact Sorter and the company's other library technologies are very convincing," says Lene Nielsen, administration manager, Odense Central Library. "In particular, we were impressed by the high capacity and tremendous flexibility offered by the company's solutions and its excellent service agreement."

FKI Logistex library equipment and systems interface with existing library communications protocols and are compatible with RFID or barcode labeling technologies.

Posted by: AT 06:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
ONTARIO, Canada · NCR Corp. and The Home Depot announced a continued effort to roll out NCR's FastLane self-checkout system across Canada.
  
In June 2005, The Home Depot began installing NCR FastLane in new and existing stores in Canada to improve front-end operations, improve the customer experience and give shoppers added checkout options. Since then, the retailer has maintained an aggressive rollout schedule. As of the first quarter this year, 136 of its 155 Canadian stores had been equipped with  FastLane technology.
 
A national Ipsos Reid poll conducted for NCR in December 2005 found 44 percent of Canadian consumers would choose self-checkout when shopping. The Home Depot Canada reports that at stores where NCR FastLane has been installed, an average of 35 percent of all transactions are taking place at the self-checkout lanes.
 
"When customers shop at The Home Depot, they come for great service, expert know-how, and a wide variety of choices," said Annette Verschuren, president of The Home Depot Canada. "Self-checkouts provide them with yet another choice. By combining traditional, full-service checkout with self-service lanes, we're able to speed up the checkout process, and also enhance overall customer service by moving associates onto the store floor where they can provide further value-add service and expertise."
Posted by: AT 06:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
DALLAS · AXCESS International Inc., a provider of dual-active RFID and real-time location systems solutions, announced that three civilian U.S. government agencies are installing its patented ActiveTag wireless RFID system for locating, tracking and protecting laptop computer assets and critical documents. AXCESS' RFID solution is designed to prevent such thefts by working automatically to identify, locate and track assets as they move around a facility.
 
AXCESS' ActiveTag system provides a solution to agencies reportedly losing personally identifiable information that works in concert with standard security alarm equipment, to identify authorized personnel and provide instant message alerts when unauthorized individuals attempt to remove tagged laptops or other assets.
 
The technology, which manages assets with no manual human involvement, can identify a laptop by using a small battery-powered property tag attached to the computer, often with an optional anti-tamper circuit that serves as a fail safe measure.
 
U.S. Congress is considering five bills that require safeguards and prompt notification of potential victims of identity theft.
   
AXCESS' ActiveTag RFID/RTLS and sensing systems use small, re-usable battery-powered tags that when automatically activated, transmit a wireless message typically 30 to 100 feet to hidden palm-size receivers. The receivers are connected via standard network simultaneously to the enterprise system software, the existing security alarm equipment, and stand-alone middleware and enduser software provided by AXCESS under the Online Supervisor label. Tags last five years or longer.
Posted by: AT 06:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 16 April 2007
Bradenton.com: According to sales research from USA Technologies, consumers spend 32 percent more per vending transaction when using their credit and debit cards. The data also found that the higher an item's price, the higher the use of credit and debit cards.
 
Posted by: AT 06:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. · Renting movies in the Western United States is more convenient than ever as select Albertsons locations premiere redbox fully automated DVD rental kiosks. Following a recent agreement with SuperValu, the nation's third largest grocery provider, redbox is now installing its signature red kiosks at Albertsons stores throughout Southern California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah and Washington. By the end of this month, redbox will be available at more than 350 Albertsons stores. Consumers may check out redbox DVDs for $1 per night at Albertsons locations, and can return DVDs to any redbox kiosk nationwide.
 
"Featuring an unmatched price point, online guaranteed movie rentals and the convenience of renting and returning at your favorite retail locations, redbox is thrilled to introduce Albertsons customers to the redbox experience,"� said Gregg Kaplan, chief executive of redbox. "Redbox continues to gain momentum in the marketplace as we offer consumers a quick, convenient way to rent their favorite new release titles."
 
"The redbox DVD rental kiosk is another way for Albertsons to keep up with the ever-changing video rental environment and provide a service which our customers are looking for," said Tom Lofland, vice president, center store, Albertsons Intermountain West Division. "Redbox's quick, self-service transaction is very easy and convenient for our customers and is a perfect fit for their busy lifestyles."
 
Redbox also recently announced it had surpassed 2,900 locations nationwide. The company started in 2003 with 12 machines.
Posted by: AT 06:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
Theonlinerocket.com: RFID cards will replace Slippery Rock University's current ID cards used by all students, faculty and staff beginning in the fall, SRU President Robert Smith announced Thursday during the State of the University Address. SRU is the first institution in North America to use these RFID cards.
 
Posted by: AT 06:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
RFIDupdate.com: British newspaper The Telegraph reports that Manchester Airport, one of the United Kingdom's largest, has just wrapped a six-month passenger tracking trial. The airport used RFID tags to track 50,000 passenger volunteers as they moved throughout the facility with the goal of measuring and improving the efficiency of airport operations.
 
Posted by: AT 06:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
Birmingham.bizjournals.com: Coca-Cola United, The Coca-Cola Co.'s bottler based in Birmingham and the nation's third largest bottler, has begun installing in its vending machines USA Technologies' e-Port G6 to accept MasterCard PayPass contactless payments and traditional magnetic stripe credit card payments. The installations are part of a deployment of cashless vending machines and point-of-sale terminals by MasterCard and USA Technologies and is the largest rollout of contactless technology in Coke's Southeast market.
 
Posted by: AT 06:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
AUSTIN, Texas · Isochron Inc., a leading provider of machine to machine solutions for the vending industry, introduced the VendCast integrated vending management solution. This product gives vending operators insight and control of their vending operations through software and hardware devices that work together to improve operational efficiencies, drive new revenue and interact directly with consumers
 
The VendCast solution provides the tools a vending operator may need to manage their vending machines like a retail store: keeping the right products in stock and available for purchase with the minimum delivery costs, ensuring customers are able to pay for their purchases and keeping the cashbox secure.
 
VendCast works across a vending operator's entire machine base. VendCast offers interactive cashless purchase capabilities, software-only predictive forecasting and hardware-based consumer-demand and out-of-order monitoring. Vending operators add only the functionality that makes sense for a particular vendor, based on volume, location or customer preferences.
 
"The industry has lacked a unified solution that solves all the problems that are keeping vending machines from being true profit centers," says Jim Canter, chief technology officer at Isochron. "We've spent seven years studying those problems and have built a cross-industry solution platform that can add functionality seamlessly to any vendor, one component at a time."
 
