The Perspective 
Tuesday, 11 February 2014

At this time last year, I was telling the DSA that I would sponsor the Dallas Symposium. Now I’m the Executive Director of the DSA, and responsible for it.

What a difference a year makes.

How many shows have you been to in the past year? A lot? I would need both fingers and toes to count myself. And at the end of every trip, I would ask myself, “Was this worth it?” Coming from so many different sides of the table, my perspective is unique.

It would be easy for me to move from sponsorship to ownership and say, “This is the place you should be.”

This is the place you should be.

Why? Two very good reasons.

You attend because you want to get something out of it. Insight, knowledge, networking, and business. With the Symposium, we have moved in a new direction that focuses on two key components of any valuable conference: Education and Networking.

First, from the educational side, we bring some of the best minds in the digital space to the stage, and listen to them talk about how this all works together, to share their experience and real-world situations. We encourage a discussion among the entire group so that no digital stone is left unturned

Smart people with smart things to say? Smart.

Second, with networking, we have created large breaks and an evening event that allows you to carry on the discussion beyond trading business cards. At the end of the day, you want to go back to work with “to-do’s,” people to call, discussion, and hopefully business.

How about business cards and a handshake? That’s what this is about.

That’s what the Symposium is all about. And that’s what visiting any conference should be about. Education and Networking.

Click here to learn more about the Symposium.

If you’re wondering about the quality of the event, allow the survey we took last year after the Dallas event to explain it.

And here were some of the testimonials from the survey:

  •     “Best networking I've had in a long time between end users. Very open discussions. Even conversations with vendors were non selling, which I appreciated.”
  •     “A very effective use of my time and value for our money.”
  •     “We'll definitely invite and push for all of our clients to attend in the future”
  •     “Great exposure to people I normally would not get to meet or hear their perspective as a buyer. Very interesting conversations.”
  •     “I thought all speakers/panelists were high quality, value add. I could find parallels even with industries that were different than mine.”
  •     “Glad I discovered this meeting. Very worthwhile. Very little preaching to the choir. Real meat as opposed to the tiresome ‘content is king’ or ‘this is the breakout year for digital’ you usually hear.”
  •     “Do one every quarter. I will sign up every time”

A LOT of time to network, and discuss what it takes to create a terrific experience.

So should you come to the Dallas Symposium on April 8-9? Yes. You’ll walk away with some great insight from some fantastic people who have been there and are doing that. You’ll be able to have in-depth conversations with other attendees and vendors who can help you move from ideas to experiences for your customer.

Because your customer is always right. Right?

(And if you’re interested in sponsoring, let me know. We are locking down sponsors now, and I would love to see you as part of the lineup!)

Posted by: Admin AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Thursday, 08 November 2012

The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) has announced the winners for the DSA Crown Awards, which recognizes excellence in digital out-of-home content.

The DSA Crown Awards ceremony was held aboard the Duchess Yacht, which cruised around Manhattan, New York on Nov. 7 following the first day of Customer Engagement Technology World.

The categories for the content awards were Point of Sale, which is all about content on screens in store catering to the shopper; Point of Transit, which is all about reaching people are on the go, such as at airports and with digital billboards; and Point of Wait, for places where people have dwell time such as banks, elevators, and doctor’s offices. New sub categories based on budget were introduced this year.

The awards ceremony was co-hosted by Marcy Patzer of Scala and Keith Kelsen, author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage.

The winners are:

Category – Point of Sale (content budget of $10,000 or more)

  • Gold: McCormick - Guess That Spice, submitted by 5th Screen Digital Services and HP
  • Silver: Sprint - Green Mountain Bike LCD, submitted by Two West
  • Bronze: Sprint Studio Holiday Grand Moment, submitted by Two West
  • Honorable Mention: McCormick – Flavor Print, submitted by 5th Screen Digital Services and HP

Category – Point of Sale (content budget less than $10,000)

  • Gold: Mercedes-Benz “Visualizer,” submitted by Scala and Pro-Motion Technology Group
  • Silver: Sprint - Need For Speed EVO 3D LCD, submitted by Two West
  • Bronze: Cedar Fair - Digital Menu Board Optimization, submitted by Allure Global Solutions

