Blog: Frank Olea 

Frank Olea (bio)
Olea Kiosks, Inc.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The self-service kiosk industry grew 24% globally in 2013, and it is projected to continue this growth trend for at least the next five years[1].  Increasingly, consumers are not only open to the idea of using a self-service checkout option, such as an interactive kiosk, but as the general public’s comfort level with these self-service technologies grow, consumers often demand a self-service checkout option due to the convenience and speed of checkout that these technologies provide.

The next wave of major innovation to self-service kiosk solutions is the integration of mobile payment solutions, such as Apple Pay.  Olea Kiosks Inc., the premier manufacturer of cutting edge interactive kiosk solutions, is already integrating Apple Pay into its most recent custom kiosk projects, including a custom kiosk solution that will be rolled out to a national sandwich chain later this year.

The Growth of Apple Pay

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, stated that he expects “2015 will be the year of Apple Pay.”[2]  Recently, Apple announced that over 200,000 new self-service machines, including parking meters, laundry machines, and vending machines, are now integrated with Apple Pay.  Since launching
in September, Apple Pay has already become the most popular mobile payment method available.  Apple Pay continues to add financial institutions to its roster of integrated payment providers, Apple Pay Logo and now is integrated by over 750 banks and credit unions.

This upward trend is apparent in two major national retailers that were early adopters of Apple Pay technologies.  Panera Bread recently reported that Apple Pay comprises over 80% of the restaurant chain’s mobile transactions.  Whole Foods, another early Apple Pay adopter, has reported that mobile transactions have increased more than 400% since Apple Pay was made available to their customers three months ago.

How Does Apple Pay Work?

Apple Pay is extremely easy to use and fast to process a transaction, which is one of the key reasons for its rapid rise in popularity.  The system works by having the user simply tap an iPhone to a payment machine and then the user touches their phone’s fingerprint sensor to authorize the transaction.  Both devices, the phone and the payment machine, must be outfitted with near-field communication (NFC) chips that store the payment information and user credentials.  Currently, this technology is available in Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but will soon also be available in Apple’s new watch, which will launch in April of 2015.

Apple Pay through Self-Service Interactive Kiosks

The rapid rise of Apple Pay and its expected continued growth in 2015 means that consumers are getting more and more comfortable with paperless payments, which also means that more consumers will look for self-service checkout options integrated with this new payment technology.

As a result, it is important for retailers to provide self-service payment machines, such as interactive kiosks, that are outfitted with the latest payment technologies to meet this growing consumer demand for mobile payments.



Posted by: Admin AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Retail Kiosks Enhance the Shopping Experience [infographic]

Posted by: Admin AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 02 April 2014

The new generation of kiosk technology has the power to disrupt our healthcare landscape in a good way, especially at a time when the effects of the Affordable Care Act are already being felt by patients and healthcare providers alike. Although there are challenges still to be overcome, it is impossible to overlook the benefits and advantages now resulting from more widespread use of kiosks in the healthcare-services industry.

In the past, most healthcare kiosks were in the form of basic, digital blood-pressure monitors installed in drug stores and supermarkets. Yet, today's technology can do far more, including measuring height and weight, checking vision, and even connecting users with live healthcare professionals for more in-depth diagnostic processes. Kiosks can question patients about their symptoms and help assess current conditions, and all these functions can be performed at lower costs than traditional medical examinations.

Olea Cambridge Healthcare Kiosk

Kiosks are engaging, versatile and far-reaching

Most importantly, Internet-enabled kiosks can engage people and draw them into longer-term relationships in ways that standalone digital equipment cannot, by serving individuals who are undiagnosed, or perhaps not yet ill enough to receive more-costly treatments at home. And, when deployed in healthcare facilities, retail stores or public locations, kiosks can guide users with pinpoint precision for both wayfinding and product-selection purposes.