Vending business managers can directly interact with consumers through their vending machines. Customer loyalty and rewards programs can be developed and target marketing messages created that directly interact with customers as they're making their purchases.
 
"This enterprise solution provides value and drives revenue at every level," said Bryan Godwin, chief executive of Isochron.
 
With VendCast, vending operators can add in-vendor intelligence, data collection devices, cashless technology and vendor access control. Every device is monitored and controlled through VendCast Manager, hosted software that can be accessed through any internet browser.
Posted by: AT 06:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
BEAVERTON, Ore. · Planar Systems lowered its sales and earnings expectations for the second quarter which ended March 30, 2007, the company announced in a news release. Planar now expects sales to be $53-$54 million and Non-GAAP net loss per share to be $0.07 to $0.09, which excludes share-based compensation expense and acquisition-related GAAP charges such as amortization of identifiable intangible assets.
 
Adjusting for these GAAP charges, the company believes second quarter 2007 GAAP net loss per share will range from $0.20 to $0.22. Planar provided second quarter guidance on February 6 for sales of $57-$61 million and Non-GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.04 to $0.07 and GAAP net loss per share of $0.06 to $0.09.
 
The change in expectations is primarily the result of lower than previously anticipated sales of control room rear projection cubes and various home theater products. Sales of control room rear projection cubes were negatively impacted by delays in anticipated customer orders and delivery schedules. Sales of home theater products were negatively impacted by schedule delays of planned new product offerings.
 
The company continues to believe it will see growth in the second half of the year in both revenue and Non-GAAP earnings, compared to the first half of the year, which the company expects will provide a foundation for improved profitability in fiscal year 2008.
 
Final results for the quarter are scheduled to be disclosed May 8.
Posted by: AT 06:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 13 April 2007
ULTIMedia announced that it has expanded its operations by opening new offices in London and Dubai. This expansion comes shortly after ULTIMedia opened its operations in the United States at Rockefeller Center in New York. The expansion plan will support clients where ULTIMedia already has established a solid customer base. 
 
"We are committed to expanding our brand in areas where we have seen potential for growth and where we have existing clients," said Eric Dumouchel, ULTIMedia's founder and CEO.  "We recently established operations in the USA and plan additional expansion globally.  The offices in London and Dubai are strategic locations for us."  
 
ULTIMedia is a Gold Sponsor at KioskCom in Las Vegas and in New York in October.  The company is also providing kiosk solutions for the registration and digital signage programs at both events.
Posted by: AT 06:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Al.com: NCR Corp. chief executive Bill Nuti says he spends 43.5 percent of his time with customers, including those in Birmingham. During his visit to the city Monday and Tuesday, as a guest of the University of Alabama at Birmingham business school, Nuti took time to talk with students in a strategic management class. NCR's strategy, Nuti said during his time with the students, is to become the global leader in self-service technologies and data warehousing.
 
Posted by: AT 06:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
FREMONT, Calif.  · Tranax Technologies Inc., provider of ATMs and self-service kiosks, announced that James V. McCanna has been named its new vice president and chief financial officer.
 
"James McCanna brings business leadership, finance, legal, and IT capabilities to Tranax," said Dr. Hansup Kwon, the company's founder and chief executive. "As importantly, he has helped to build several large, successful international companies. His selection represents an important addition to the Tranax senior team."
 
McCanna was vice president of finance and worldwide operations and chief financial officer of 3Dconnexion Inc. before joining Tranax. During his tenure, McCanna was responsible for successfully transferring manufacturing from 3Dconnexion's German operation and two third-party manufacturers to China.
 
Before 3Dconnexion, McCanna worked for Silicon Motion Inc., a fabless semiconductor company; Innergy Power Corp., a battery manufacturer; and Quantum Corp., which manufactures mass-storage products.
 
McCanna holds a bachelor's degree in finance and a master's degree in business from Santa Clara University in Calif.
Posted by: AT 06:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Secureidnews.com: The Texas-based Prova Group's business model is to use RFID technology to be a third-party authenticator of the genuineness of sports collectibles. The Prova system works by having a tamper-proof RFID tag applied directly on the surface of the collectible to be autographed by an athlete. The Prova system records the exact time of the signature to the second, when the item is placed within 12 inches of an antenna set up near the athlete's hand. The autographer's secure identification code is written to the tag, recording who signed as well as when and where the signature occurred. The data for this unique item is recorded in Prova's online registry.
 
Read more
Posted by: AT 06:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Tauntongazette.com: Parents in Taunton, Conn. have been told their school's student lunch program will be the first step in a new technological wave. Fingerprint technology may eventually be used for taking attendance, using school transportation, and/or library access. The parents are angry they were not asked for permission to obtain their children's fingerprints. Biometrics industry professionals across the nation have been watching Taunton's debate play out.
 
Posted by: AT 06:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Tauntongazette.com: Parents in Taunton, Conn. have been told their school's student lunch program will be the first step in a new technological wave. Fingerprint technology may eventually be used for taking attendance, using school transportation, and/or library access. The parents are angry they were not asked for permission to obtain their children's fingerprints. Biometrics industry professionals across the nation have been watching Taunton's debate play out.
 
Posted by: AT 06:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Morerfid.com: In its latest analysis of the near-field communication market, ABI Research forecasts that by 2012, some 292 million handsets - just over 20 percent of the global mobile handset market - will ship with built-in NFC capabilities. 2007 will be critical for NFC technology as key standards and operator trials complete the foundations for the first real deployments.
 
Posted by: AT 06:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Prlog.org: Industry leaders will assemble in Mexico City for a conference on "Smart Cards for Government and Payment." The conference will be held May 8-9 at the Hotel Presidente InterContinental, Mexico City. The conference's aim is to help the leaders learn about the ways to take advantage of the rapid growth in smart card technology. They will also get to know about the recent developments in this industry.
 
 
Posted by: AT 06:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 12 April 2007

Advertising Age: As part of a new advertising campaign promoting kiosk usage, Alamo has chosen a beaver and a buffalo to be the spokespeople for the rent-a-car company. In the 30-second spots, Al the beaver teaches his timid buffalo friend Mo to "fight the herd instinct" by choosing Alamo's self-service kiosk instead of standing in line at the check-out counter.  The ad was created by Fallon and directed by Shaun Sewter of MOO Studios in Los Angeles.