Category – Point of Wait ($10,000 or more)

  • Gold: BBVA Flagship, submitted by John Ryan
  • Silver: Sprint - Trail of Destruction, submitted by Two West
  • Bronze: Sprint - Buyback Virtual Queue, submitted by Two West
  • Honorable Mention: Loews Don CeSar Hotel - Concierge Board, submitted by JANUS Displays

Category – Point of Wait (less than $10,000)

  • Gold: Sprint - Total Equipment Protection, submitted by Two West
  • Silver: Family Dental Care, submitted by Digital Clinic

Category – Point of Transit ($10,000 or more)

  • Gold: Monterey Bay Aquarium - 150 Feet of Awesome, submitted by Inwindow Outdoor
  • Silver: Tesco - The UK's First Interactive Virtual Grocery Store, submitted by Monster Media
  • Bronze: McCarran International Airport Digital Signage, submitted by Four Winds Interactive

Mark Lopez and Lou Thurmon of Two West with their six Crown Awards.

Judges for the DSA Crown Awards included Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group, Jim Kealy of 2hemispheres, Keith Kelsen of 5th Screen, and Anne White of HypeHouse.

Each of the entries were scored independently by the judges, who took the following into consideration:

  • Did the content meet the objectives?
  • Was the content engaging?
  • Did the content fit the environment?
  • Did the content fit the audience?

After all the judges submitted their scores, the scores are tallied and the highest average score in each category were chosen as winners. Judges who had entries in the competition recused themselves from judging their entry.

"The spectacular thing about this year's awards were the amount of entries featuring interactive engagement,” said Keith Kelsen, judge and co-host. “Looking at this year's gold winners shows that interactive content is a significant trend for the industry. For retailers, interactive engagement helps make their stores a digital destination.”

Posted by: Admin AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) has announced the judges’ nominees for the 2012 DSA Crown Awards, which recognizes excellence in digital out-of-home content.
The nominees are:
  • BBVA Flagship, submitted by John Ryan
  • Cedar Fair - Digital Menu Board Optimization, submitted by Allure Global Solutions
  • Family Dental Care, submitted by Digital Clinic
  • McCarran International Airport Digital Signage, submitted by Four Winds Interactive
  • McCormick - Guess That Spice, submitted by 5th Screen Digital Services
  • Mercedes-Benz “Visualizer,” submitted by Scala and Pro-Motion Technology Group
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium - 150 Feet of Awesome, submitted by Inwindow Outdoor
  • Sprint - Buyback Virtual Queue, submitted by Two West
  • Sprint - Green Mountain Bike LCD, submitted by Two West
  • Sprint - Need For Speed EVO 3D LCD, submitted by Two West
  • Sprint - Total Equipment Protection, submitted by Two West
  • Sprint - Trail of Destruction, submitted by Two West
  • Sprint Studio Holiday Grand Moment, submitted by Two West
  • Tesco - The UK's First Interactive Virtual Grocery Store, submitted by Monster Media
Judges for the DSA Crown Awards included Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Paul Flanigan of Pro-Motion Technology Group, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group, Jim Kealy of 2hemispheres, Keith Kelsen of 5thScreen and author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, and Anne White of HypeHouse.
The DSA Crown Awards winners for gold, silver and bronze in the categories of Point of Sale, Point of Wait and Point of Transit will be announced during the DSA Party @ CETW held on Nov. 7 aboard the Duchess Yacht, the evening of the first day of Customer Engagement Technology World. To register for the DSA Party @ CETW, go to:
For more information about Customer Engagement Technology World, go to:
Posted by: David Drain AT 10:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
On Nov. 7, the evening of the first day of Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) in New York City, the DSA Party @ CETW NYC will be held aboard the Duchess Yacht from 5-9 p.m.

During the event, the Association will announce the winners of the DSA Crown Awards in a special presentation. Following the awards, attendees will enjoy a buffet dinner, drinks, networking and sightseeing.