As well, kiosks excel in home-monitoring environments where elderly or under-compliant patients may have trouble taking action. For example, when monitoring diabetes or blood pressure, kiosks can direct patients step-by-step to complete a home diagnostic process, or connect them directly through internet video when they need assistance. Indeed, kiosks are quite effective for improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare expenditures, whether at home or in a public setting.

Pinpoint marketing

From a business perspective, healthcare kiosks offer plenty of new avenues for increasing revenue. Empowered by kiosks, companies enjoy more opportunities to market products and services directly to their captive audiences, assuming that such advertising is both well-targeted and appropriate for healthcare needs. Traditional, broad-media healthcare advertising uses a "shotgun" approach in an attempt to reach those who suffer from ailments which often affect only a small percentage of the population, and results are rarely quantifiable. Yet, kiosks allow marketers to address the precise needs of specific patients, even while checking their vital signs and monitoring their health conditions.

The myths

Still, there are obstacles to be overcome through education: One of the common misperceptions about healthcare kiosks is that they lead to less face-to-face time between patients and healthcare professionals. As with other unfounded worries, this confusion results from not fully understanding the power of well-applied technology to connect people rather than separate them. Most people would agree that advancing technologies in general have greatly enhanced medical care while saving lives and improving quality-of-life for patients. As such, kiosks blend together the best technologies for helping people.

Olea Metro 22 Health Care Kiosk

Beyond the cost savings realized when providers streamline interactions between healthcare workers and patients, most kiosk-users report a better experience overall, since kiosks enable patients to receive diagnostic information and interact with providers on their own terms, and on their own time schedules. When the workload is managed with the help of kiosks, busy healthcare professionals are able to spend more time with the sickest patients, or those who require the most personal attention.

Another easily-debunked myth regarding kiosks is that users spend too much time entering information into the system. Yet, the reality is quite different. Unlike handwritten systems or personal interviews, a well-designed and deployed kiosk system saves a considerable amount of time for both patients and staff alike, by speeding and streamlining the large volumes of data needed for best care. And, with the HIPAA-compliant interfaces now available in healthcare kiosks, concerns about personal data security are largely resolved.

Skepticism turns into enthusiasm

Internet-connected kiosks also help protect patients from medication and treatment errors, as well as offering opportunities for medical follow ups, and even marketing, all of which have the effect of reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. As with any well-proven technology being newly applied to healthcare, the earlier skepticism about kiosks is now being replaced with wholehearted enthusiasm by an increasing number of healthcare professionals, patients, and providers.

Posted by: Admin AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 10 June 2013

As people become acquainted to and more comfortable with using tablets, smartphones and other touchscreen technology within their shopping experience, it is easy for self-service providers to profit and capitalize on the new trend.

Not only do virtual shopping kiosks enhance the experience for many shoppers, the financial benefits of using them for storeowners make them the ideal sales assistant. Some of the benefits of using these virtual shopping systems are as follows:

Answer shopper questions

Since shoppers are accustomed to using touchscreen software, virtual kiosks can answer myriad questions with accurate pricing and information. Shoppers can browse through displayed and non-displayed items from one central location on the kiosk, minimizing the cost of a large store footprint. The unique interface makes it easy for shoppers to navigate through large item inventories, and it provides a better shopping experience by giving the user up-to-date information on whether an item is in stock.

Product promotion and upselling

Many retail settings, such as clothing stores, can benefit from the kiosk's ability to promote relevant items based on past shopper purchases and preferences. Virtual kiosks can simplify pairings for shoppers by offering item suggestions that promote cross-selling. This gives owners control of promoting certain items over others and possibly increasing sale amounts within every transaction.

Inventory control

One issue that retail store owners are constantly looking to minimize is the problem of wasted inventory. With the automated database of products in a virtual kiosk, inventory management is simplified making it easier to control waste and only renew stocks of items that are running low in quantity. This reduces costs associated with unnecessary overstocking, while also being able to better manage the in-stock quantities for high demand items.

Posted by: Admin AT 03:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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