View the video here. (Scroll down to the fourth video.)
Posted by: AT 06:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. · Redbox, a kiosk-based DVD-rental company, has surpassed 38 million rentals and 2,900 locations nationwide. Launching only 12 locations in 2003, redbox joins the top five DVD-rental companies in the United States, according to a news release.
 
In April, redbox says it expects to install more than 700 new locations, some of which will go in select grocery stores and additional McDonald's restaurants. In March redbox premiered in nearly 200 McDonald's restaurants in Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
 
"We are extremely proud to join the nation's top five DVD renters and reinforce our leadership position in the automated DVD rental category," said Gregg Kaplan, chief executive of redbox. By the end of June 2007, redbox will have doubled its Jan. 1, 2007, market presence to more than 4,000 locations nationwide."
Posted by: AT 06:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
SINGAPORE · Visa Asia Pacific announced three new markets have hit the 1-million mark with their Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip-card deployments. EMV is the global standard for chip-based credit and debit transactions, and is the foundation for emerging payments such as contactless and mobile solutions.
 
In December , Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand joined Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia in the 1-million chip-card club from Visa's member banks.
  
Australia's EMV chip card base doubled from September 2006 to December 2006 quarters, hitting more than 1.4 million cards; Hong Kong's base of 400,000 chip cards grew to more than 1 million during the same period; and Thailand experienced a 15-fold from 2005 to 2006 to hit 1 million.
 
The results represent a 46 percent year-to-year increase in EMV card deployment in the region that's consistent with annual chip-card growth over the last three years in Asia-Pacific.
 
"We now have more than 63 million EMV chip cards in the Asia-Pacific, representing 19 percent of Visa's card base," said Jack Pan, regional head of chip migration for Visa Asia Pacific. "Combined with the 1.68 million EMV chip terminals deployed, Visa and its member financial institutions are helping to create a secure and advanced chip payment foundation."
Posted by: AT 06:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. · NEC Corp. of America, provider of IT, network and identity-management solutions, together with Biometrics4ALL, a biometrics-technology company, has launched the LiveScan product family for civil and law-enforcement identification demands.
 
According to a news release, the collaboration offers an end-to-end solution, from identification to booking.
 
"This partnership with Biometrics4ALL represents another milestone in providing state and local agencies the tools they need to provide efficient and effective identification solutions," said Barry Fisher, vice president of identification solutions for NEC.
 
The LiveScan products provide the ability to dynamically set data interchanges and business rules, attain FBI certifications, and adapt to new scanner hardware. In addition, the products provide immediate National Institute of Standards and Technology Fingerprint Image Quality rating feedback with Rescan Management as well as switch into multiple languages. The LiveScan products allow for adaptation to legislation changes and law enforcement needs.
Posted by: AT 06:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Timesdispatch.com: Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine unveiled an interactive kiosk that's expected to provide Virginians and visitors at state parks with trail information, wildlife-spotting guides, printable maps, program descriptions, schedules and other details.
 
Posted by: AT 06:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Morerfid.com: MasterCard Worldwide announced it has signed a development agreement with ASK, a supplier of contactless cards, tickets, RFID tags, e-passport inlays, and readers for mass transit, access-control, banking, e-identity and supply-chain markets, to create paper-based contactless-payment solutions for use in transit and other payments environments.
 
Posted by: AT 06:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
MIAMI · Touch-n-Buy Inc. has announced the deployment of Touch-n-Buy systems in Puerto Rico. 
 
According to a news release, LTT Telecards Inc. signed a deal with Touch-n-Buy to market and distribute the first interactive kiosk for prepaid products and services to the island. Touch-n-Buy will provide back-end technology as well as various product lines to more than 500 retailers in the area. Touch-n-Buy does not display or store live inventory, instead it enables retailers to offer categories of prepaid products and services via an interactive kiosk.
 
Touch-n-Buy expects to bring retailers a competitive mix of international long-distance phone-card products as well as wireless-replenishment cards from Cingular, T-Mobile, Centennial, Movida and other wireless carriers.
Posted by: AT 06:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
DURHAM, N.C. · Parata Systems LLC announced that it has acquired assets related to automated technology that allows prescription pickup via self-service kiosks from Amistar
and Distributed Delivery Networks Corp.
  
The deal is expected to fuel the company's growth and bring new jobs to the region.
 
"We continue to be energized by the high growth we've sustained over our six-year history," said Jess Eberdt, chief executive of Parata.
 
Eberdt said APMs offer consumers greater access and convenience in the pharmacy. Where state regulations allow, self-service kiosks let customers quickly pick up their prescriptions, even when the pharmacy is closed.
 
"APMs are an ideal way to extend consumers' access and improve service times for prescription pickup, two priorities among retail consumers today," Eberdt said. "APMs in pharmacy offer the same benefits of interactive self-service that consumers have come to appreciate in other industries where safety and privacy are a priority, such as banking and airline travel."
Posted by: AT 06:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Education.independent.co.uk: Almost six million children at 17,000 British schools could have their fingerprints taken, intensifying fears of the growth of a "surveillance society." It was revealed less than one-quarter of British education authorities have banned collecting fingerprints while the rest either allow it or have no policy on the issue. Many U.K. schools require pupils to have biometric checks to register, borrow books or buy food.
 
Posted by: AT 06:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Zwire.com: A parent in Taunton, Conn., has urged the school system not to trade her child's "biometric data for chicken nuggets." Parents are sounding off about issues related to the school system's decision to install fingerprint-scanning devices in lunchrooms at six schools.
 
Posted by: AT 06:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
Denver.yourhub.com: Douglas County Motor Vehicle Offices located in Denver have introduced computer kiosks that will expedite motor vehicle registration and marriage-license processing in Parker, Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock. Four work stations in the recording office in Castle Rock also will offer computer kiosks for online marriage licenses.
 
Read more
Posted by: AT 06:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
Btnmag.com: The Transportation Security Administration released a request for information as its first step in exploring an end-to-end system for tracking passengers. Among technologies TSA plans to explore are biometrics, smart cards, documentation scanners, integrated portals, kiosks, and such other tracking technologies as RFID and video surveillance.
 
Posted by: AT 06:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
Computerworld.com: The California State Senate is expected to vote as early as this week on several bills that would regulate the use of RFID technology in government documents. Two of the bills would impose a three-year moratorium on the use of RFID technology in California driver's licenses and public-school ID cards, while a third would create interim privacy safeguards for existing RFID-enabled government IDs, such as those that students use in the state college system. A fourth bill would make it a crime to "skim,"� or surreptitiously read, data from an RFID document.
 