The Duchess, one of four ships owned by World Yacht of Pier 81, is a 160-foot long vessel with three decks that can accommodate up to 500 people. The panoramic windows will provide great views of the New York City skyline at night.

World Yacht sails down the Hudson, around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River, under the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge and far enough north for guests to catch a glimpse of the pristine architecture of the United Nations. The ship then turns around and sets sail for the Statue of Liberty, continuing back up the Hudson to its Pier 81 dock. Other well-known landmarks visible along the cruise include the World Financial Center and the shimmering art deco spires of the Empire State and Chrysler Building.

Pier 81 is a short walk from the Javits Center, the site of CETW. Chartered buses will also be available to transport attendees. The ship will set sail at 6 pm and return at 8:30 pm.

Tickets are now available for purchase:

Early registration (until Oct. 31)
  • DSA User Members: $25
  • All other DSA Members: $50
  • Non-Members: $100
Late registration (Nov. 1 or later)
  • DSA User Members: $45
  • All other DSA Members: $75
  • Non-Members: $125
Click here to register

Note: DSA Membership is free to organizations that qualify (brands and venue owners such as retailers, banks, restaurants, hotels, government, etc.)
Posted by: David Drain AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 07 September 2011
The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) is now accepting entries for the DSA Crown Awards, recognizing the impact of excellent content in out-of-home environments through the use of digital signage, self-service kiosks, and mobile technology. 

Companies may enter in one or more of the following categories:  
  • Point of Wait (dwell time - such waiting for a table, waiting in line, waiting room, etc.)
  • Point of Sale (shoppers - such as retail, restaurant menu boards, etc.)
  • Point of Transit (people on the go - such as airports, digital billboards, etc.)
Within each of the three categories above, entrants will select one of the following two sub-categories: 
  • Content run on a digital signage / kiosk network (one-way or interactive)
  • Content campaign run across multiple screens (digital signage/kiosk plus mobile, online and/or TV)
DSA welcomes entries from all interested companies - members and non-members alike. The cost to enter is $195 per entry. All entries will require the submission of a photo of the screen in its environment and a video of the content. The content must have been aired between October 1, 2010 and  October 1, 2011 to be eligible.
"Great content is often the difference in making a digital out-of-home project successful," said David Drain, DSA executive director. "Since 'content is king,' we've developed the DSA Crown Awards to recognize engaging and impactful digital screenmedia content." 
DSA member experts involved in the creation of the new awards program included some of the top content leaders in the industry: Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Paul Flanigan of Rise Vision, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group, Keith Kelsen of 5thScreen and author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, and Anne White of PRN.
The DSA Crown Awards winners will be announced during a DSA event held on November 8, 2011, the night before Customer Engagement Technology World begins at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The location of the DSA event will be announced shortly.
Posted by: admin AT 02:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
The Digital Screenmedia Association has released a first version of the DSA ROI Calculator to its members for review and comment.
“Return on investment is a critical factor in the planning and measurement of digital screen media networks. Understanding the costs and benefits in a comprehensive way lends tremendous clarity to the process,” said Matt Schmitt, president of Reflect Systems and chair of the DSA ROI Task Force.
DSA’s task force on ROI was formed with the goal of providing an ROI framework to be created and maintained by a cross-functional team comprising industry analysts and consultants, vendors and association members that represent end-users.
ROI considerations contemplated and included in the ROI calculator model include:
• Type of venue 
• Goals of the network (sales lift, customer experience, advertising, training and cost savings)
• Scope (number of locations, number of displays per location)
• Content strategy
• Costs for capital investments and operating expenses

A screen shot of the results page.

