The Perspective 
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
During the opening keynote session at Customer Engagement Technology World, the final three award winners were announced as part of the 2011 DSA Industry Excellence Awards. Stuart Armstrong, DSA immediate past president, and Brian Ardinger, DSA president, presented the following awards:

Industry Deployer of the Year
Jared Miller, managing director, Self-Service & Emerging Technology, United Airlines

Network Operator of the Year
Care Media Holdings Corp.

Screenmedia Integration Award
Royal Caribbean International, submitted by Four Winds Interactive

Industry Deployer of the Year
Jared Miller, managing director, Self-Service & Emerging Technology, United Airlines

Jared Miller has led the self-service programs at Continental Airlines (and now United Airlines) for over eight years. Under his leadership, he has driven significant adoption of numerous customer enhancing technologies and products. Additionally, he has led the introduction of many innovative, industry-first and value-creating products. Among these are automated check-in and the introduction of the mobile boarding pass (Continental was the first airline to offer this product in the U.S). Mr. Miller’s leadership on this initiative was not only within Continental, but also with TSA and airport authorities to ensure proper approval and support was instrumental in the success of the program. In the past year, Mr. Miller and his team launched the Continental mobile application for the iPhone and Android platforms, which have been well received.

Network Operator of the Year
Care Media Holdings Corp.

With a national footprint of 5,500 place-based TV screens, Care Media Holdings Corp., and its brands KidCARE TV, Women's HealthCARE TV, and PetCARE TV, is the largest distributor of full motion audio/visual, broadband-delivered patient education programming to medical specialty practices in the United States. Launched in 2007, Care Media’s fast track to success has been built on President/ CEO Phil Cohen's relentless focus on ensuring that the network provides exceptional content backed with reporting transparency, accountability, and measurable ROI. The programming, which educates patients on specific illnesses as well as promotes awareness of preventative health care measures, is reviewed by Care Media Holdings’ medical advisory boards to corroborate the validity, accuracy and relevance of content segments. Current programming reaches close to five million female shoppers monthly and 60 million annually.

Screenmedia Integration Award
Royal Caribbean International, submitted by Four Winds Interactive

Royal Caribbean tapped Four Winds Interactive (FWi) to design a highly intuitive, yet complex passenger-facing communication network onboard Royal Caribbean’s newest, most technologically advanced cruise ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas. With over 200 digital displays operating off of the FWi digital signage network, the system provides real-time data that offers a guest experience like no other and plays an integral part in assisting passengers with navigating the world’s largest cruise ship at 1,187 feet long and 208 feet wide. The signage network is very diverse with everything from passive screens displaying non-interactive information to sophisticated interactive touchscreens providing real-time data and wayfinding.

Posted by: David Drain AT 12:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 04 April 2011

Jim Kruper
Analytical Design Solutions Inc.

The self-service industry has another new technology to absorb: mobile devices. These devices, such as the iPad, have become more functional and are available in a broader range of products. As companies seek new technology opportunities, usage has expanded from the consumer, the original intended user, to self-service. Unfortunately, this change in usage causes security issues similar to kiosk self-service applications. Security issues are mostly unavoidable in the iPad; however, the good news is that these issues can be addressed in Android devices.

Why deploy mobile devices as self-service apps? There are a number of factors. Mobile devices are easy to connect to Wi-Fi or cellular data networks. They have mature and intuitive touch screen interfaces. They also have the flexibility to be mounted in a fixed kiosk pedestal or to be deployed as a true mobile device. Since mobile devices were designed for consumer use, and therefore not made to last as long as higher-quality OEM devices, mobile devices usually cost significantly less.

What applications are well suited for mobile devices? The sky is the limit, within the constraints of the hardware, including hospitality, retail, health-care and even construction. For example, health-care providers have begun offering paperless check-ins and hotels have used mobile devices to display all of their services electronically within each room.

The Apple iOS iPad was the initial breakthrough tablet device, but since its introduction there have been many Google Android tablet devices announced. Despite being first to market and such a success that it opened the self-service industry to the possibilities of mobile devices, the iOS operating system is surprisingly not well-suited for self-service. Self-service imposes many demands on an operating system that are far different from the standard consumer use of the device; unfortunately, by having a closed operating system, Apple has tied the hands of anyone wishing to write robust self-service applications. On the other hand, Android has an extremely open operating system that is well-suited for self-service. When Microsoft ships Windows 8, which is planned to target mobile devices, then it too will be a viable platform for self-service.

However, similar to the difference between a PC used in self-service and one used in a consumer environment, the mobile device needs to be protected from abuse, negligent or not, by the self-service user. The user’s personal information needs to be similarly protected, since the device will be used next by a complete stranger. This protection takes many forms.

Protect the desktop/launcher
It is critical to prevent the user from accessing the desktop/app launcher. The user should be allowed to run the specified application, but prevented from configuring or executing any other applications as well as downloading and installing any new applications.

Browser lockdown
If the application uses a browser, and most will, it is important to ensure the user is limited only to the domains or pages allowed. In addition, if displaying Internet Web pages, then links such as mailto tags or file downloads need to be blocked. When the user has finished, all traces of that user’s presence on the device must be removed.

Remote monitoring
An important aspect of any self-service deployment is the ability to remotely monitor the device to determine its current status. Is your application running? Are any components reporting errors? For a mobile device, the requirements can expand to include also the physical location of the device and the battery life remaining.

Device security
Mobile devices have one major drawback: they are mobile. It is important for the user to a) know the device needs to be returned, b) indicate to the user when the device is about to leave an approved operation area and c) lock down the device and provide retrieval information to the deployer when the device has left the approved operation area.

Mobile devices have great promise to improve the self-service experience; however, there are challenges to mobility that must be addressed. Today, Android OS is the best platform for self-service.

Jim Kruper is president of Analytical Design Solutions Inc., developers of KioWare kiosk software.

Posted by: Jim Kruper AT 11:53 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  
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