Read more
Posted by: AT 06:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
Theregister.co.uk: A group of Dutch researchers at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam is building RFID Guardian, a personal RFID firewall to allow individuals to monitor and control access to RFID tags. RFID Guardian is intended to be a portable, battery-operated device that will tell users when new RFID tags appear, when they're being read, and who owns them.
 
Posted by: AT 06:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
CNN.com: Runners in marathons around the country are being provided with RFID chips that attach to shoelaces. As they cross large rubber mats along the course, a radio transmitter inside the chip sends a unique ID number to an antenna, which routes the runner's progress to a central database. The information is then sent to a cell phone or e-mail address on file. Elapsed time: between two and four seconds.
 
Posted by: AT 06:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
RONKONKOMA, N.Y. · Sentry Technology Corp. announced the sale of 12 QuickCheck library-patron self-service kiosks to the University of Alberta. The deal is valued at $172,000.
 
QuickCheck operates in a similar fashion to a bank ATM. Patrons gain access to the library's circulation software via a user card and touchscreen video monitor. A barcode or RFID chip on the book is read, the security feature deactivated, and a receipt is printed identifying the titles of the books borrowed and the return date.
 
Once the process is complete, the patron exits the library through the security system without any intervention from library staff. The process frees library staff from the circulation desk to perform higher-level tasks. The system includes statistical-usage reporting as well as remote diagnostics and hardware-management software.
 
The systems at the University of Alberta, located in Edmonton, Canada, are configured with a new feature that will identify if more than one item is being checked out by a patron. This innovation will prevent a thief from using QuickCheck to borrow an item that has been recorded by the circulation software, while hiding other items underneath the one that is properly registered.
 
"QuickCheck continues to be recognized as a market-leading product by libraries across North America," said Peter L. Murdoch, president and chief executive of Sentry Technology. "We have sold more than 200 units and have orders to build 50 additional systems for all types of libraries that will benefit from greater efficiency and lower labor costs resulting from the use of QuickCheck."
Posted by: AT 06:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
Charlotte, N.C. · Source Technologies will host a demonstration showcasing self-service technologies for the credit union industry at the upcoming Texas Credit Union League Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, April 10-13.
 
Live demonstrations of Concourse kiosks demonstrating both "Total" and "Teller-Assisted" self-service banking will be available to provide attendees with hands-on experience using self-service technologies to deliver branch financial services. 
 
Kiosks are widely used in retail industries ranging from movie theaters to convenience stores, and now credit unions stand to gain substantial benefits from using kiosks to enable members to conduct their own banking, such as deposits (including imaged check deposits), withdrawals, bill payments, check cashing, wire services and account research with multilanguage support.
Posted by: AT 06:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 09 April 2007
John Timmons looks like what he is. Tall and thin with wild blond hair that flows like a Jimi Hendrix riff, he fits the mental image of a record-store owner. His shop, ear X-tacy, sits on a trendy stretch of traffic jam in Louisville, Ky. Inside, music muffles the sound of CD cases flipped by listeners scanning for titles.
 
In a nod to the technology that has overtaken his passion since the days of vinyl and large, cardboard jackets, Timmons has installed a listening station at the front of his store that lets customers sample clips of CDs. What he does not have, however, is a kiosk for those customers to download their selections to a CD or an MP3 player.
 
"If we put a kiosk in, we would have to sell an ungodly amount to recoup our expenses," Timmons said. "They are very expensive, and the money we would get back for each song would not be very much. I see how money can be made with kiosks, but the financial model doesn't work for me."
 
The same dilemma faces many potential deployers of music-download kiosks. At the beginning of the decade, the devices promised a fun and convenient way for music fans to take advantage of the confluence of digital music, cheap burning technology and the advent of portable playing devices. Users would gain access to a vast library of songs, even those no longer published. Deployers would have virtually unlimited "long-tail" inventory.
 
But the promise was fading as fast as Britney Spears' marriage when a new device called the iPod electrified the music market. Suddenly, even technophobic senior citizens could take Barry Manilow with them on MP3 as they went mall walking.
 
Music kiosks unplugged?
 
Francie Mendelsohn, president of Summit Research Associates, believes the music-download kiosk is unplugged. She said digital media kiosks already have matured to their full potential and have little room to grow.
 
"It doesn't look like a terribly promising thing," said Mendolsohn, who tests and consults on kiosks. "There was a lot of excitement for them at one point, but they won't last all that long."
 
The demand for kiosks existed before the iPod began to take over the online realm, but by the time manufacturers got enough funding to ramp up deployment, iTunes, Apple's online store, owned 80 percent of the market.
 
The ripples shot across the industry. In 2004, for example, coffee giant Starbucks unveiled digital music kiosks in several of their highest-grossing stores, including numerous locations in their home city of Seattle and in Santa Monica, Calif. At the time of the launch, Starbucks had plans to expand the rollout to 2,500 locations through 2006, but after two years of testing the company pulled the machines from 35 of the 40 stores that had them.
 
Starbucks officials, who would not respond to an interview request, insisted the company was not pulling away or scaling down.
 
Location: Getting the juice flowing
 
Outside looking in, it seems the time may have come and gone for music kiosks, but those in the industry say the opposite is true and, in fact, the age of music kiosks is just beginning.
 
Manufacturers of music kiosks agree on the benefits of digital downloading at kiosks. Dave Champlin, vice president of marketing for Mediaport, said that in addition to bringing in extra foot traffic to music stores, kiosks allow stores to reduce their retail space and at the same time greatly increase their selection of titles. Customers have the flexibility of making custom compilation albums and accessing older recordings that are out of print or not in stock.
 
Jon F. Butler, Mediaport president, said the company has seen a 20 percent yearly increase in sales since the company began in 2000. He believes that music kiosks are part of a natural evolution of music media, similar to when eight tracks were overtaken by cassettes, which in turn were made obsolete by CDs.
 
Butler said Mediaport's deployments, located in Virgin and Brazin stores in Australia, are successful because they have taken a different approach when choosing their locations: Its success has come from deploying in music stores where people already are planning to buy music.
 
"We watched the Starbucks trial happen, but most people are going there for quick convenience and not to lounge around for a long time," Butler said. "It would be the same if you put a music kiosk in McDonald's; it would get dusty and eventually unplugged because people are in and out."
 