The ROI Task Force gathered data from respective organizations and industry sources, discussed the scope and the approach to be used in the ROI framework, and have planned for future updates to be more inclusive of all the types of screen media applications, such as interactive kiosks and mobile devices. The first version (marked as a beta model) is intended to provide DSA members with a working tool to be useful right away, while also providing a way to give DSA feedback, questions and suggestions for improvements. 
Based on feedback on the first versions of the ROI tool, which is spreadsheet-based, DSA will likely begin to develop an online version.  
“As the team leader for the DSA ROI Task Force, I’ve been excited to work on such a rewarding project. There is no doubt it's a challenging endeavor – not because ROI is difficult to explain, but because there are various types of digital screen media deployments and business models, as well as a number of factors that influence the expenditures and benefits,” said Schmitt. “I'm confident that, with the collaboration of committee members, their respective organizations, the DSA and association members, we're off to a good start in providing valuable tools for the benefit of our entire industry.”

The DSA ROI Calculator is available immediately to DSA members. To learn more about membership in DSA, click here.

Posted by: The Perspective AT 12:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  
Tuesday, 24 May 2011

We have now uploaded photos of DSA activities at the recent Customer Engagement Technology World show in San Francisco to our photo gallery and to our newly created Flickr account.

In our photo gallery, you will see hand-picked photos from:

  • DSA Advisory Board Meeting
  • DSA Dinner Cruise
  • DSA Member Lounge at CETW
  • DSA Industry Excellence Awards
  • Customer Engagement Technology World

If you want to see all the photos (and download ones of yourself), check out our Flickr photostream.


Posted by: David Drain AT 04:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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  |  
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
It’s official. DSA will be reaching out to 41,000 attendees at the CTIA wireless and mobile conference in Orlando next week. It won’t be the grand booth, large video wall and hyper-engaging video that we originally envisioned, but it will be a coordinated effort, sponsored by Symon and Intel, to educate the mobile industry on the value of digital signage and kiosks.

What will DSA be doing? The association will be conducting two educational seminars in the CTIA Emerging Technology Pavilion. DSA will be introducing the mobile industry to digital signage, kiosks, the Digital Screenmedia Association and to the Customer Engagement Technology World show. DSA will be talking about how digital signage can create “context” in the mobile world and how wireless carriers, mobile app developers, advertisers, and others can use digital signage to expand their reach. For more information on this topic, see the article I recently published in Mobile Commerce Daily.

Why no digital signage pavilion, video wall and compelling video? The answer is simple: not enough time. By the time DSA received the agreement of all involved, there was simply not enough time to put together the big splash that we desired. Rather than do nothing and wait until next year, we decided to do the next best thing to capitalize on the momentum and CTIA relationship-building that we already had going.

DSA, Intel and Symon are pleased to be on the forefront of establishing linkages and relationships between the digital screenmedia and mobile industries. We fully expect that we will be able to identify and exploit new synergies that will be of benefit to all involved.
Posted by: Steve Gurley AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Return on investment, or ROI, is a critical consideration for any technology investment. With digital screenmedia networks (digital signage, kiosks, etc.), the need for calculating and considering ROI is especially important, given the capital costs of many networks and the ongoing expenses required to maintain them.

The Digital Screenmedia Association’s task force on ROI was formed with the goal of providing an ROI framework to be created and maintained by a cross-functional team comprising industry analysts and consultants, vendors and association members that represent end-users.

ROI considerations reflected in the framework:

• Type of venue (retail, corporate, healthcare, transportation, etc)
• Type of screenmedia (digital signage, kiosks, multipurpose displays)
• Goals of the network (sales lift, customer experience, advertising, self-service applications)
• Scope (number of locations, number of displays per location)
• Content strategy
• Deployment model (on-premise, hosted, managed services)

ROI task force members:

  • Chair: Matt Schmitt, Reflect Systems
  • Sean Andersen, Six Flags
  • Michael Chase, St. Joseph Content
  • Bill Collins, DecisionPoint Media
  • Paul Flanigan, The Preset Group 
  • Scott Francis, PRN
  • Rocky Gunderson, SeeSaw Networks
  • Pat Hellberg, Kaicon
  • Janice Litvinoff, Cisco
  • Bob Michaels, Magenta Research
  • Mike Parkinson, LG Electronics
  • Mark Webster, Rollouts

We have gathered data from respective organizations and industry sources, discussed the scope and the approach to be used in the ROI framework release cycle and plan a near-term introduction of the first deliverable. The current plan is to introduce a first-version ROI document and calculator package October 1, 2010. This first version includes an introductory document outlining the assumptions and considerations used, along with instructions on how to use the included ROI calculator to easily input relevant information and arrive at a simple ROI model. This version of the framework is most useful for "passive" digital signage implementations and does not yet dive into some of the elements specifically related to interactive kiosks or self-service applications.