Digital rights management
 
Differentiating electronic formats are one of the biggest challenges for kiosk manufacturers. Digital-rights management and interoperability are the biggest hurdles music-kiosk manufacturers face. Apple's iTunes uses a proprietary system called FairPlay to ensure that iPods only play music downloaded from iTunes. Mix & Burn and Mediaport use Microsoft's Plays-for-Sure system, which allows songs burned from their kiosks to be played on a wide range of MP3 players, but not iPods.
 
"The problem with the industry is that everyone is trying to provide one key piece, when everyone needs to come together for a complete solution," Butler said. "It's like the battle between VHS and Beta. There will eventually be a standard format for digital music."
 
Bob French, president and COO of St. Paul, Minn.-based Mix & Burn, works with record companies to acquire music licenses, which, he said, can be the most daunting task of all. Record labels, reluctant to release their entire catalog for fear of piracy and theft of kiosk hard drives, embed digital rights management (DRM) codes into their music.
 
According to French, Mix & Burn was one of the first music-burning kiosk companies to acquire DRM licenses from the "Big Five" record labels: Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI and Warner Music Group.
 
"Acquiring the licenses costs a lot of money, so there is always a lot of pressure for the labels to give up DRM," French said. "Even though the DRM battle will keep going on, it's still better to be in the market."
 
The future is beginning to look better for DRM, however. EMI recently released most of its massive music catalog to be sold on iTunes, free of DRM restrictions. Listeners always have been able to burn downloaded iTunes songs to CDs, thus removing the DRM coding, and later upload those tracks to MP3 players. Now one step has been eliminated.
 
Music kiosk manufacturers hope this deal is the beginning of a trend that will result in easy access to all big-name music catalogs.
 
Jon Butler and Bob French both credit iTunes for opening the door and letting record companies know there is a market for digital music. But with Apple owning a majority of the online music market and record labels constantly raising the cost of their digital rights, music kiosk manufacturers often are asked why they continue to place music kiosks in stores when people can just burn CDs at their own homes.
 
French and Butler agree that it's all about the hands-on experience of making your own custom CD, and · even though it is self-service · the human interaction with store clerks and other music fans draws people in.
 
"Believe it or not, people actually still want to get out of their houses," Bob French said. "People go out and get in the buying mood, and making a CD using the music kiosk is an impulse buy people make while shopping."
 
"There is a place for entertainment in retail. To say it's gone is a mistake," French said. "Kiosks are alive and well, and there is a business here."
 
Brian Abbott would agree. He is a store manager for FYE, whose parent company has partnered with Mix & Burn. His store, in Lexington, Ky., uses a Mix & Burn kiosk with six tablets, or stations. Abbott said the kiosk brings in about 50 CD transactions a week.
 
While the kiosk does not generate a significant percentage of business, Abbott sees other advantages.
 
"There's usually someone sitting over there messing around on it," he said. "So far it's been great for selling singles and getting albums that are out-of-stock."
Posted by: Bill Yackey AT 02:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 06 April 2007
BELLEVUE, Wash. · Coinstar Inc. announced West Coast Bank, a Pacific Northwest community bank, will be the first in the region and one of the first in the country to offer the new Madison coin-counting kiosk from Coinstar. The service will be free of charge to bank customers in ten Oregon and Washington branch locations.
 
"We are pleased to be the first Pacific Northwest bank to offer our customers this valuable coin-counting service free of charge. And, since the Coinstar program is completely turnkey, we can offer it without increasing our staff workload," said West Coast Bank president and chief executive Robert D. Sznewajs in a news release.
 
"West Coast Bank is a forward-thinking, customer-oriented bank, and we're very pleased that they will be offering our Madison kiosk," said Alex Camara, senior vice president and general manager of worldwide coin at Coinstar, Inc. "By offering our coin-counting service at no charge to its customers, West Coast Bank not only increases traffic into the branch, but has the ability to attract new customers, enhance existing relationships and build loyalty among its customer base."
 
The Coinstar coin counting kiosks that will be installed at West Coast Bank this month will offer a Coins to Cash feature, Coin to eCertificate, as well as the ability to accept donated change for designated non-profit organizations. For Coins to Cash transactions, customers simply pour their loose, unsorted change into the machine. The machine will dispense a voucher that may be brought to the teller window to receive the full coin value in the form of currency or deposit into their account (non-customers pay a service fee of 7.9 percent).
 
To receive an eCertificate from national retailers such as Amazon.com, iTunes, and Eddie Bauer, users go through the same process as Coins to Cash, with the exception of going to the teller window. A redemption code printed on the voucher makes it possible to make purchases online. For charity donations, the customer receives a tax-deductible receipt.
Posted by: AT 06:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 April 2007
Govexe.com: The House Homeland Security Committee demanded the Homeland Security Department describe what system and technology will be used to determine when foreigners leave the country or overstay their visits. By law, the department is required to use biometric identifiers to verify foreigners leave the country.
 
Posted by: AT 06:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 April 2007
Gonomad.com: A company called Verified Identity Pass Inc. pre-screens frequent travelers, issuing a Clear Member's card, which they then scan in the Clear Lane at the airport. Within seconds their fingerprints and iris images are matched to those embedded in their card.
 
Posted by: AT 06:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 April 2007
LANSING, Michigan · The State of Michigan announced the number of customers choosing self-service stations to renew their license plate tabs has more than doubled in the second year since Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land first announced them in March 2005, confirming their popularity with motorists.

The stations, which are similar to cash machines, logged almost 30,000 transactions and $3 million in revenue in their first 12 months. Since then, the stations have become even more popular, racking up more than 75,000 transactions totaling $7.5 million in revenue in the second year. Since their inception, there have been more than 105,000 transactions and $10.6 million in revenue.

The self-service stations are powered by Esprida. The Esprida remote management software allows Michigan to monitor and manage all of the stations from a central location, to improve availability and provide dependable service to consumers through a network of stations across the state. Michigan built the self-service stations on the Esprida platform to speed development time, use standard technologies and leverage remote management capabilities for both the user interface and components — card readers, thermal and receipt printers.
 
"The Michigan DMV project demonstrates the value of our technology — it enables our customers to deliver reliable service wherever and whenever needed," says Anila Jobanputra, president of Esprida Corporation and member of the Self-Service and Kiosk Association Advisory Board.

The stand-alone stations feature simple touchscreen instructions, dispense new license tabs in just moments and accept the Discover credit card and Visa- and MasterCard-branded debit and credit cards.  Customers simply scan the bar code on a renewal notice with their correct name, address, vehicle information and personal identification number before paying.
 