Future plans of the committee (certainly to be influenced by association membership and feedback) may include considerations for multiple analysis models based on network types and goals of the organization. It's well understood that it is difficult to maintain a single ROI input and calculator model that will work accurately for all types of screenmedia projects. Based on feedback on the first version (which is document- and spreadsheet-based) the committee may then work with the DSA to launch an online tool that uses a wizard type of approach to reviewing the ROI models.

It's exciting to work on such a critical project. There is no doubt it's a challenging endeavor – not because ROI is difficult to explain, but because there are so many flavors of digital screenmedia deployments and business models. But I'm confident that with the committee members, their respective organizations, and the DSA and association members we'll provide some beneficial tools and information for the benefit of everyone.

The committee could greatly benefit from member input on a number of things, including:

• opinions on the most critical ROI elements
• most important measurement criteria (sales lift, ad revenue, cost savings, etc)
• realistic cost savings criteria when using digital (over static signage, non-networked digital solutions, etc)

This type of valuable input is always appreciated and will greatly help the ROI task force deliver the best information possible.

Feel free to forward any feedback, ideas, or questions to me at anytime.

Matt Schmitt is CEO and founder of Reflect Systems, a leading provider of digital media solutions. He also serves as chairman of the DSA's task force on ROI.

See also: DSA's webinar on Digital Signage ROI

Posted by: The Perspective AT 06:45 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The self-service and kiosk industry is alive and well, in spite of the difficult economy. KioskCom and the biannual Self-Service & Kiosk Association Advisory Board meeting, held recently in Las Vegas, is always a good opportunity to get a pulse of the industry.

Joel Davis, CEO of JD Events, reported on numbers for KioskCom: 1,382 qualified attendees. Davis said that while it might be tempting to let anyone in the show to keep the numbers up, the organizers stuck to their policy of only approving buyers so as to retain the quality of the audience. So while attendance may have been down from 2008, it still meant that there were plenty of good folks for the 162 exhibitors to talk to.

I reported on membership growth. Through our deployer membership campaign, we’ve added over 100 deployers since August and we project that deployer members will exceed vendor members in the Association by the end of the year as planned.

Chris Rezendes of VDC Research presented some very interesting figures on the size and projected growth of the industry. The self-service market in North America in 2008 was a healthy $4.9 billion and projected to grow to $9.8 billion by 2013. Rezendes noted that these numbers include all spending associated with self-service implementation, including hardware, software and services.

I also reported on our foray into social media with LinkedIn and Twitter. Our SSKA LinkedIn Group, established on April 10, 2008, now has 366 members and counting. It’s free to join; I encourage you to join the group, get connected to other members, post discussions, news and job opportunities. You can also follow me on Twitter at

The SSKA board re-elected Miller Newton of Netkey to a second year as president and elected vice presidents from the deployer, vendor and international communities. We also welcomed newly elected board members and, with "fresh blood" come new ideas. Board members expressed enthusiasm for promoting membership in the Association, but requested an "elevator pitch." These talking points can be summarized as follows:

1. Advocacy. The Association advocates for the use self-service technology, which saves consumers time, deployers money and improves the customer experience. Since we are the voice of the self-service industry, we’ve been called upon by the likes of Newsweek, CBS MarketWatch, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Airport Innovation magazine and Credit Union Business magazine.

2. Education. We want deployers of self-service technology to be successful, so we arm them with valuable information through this website and through newsletters and our library of members-only best practices. Deployer membership is currently free, so there’s no reason not to join. Our Speakers Bureau helps connect conferences and trade shows seeking speakers and our member experts.