Customers still can renew their tabs online, by phone or mail, or from a branch office customer service representative.
Posted by: AT 06:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 06 April 2007
GREENSBORO, NC — Gilbarco Veeder-Root has acquired Intermedia Kiosks Inc. of Owings Mills, Maryland. Intermedia Kiosks is a provider of customer-operated food service ordering solutions for gas and convenience stores, grocery, and quick service.

Founded in 1993, Intermedia has more than 1,600 installations of their food ordering and kitchen management system kiosks.

"We are incredibly excited about what the acquisition of Intermedia Kiosks will allow us to provide our customers. Their proven food service ordering kiosk and kitchen management solutions are an ideal addition to our technology portfolio aimed at helping retailers better merchandise and market to consumers," said Kirsten Paust, Gilbarco's vice president of retail systems.
 
"Gilbarco Veeder-Root's highly-effective sales, distribution and service network will add value to our existing and future customers as well as our strategic partners" said Beth Kaplan, chairman of Intermedia Kiosks.
 
Intermedia Kiosks will continue to operate from their Owings Mills, Maryland office.
Posted by: AT 06:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 April 2007
MELVILLE, N.Y. · Forbes has named Arrow Electronics, Inc. to its annual ranking of the world's largest companies, the Forbes Global 2000. Arrow ranked 1,017 overall, up from 1,077 in 2006, and ranked within the top half of the more than 70 companies listed in its industry category, technology hardware and equipment.
 
"We are honored to be recognized by Forbes on this prestigious listing and to be ranked so highly among so many other well respected companies around the world," said William E. Mitchell, chairman, president and chief executive of Arrow Electronics. "This recognition is a testament to our industry leadership position and our strategy to outgrow the market while generating premium financial performance. We continue to create a competitive advantage for our customers and suppliers alike through our global, value-added capabilities and demand creation activities."
 
The Forbes Global 2000 is a list of the world's largest and most powerful public companies. Forbes uses four measures · sales, market value, assets and profits · to produce a composite measure of size.
Posted by: AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 05 April 2007
WATERBURY, VT · Logic Supply announced the addition of AOpen's Digital Engine, MiniPC and Mini-ITX mainboard product line. AOpen also has selected Logic Supply to be an authorized System Integrator for its embedded and MiniPC products.
 
The AOpen Digital Engine DE945 is a rugged, high performance Intel-based system in a 6.5-inch x 6.3-inch x 1.89-inch footprint that weighs less than 3 pounds. The AOpen MiniPC MP945 line offers Intel-based desktop products with a similar footprint and features an enclosure that balances ergonomics, size and function. Both systems include the Intel 945GM chipset, one Mini PCI slot, DVD-RW as well as extensive I/O that includes DVI, S-Video, GB LAN, USB, HD audio, firewire and more. The systems have the ability to add up to 2GB of memory as well as a notebook hard drive or flash disk.
 
"We are excited about the addition of the AOpen products to our portfolio," said Roland Groeneveld, president of Logic Supply. "Our customers now have more options for embedded applications such as digital signage, mobile computing, POS, kiosk and industrial automation. Linux and Windows embedded developers should see the multimedia and performance capabilities that these systems offer."
 
Chris Liu, AOpen's vice president of marketing added, "We see tremendous value in having Logic Supply as a System Integration partner. They have extensive experience in providing small form factor products for customers working in embedded markets. In addition, our MiniPC product, which was selected by CRN as one of the top ten products at the CES show, will offer their customers with a small, light, efficient, high performance solution."
Posted by: AT 06:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 04 April 2007
 
Computerworlduk.com: US Airways has said legacy systems were partly to blame for a glitch in its self-service kiosk system that led to long queues and delayed flights last month.
 
Posted by: AT 07:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 04 April 2007
BURNABY, Canada · TIO Networks Corp. announced it has entered into a licensing agreement with Electronic Cash Systems. ECS will become an independent sales organization offering TIO's bill payment and financial service products to cash-preferred customers. 
 
ECS, based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., plans to deploy up to a total of sixty Tranax TK1000 cash accepting kiosks and x4000 hybrid ATMs that accept and dispense cash in convenience stores across California.  These self-service Internet connected devices enable cash preferred customers to access their accounts with a number of key billers and be able to view balances and make time-sensitive bill payments without the need to have an account number present.  The terminals are manufactured by Tranax Technologies of Fremont, California.
 
TIO services can be performed in either English or Spanish and patrons can print or email their receipt to an email address of their choice. TIO and ECS will share transactional revenues.
 
"When we set out to find a partner for self-service bill payment, we wanted to partner with the market leader; this invariably led us to TIO," said Fadi Cheikha, president and chief executive of ECS. "We feel bill pay is one of the ATM industry's best bets for new service revenues."
 
"Independent service organizations are an important component of TIO's growth strategy," said Hamed Shahbazi, chairman and chief executive of TIO Networks. "We are very pleased to partner with ECS given its exceptional track record and strong demonstrated execution in the ATM and electronic payments industry."
Posted by: AT 07:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 04 April 2007
Deserttelevision.com: ScentAir, a provider of scent marketing solutions, has taken the air freshener to another level, recently unveiling a one-of-a-kind interactive scent-sampling kiosk from a 1967 Volkswagen Microbus, dubbed the "VbubbleU." Touchscreen monitors replaced the windows and provided the interface for customers to sample scents that instantly emanated from "exhaust pipes" on the bus.
 
Posted by: AT 07:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. · ATM Marketplace, a site dedicated to the financial self-service industry, has launched two guides that focus on the future of automation and vault cash services in the ATM space.
 
The first, "Financial self-service and the automation revolution," is a 48-page report that delves into the future of branch automation. Written by ATM Marketplace editor Tracy Kitten, in partnership with Paderborn, Germany-based Wincor Nixdorf International, "Financial self-service and the automation revolution" takes an in-depth look at the ways brick-and-mortar branches in the United States and abroad are using self-service technology to enhance consumer experience and improve profit margins
 
The second, "Controlling the Cash: A guide to effective ATM cash management," is a 41-page report that analyzes ways independent sales organizations can cut operating costs by outsourcing cash-management services to third-party providers. Also written by Kitten, in partnership with Wilmington, Del.-based Cash Connect, "Controlling the Cash: A guide to effective ATM cash management" addresses the cash needs of U.S. ATM deployers · large, mid-sized and small.
 
"Both guides review industry changes that are impacting and will continue to impact the ATM and self-service industries over the next several months," Kitten said. "Financial institutions and independent deployers are facing similar challenges in today's marketplace: Both are competing for market share while they work to effectively reduce operating costs. Finding the right balance is key."
 
Visit ATM Marketplace to learn more about these new industry guides.
 
 
Posted by: AT 07:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2007
MELVILLE, N.Y. · Arrow Electronics Inc. announced it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of the Agilysys KeyLink Systems Group, an enterprise computing solutions distributor, for $485 million in cash, subject to final adjustments based upon a closing audit. Arrow has also entered into a long-term procurement agreement with the Agilysys Enterprise Solutions Group, Agilysys' value-added reseller business.
 
"We are now the leading value-added distributor in the fast growing segments of storage and security and virtualization software, as well as the leading value-added distributor of enterprise products for both IBM Corp. and Hewlett Packard Company. In the last 15 months, we have transformed our industry leading, value-added enterprise computing business into a much stronger organization with a broader line card, a more robust customer and supplier base, and an expanded geographic reach," said William E. Mitchell, chairman, president and chief executive of Arrow Electronics.
 
"The KeyLink acquisition provides us with significant cross-selling opportunities to further accelerate our growth in the global enterprise computing solutions market. With this transaction, we have added more than 800 value-added resellers to our portfolio and gained over 300 highly experienced sales and marketing professionals to ensure we continue to drive superior levels of service," Mitchell said.
Posted by: AT 07:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2007
NEW YORK · ULTIMedia announced it has established a U.S.-based operation. The U.S. Division's corporate office is at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
 
"ULTIMedia is very excited about opening its new office. We are absolutely committed to expanding our brand beyond Europe and see many opportunities in the North America," Eric Dumouchel, ULTIMedia's founder and chief executive, said. "We already have a number of projects that we've completed in the USA and see great opportunities in servicing customers in the USA, Canada and Mexico."
 
ULTIMedia plans to open an additional operation on the West Coast. "We feel it is important to have both East and West Coast operations. It is better for our clients if we have two operation centers to service their needs," said Dumouchel.
 
ULTIMedia-USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of ULTIMedia, France. The company markets and manufactures ULTIMedia products and services in North America.
Posted by: AT 07:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas · The Pinnacle Corp. launched its self-service kiosk solution, Palm.kiosk, powered by Xpedient. The company partnered with Xpedient to capitalize on its expertise in the self-service kiosk industry within the convenience store market, the company said in a press release.

"We are pleased to introduce Palm.kiosk to the market," said Denise Lewis, palm POS solution manager. "Palm.kiosk will strengthen Pinnacle's food service offering and allow a platform to launch other kiosk-based functionality in the future using Xpedient's proven technology. This product is already established in the c-store marketplace making it a great addition to Pinnacle's broad product line."

Pinnacle Corp. will re-brand Xpedient's kiosk to market, sell and support the product as a Pinnacle product under the name Palm.kiosk.

Xpedient currently has over 200 foodservice kiosks installed in retail locations throughout the market, including key clients MAPCO Mart and Thorntons Inc.

The self-service kiosk is an extension of Pinnacle's Palm POS, adding even more integration convenience to their solutions offerings for current and future Pinnacle clients, the company said.

Palm.kiosk will be offered on multiple hardware platforms including Ultimate Technologies, NCR, Pro-Tech and Meridian, and will support all basic QSR requirements of the convenience store industry, according to the company.

Initially, Palm.kiosk will include foodservice order operation capabilities, but will be expanded to include additional functionality in the near future.

Currently, the kiosk offers integrated bump bar, kitchen video and consumer video systems, simple to use graphics-based corporate office authoring tools, remote support tools, and automated communication mechanisms to distribute setup and change information to store kiosk locations.

Retailers will also have the option of fitting their Palm.kiosk units with custom graphics to provide another mode of advertising and communication to their customers at the self-service kiosk.
Posted by: AT 07:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2007
ESSEN, Germany · 3M will show its touchscreen and touch monitor products for the self-service kiosk and ATM markets at Kiosk Europe Expo 2007, being held in Essen, Germany from May 8-10. The event will see the European launch of the highly rugged MicroTouch ToughTouch II Capacitive touchscreens from 3M. Other highlights include a 32-inch MicroTouch ClearTek II capacitive touchscreen, EX II capacitive electronics, an M170 17-inch LCD touch monitor and a CT150 15-inch LCD touch monitor.
 
The latest generation MicroTouch ToughTouch capacitive touchscreens will be showcased. They are designed to meet the stringent requirements of unsupervised, high-threat environments, such as ATMs.
 
ToughTouch II touchscreens offer wear resistance and added impact resistance, exceeding UL 60950 impact test standards.
 
They also feature enhanced light transmission at 86.5 percent average and world-class storage temperature ranging from -50 to +80 Celsius.
 
The new ToughTouch II, with optional privacy film for on-screen data protection in ATM and ticketing applications, will also be displayed.
 
Alongside ToughTouch II, 3M will demonstrate a 32-inch MicroTouch ClearTek II Capacitive Touchscreen designed to meet the physical and functional requirements of new large format opportunities in hospitality applications, for interactive signage and point-of-information, and in gaming applications, for emerging slot machine designs.
 
Key features of ClearTek II include five times more wear-resistance and durability over competitive solutions, accurate touch performance and the highest levels of light transmission in the market place.
 
MicroTouch EX II Controllers for ToughTouch II and ClearTek II will also be shown.
EX II controllers are based on the innovative EX II ASIC, designed to provide higher resolution touch coordinates, on-chip RAM and a wider operating temperature range.
 
They support serial and USB, offer expanded regulatory approvals, improved power modes and enhanced ESD and EMI protection.
 
In addition, 3M will demonstrate its MicroTouch M170 and CT150 LCD-touch monitors that incorporate durable ClearTek II capacitive touch technology for robust, accurate and reliable touch display solutions.
 
The M170 LCD touch monitor features maximum touch stability as well as a peripheral attachment system, locking mechanism, adjustable display angle and various mounting options.
 