3. Networking. Both deployers and vendors of self-service technology benefit greatly by meeting other people in this space and we facilitate that — whether it’s through board or committee service, membership luncheons like the one we held on May 5 or the Buyer’s Summit we co-sponsored at KioskCom, or through virtual opportunities like LinkedIn. We will help you meet other members to get business done.

SSKA co-sponsored the Self Service Excellence Awards with KioskCom where we inducted three more members into the SSKA Hall of Fame:

  • Gregg Kaplan, president & chief operating officer, Coinstar (former CEO of Redbox)
  • Rick Malone, founder and president of KIOSK Information Systems
  • Bradley Walker, founder and CEO, Nanonation

On May 7, I moderated a panel called "What Self-Service Technology Do Customers Really Want?" with panelists Jared Miller of Continental Airlines and Janet Sherlock of AMR Research. I presented some of the findings from our recent survey of over 1,000 consumers.

Read also: KIOSKCOM: Survey data revealed to show attendees 

We’re beginning a series of free webinars, so mark your calendar for our first webinar we are planning for June 16 called "Survivor’s Guide to Deploying Kiosks," led by Janet Webster, president of Creative Solutions Consulting (formerly with US Postal Service) and featuring an all-deployer panel:

  • Sarah Canepa Bang, CEO, Financial Service Centers Cooperative
  • Greg Clore, vice president, information technology, Dave & Buster's
  • Faith MacPherson, director, HR transactional services, Avery Dennison

So as you can see, we’re not sticking our heads in the sand, waiting for the economy to turn around. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the opportunities in this great industry and Association of ours.

Read also: KIOSKCOM: SSKA advisory board holds elections, annual meeting

Posted by: David Drain AT 12:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 04 November 2008
Since it was launched in July, the Self-Service & Kiosk Association's membership drive to bring new user/deployers into the fold has resulted in more than 70 new members. The list contains high-profile names like Delta Air Lines, Fifth Third Bank and the U.S. Navy. The drive continues — and at KioskCom in New York City, executive director David Drain was ready to showcase the many benefits that membership provides to deployers. Click the video below to learn more.