The CT150 LCD touch monitor for self-service kiosks offers a 500:1 contrast ratio, three bezel options, an array of designer-flexible mounting methods, a remote control on-screen display adjustment module and internal power cable, eliminating the need for external power adapters.
Posted by: AT 07:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 April 2007
KOTAtv.com: Bilingual self-check-in kiosks introduced this month by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will allow customers to check in for flights, confirm seating assignments and receive boarding passes in English or Spanish. The 475 check-in kiosks are available at 82 of the 90 airports the airlines serve in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
 
Posted by: AT 07:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 April 2007
Healthcare IT News: A project funded two years ago by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has successfully deployed a patient-centered kiosk technology called ParentLink at two Massachusetts hospitals.
 
Posted by: AT 07:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 April 2007
Progressive Grocer: After two decades of renting videos, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. announced that all of its in-store video rental departments will close within the next six months to make way for Redbox video kiosks. The New York-based grocery made the decision to rethink the business in the face of the availability of new technology and will be redeploying video store workers in other area of the stores.
 
Posted by: AT 07:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 April 2007
A feature in the Kansas City Star profiles local shoppers and their experiences with self-checkout as it begins to grow more popular. Also included are stats, facts and survey results about self-checkout from IHL Consulting group.
 
Read the article here.
Posted by: AT 07:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 02 April 2007
A perfect storm is swirling through retail: an increasingly crowded and complex field of products, a populace that is more intelligent and demanding with each passing day, and technology that tries to make sense of it all. In the wake of this storm is the retailer, who must learn · and quickly · how to bring all of these things together in a way that makes sense.
 
"Retailing has changed from a product-centric business to a customer-centric business," said Jeff Collard, president of digital signage company Omnivex. "Shopping is now a user experience where services and products must be built around individual customers."
 
New technologies make it possible, for the first time, to reach those individual customers with individual experiences. Digital signage, self-service · and, perhaps most importantly, the rise of multi-channel retailing · are demanding a new holistic view when it comes to the design of in-store experiences.
 
The changing role of shelves
 
In conventional retail store design, shelves serve two primary purposes: make the shopper aware of available products and maintain a certain amount of inventory for each of those products. But as the number of consumer products continues to swell, it is no longer possible to put every variety of every item out on the sales floor.
 
Adam Aronson ran into this problem during his years as a retail designer for Old Navy. Displaying merchandise in a consistent fashion is a challenge, and one that grows exponentially with both the size of the retailer and the number of products carried.
 
"In a company like Old Navy, the merchandisers would manage this process through a merchandise book that went out to old stores," said Aronson, now president of kiosk company Arc Design. "This book displayed the current SKUs, their prices and how they should be displayed, so that store managers could ensure a consistent look across hundreds of stores."
 
This means the retailer must employ an army of stockers to walk the aisles each evening, moving products around, taking inventory and altering shelf tags to make sure everything is in line with the book.
 
If it is bad for the retailer, it is doubly bad for the consumer. Incorrectly shelved products breed distrust and frustration. And a lack of comprehensive product information is often a deal-killer in high-dollar retail settings such as electronics, particularly in those unfortunate instances where the store associates are not yet up speed on certain items.
 
The primary emotional goal of a retail environment should be to make the customer feel comfortable and happy ... If the customer is happy, they will buy or buy more.
- Adam Aronson, Arc Design
One good experience · or a single bad one · leads to another. In a 2006 survey of holiday shoppers, retail consultancy Gomez Inc. found that 65 percent of online shoppers would stop or reconsider visiting that retailer's real-world store if they had a single bad experience. Likewise, 71 percent said a single bad experience at a brick-and-mortar store would prevent them from wanting to visit that retailer's Web site.
 
"I often find it easier to find product information online than in-store," said Aronson. "Retailers need to fix this if they are to compete on anything other than price or convenience."
 
One answer to all of these problems is the integration of small touchscreens, each equipped with an RFID reader, to the front of a shelf. Shoppers can pick up any item in the store, hold it near any touchscreen, and get detailed information delivered through an interactive interface.
 
Taken one step further, the touchscreens can interface with loyalty data to create a wealth of consumer information: what products interest them, what they did and did not purchase, even how long they spent in certain areas of the store. Has a given customer looked at the same type of product several times without making a purchase? Perhaps a coupon in the mail will encourage them to get off the fence.
 
"Smart merchandising should focus on modularity and flexibility," said Brian Ardinger of Nanonation, which has developed its own RFID shelf solution for retail. "Technology is constantly changing, so it's important to look for ways to easily service, change and modify shelving."
 
The RFID/touchscreen approach to shelving would also make shelves "product-agnostic" · that is, it no longer matters exactly where any given product is stacked, as information on it can be dispensed from any screen in the store.
 
Julian Bowron, president of The Kiosk Factory, said there is only one barrier to the use of item-level RFID tagging in retail · the price of the tags · and that barrier is rapidly dissolving as prices fall.
 
Watching · and shaping · the flow of traffic
 
Foot traffic is one of retail's double-edged swords: You can't make money without shoppers in the store, but you can't keep those shoppers happy and coming back for more if clogged aisles make for a frustrating experience.
 
Witness the department store that decides to add an Xbox 360 demo kiosk. Suddenly, the walk from housewares to hardware is a minefield of kids waiting for their turn on "Gears of War."
 
Companies like HeadCount and ShopperTrak take a hardware approach to traffic management, offering video monitoring to measure footfalls throughout the store, correlated to time of day and day of week. This data can be turned into "heat maps" that show which spots in the store are, and are not, getting heavy traffic.
 
Digital signs are one very effective way of "pulling traffic" from one area to another. Humans are drawn to screens, but only if the content is visually exciting and relevant · that same Xbox that caused the traffic problem in the first place has also trained consumers to expect sophisticated media. Arial text and bulleted PowerPoint lists simply will not do anymore.
 
Bowron also points to the "retail as meeting place" trend, popularized by stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Comfortable chairs and couches are natural "people magnets," and strategic placement of them can decide the course of a shopper's walk through the store. It's not an appropriate strategy for all retailers, particularly those instances where the goal is to get people in and out quickly · but for stores seeking to increase dwell time, a comfortable setting is strong.
 
For retailers planning a "meeting place" or cafe-like area, it is important to give customers something to look at while they are relaxing. Digital screens should face the area, with appropriately longer loop times and repeat cycles. Every moment customers spend in the store is an opportunity to reinforce brand messages and educate about specials and promotions · and make them feel that they have made a good choice by shopping there.
 
"The primary emotional goal of a retail environment should be to make the customer feel comfortable and happy," said Aronson. "If the customer is happy, they will buy or buy more. If they are unhappy, they will walk out or buy less. It's as simple as that."
Posted by: James Bickers AT 02:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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