Posted by: David Drain AT 12:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 03 September 2008
You know the saying, "You get what you put into it"? That is certainly true of participating in the Self-Service & Kiosk Association. Since I often counsel our vendor members about how to get the most out of their membership, I thought I would put it down into a top-10 list. I'm sure there are more than 10, but this is a good start.
1. Write a carefully crafted company description for your membership-directory listing. Include all the keywords individuals might use to search the Internet to find you. Make sure we have a clean company logo. Review your listing periodically to make sure it's up to date and let us know of any changes.
2. Send us press releases on a regular basis. Every time your company lands an important, new client; launches a new product; wins an award; speaks at a conference; or makes an important hire, tell us about it and we'll publish your news on our Web site.
3. Submit case studies for publication. People love to read real-world stories about how companies implemented a new technology successfully. It doesn't have to be long. Simply describe the scope of the project, any challenges faced, the solution provided and the results. Include at least one high quality photograph.
4. Write a "Perspective." You're an expert in your field. You can help the industry by writing about what you know best. Or give your opinion on an industry trend in this 500- to 1,000-word column. If you've ever written a blog post (or read one), you can write a "Perspective." We have editors on staff that can take care of the grammar and punctuation. The article will contain your picture and reference your company.
5. Take action on sales leads received. Each week we'll send you sales leads that are generated through our Web site. Carefully review these for opportunities that fit your company's offerings. Even if the lead is not requesting your specific product, the sender may still want to hear from you. The  company that submitted the request may not know that it needs your product until you inform them! Consider adding the contact information from leads to your database and/or company-newsletter distribution list.
6. Use the project-help form to receive quotes and information from fellow members. No one company does it all. You can use the same online form users do to find information about products needed for the project you're working on.
7. Sign up your staff to receive our e-newsletter. You can sign up as many people on your staff as you wish. Just send us a list of names and email addresses, and we'll add them to our distribution list. Your staff will stay abreast of industry news and trends. They'll thank you for it!
8. Use the Member logo. Promote your membership in the Association by using the member logo on your website, business cards, brochures, etc. At major industry trade shows we participate in, we'll have a floor decal for your booth to publicize your membership.
9. Join a committee. Have you been looking for a chance to get involved, meet other people and help advance industry issues? Now is your opportunity! If you have an area of interest not currently covered by one of our committees, please let us know; we may want to organize a committee or task force to address that topic.
10. Ask us! Do you have a question you can't find the answer to? If we don't know the answer, we'll probably know where to find it. Is there someone you would like to meet, or do you need help contacting a company or finding a particular product? We are happy to make an introduction for you or provide the contact details needed. 
As you see, it takes a little work on your part to take advantage of all that membership in our Association has to offer. But I promise you, it will be worth it.
Posted by: David Drain AT 11:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 04 June 2007
In a span of three weeks I recently attended three major shows. Traveling between Las Vegas, Chicago and Essen, Germany, it got a good view of the state of the market in terms of self-service, kiosks and digital signage.
(For additional show coverage click here.)
Companies exhibited many practical yet innovative uses of self-service at Self Service Expo, formerly known as KioskCom. Flextronics’ Smart Auto Management (SAM) kiosk, for example, connects to a car’s onboard diagnostics and checks more than 2,000 fault codes and can make vehicle owners aware of applicable recalls or technical service bulletins.
I’ve heard self-service described as “turning the screen around” to the customer, and two kiosks I saw particularly reminded me of this point: United Tote’s convertible POS system specifically for pari-mutuel wagering and Apunix’s perfume kiosk for Nordstrom, which can be used by employees for assisted selling or by consumers for self-service.
Alamo Rent A Car’s new ad campaign is does something fresh: It highlights kiosks as a point of differentiation.
From what I’ve seen, I believe that many companies in the United States — especially retailers — are not asking themselves if they should implement some form of customer-facing technology, but when and how. Whether it’s to save costs or differentiate from their competitors, they don’t want to be left behind.
In Europe
Although I think most would agree that the market is more mature in North America — its 11-year history of self-service and kiosk trade shows is a strong argument — the European market is definitely coming into its own. This year, Germany’s Kiosk Europe Expo featured approximately 120 exhibitors from 26 countries, attracting companies from across Europe, Russia, China, Australia and North America.
At the show, it was exciting to see that companies were trying new things. I saw a new form of gesture technology, a battery-powered kiosk on wheels, large-format interactive digital signage, even a kiosk that was shaped like a pet. I saw plenty of the elegant European design we always hear about in the United States, and I saw great software applications. One, called MusicGenome, could predict a user’s music tastes with 80 percent accuracy after having the user rate a couple of sample songs.
Though self-service was born in Europe, with the first ATM created in England, it has thrived in North America. The United States, in particular, knows how to mass-market good ideas. Still, neither shore is a clear leader.
For years, Europeans have used machines to purchase train and subway tickets, as well as pay for parking, while some U.S. cities only are beginning to move in that direction. On the other hand, pay-at-the-pump has been around for years in North America, but has been slow to catch on in Europe. In the United States and Europe many service industries, such as restaurants and hotels are slow to adopt for reasons varying from language, culture, currency and user attitudes.
On the digital signage front, while most of the industry is still involved in broadcasting, a growing number of digital signage applications are becoming interactive by using various triggers, be it touch, motion sensors, RFID, mobile phone or others. Nanonation showed off a 65-inch touchscreen application it developed for Royal Caribbean. GestureTek also continues to develop non-traditional methods of interaction.
From what I’ve observed, what the self-service and digital signage industries in the United States and Europe have most in common is that they are limited only by imagination. The technology is there, or will be soon. The best applications anywhere, however, are those created to solve a problem.
Posted by: David Drain AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Thursday, 18 January 2007
In part one of last week’s message, I touched on the Association’s Web site and newsletter, member visits, strategic partnerships, marketing and leads. Here is the second half of the report detailing our activities from 2006 and providing a glimpse at the year ahead.
Increased visibility
The Association is being recognized as a source of authority. Last May, I had the opportunity to moderate a session on self-service at the National Restaurant Show and was interviewed for Marketwatch Radio. Editor Bryan Harris was recently interviewed for a segment to be aired on CNBC’s program, “On the Money.” A new magazine called Airport Innovation has called on me to provide thought leadership in its inaugural issue this year. We will continue to be a media resource and seek out additional opportunities to gain exposure for the Association.
Professional deployer program
In September we reached an agreement with KioskCom whereby its Professional Society, comprised of 65 individuals engaged in the deployment of self-service, would merge into the SSKA. This merger has given us a launching pad from which to expand our professional deployer category of membership. Since the SSKA’s inception in 2001, we have been successful in recruiting vendors to join, but have not had a significant number of deployers as members. We hope to change all that with the programs and benefits we have created or will have in place soon.
Membership growth
During 2006, membership increased 46 percent, largely as a result of the merger. However, in vendor membership alone, we grew a healthy 14 percent.
Digital signage has been receiving a lot of attention and we are discussing the ways digital signage and self-service intersect — obviously when the technology is interactive — and perhaps complementing self-service in other ways. The Association is interested in welcoming and embracing companies in this arena and is looking at creating a Digital Signage Council and a special section within this Web site for news, information and a list of companies all in one place.
Elections and awards
Each year, half the seats on the Association’s Advisory Board are open for election and each board member elected serves a two-year term. In 2006, seven members were elected to the board and Alex Richardson of Selling Machine Partners was elected by the board for a one-year term as president. Board nominations are currently being accepted and elections will be held in February. The new board will be announced in March and officers will be appointed at the board’s first meeting in April.
Also each year, the Association inducts one or more individuals into its Hall of Fame. Last year, we inducted Doug Peter of St. Clair during The Self-Service & Kiosk Show in San Antonio. Our next induction will take place at one of the KioskCom shows this year.
Committee activity
The Association has a number of committees furthering our mission. I’ve mentioned Marketing and Membership, but the others include Best Practices, Research & Statistics and Standards.
The Best Practices Committee, headed by David Oles of Pixel Magic, is working to identify areas where best practices are needed and develop frameworks for these documents to be written, perhaps by an individual or a team of experts.
The Research & Statistics Committee, chaired by Miller Newton of Netkey, has set as its goal to provide timely, pertinent information and quality research to SSKA members, media and staff. The objective is to promote the industry, validate trends, enhance our image and support member needs. The first phase of the committee’s work has been to develop and publish an FAQ, list of research company reports/links, and executive summaries and/or highlighted stats from these reports. Phase two will be to develop a complete resource library and phase three will be to establish a process for a continual update of the library.
The Standards Committee, led by Ed McGunn of Corporate Safe Specialists, has helped establish an allied association agreement with the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) to work with us on developing and adopting standards for use in the self-service and kiosk industry.
As you can see, much work has been accomplished and much work remains to be done. I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to get involved in the Association to improve your business and our industry. It’s going to be a great year!
Posted by: David Drain AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 09 January 2007
Now that 2006 has ended and everyone is diving into the New Year with new plans and resolutions, I thought it might be a good time to take a moment and look back at the accomplishments of 2006 and give you a preview of our plans for 2007. As President Bush prepares his State of the Union address, you can think of this as the “State of the Association.”
Website and e-newsletter
In February, we re-launched our home website, The new look and feel made navigation easier and more inviting. We continue to update our website every business day and in 2006 our site averaged more than 14,000 unique visitors per month. In the last quarter of 2006, we averaged more than 17,000 unique visitors per month. With over 4,000 subscribers, we ramped up our newsletter last March from monthly to weekly. In August, we posted the free publication, “Ten Steps to Better Kiosk ROI.”
Part of our website’s success has been topping the search rankings. On Google, enjoys the number-one spot with key terms “kiosks,” “selfservice” and “kiosk association.”
Member visits
Shortly after I joined the organization last February, SSKA Chairman Dick Good charged Editor Bryan Harris and me with taking one week a month to visit member companies in the field. We’ve met with 68 companies (48 members and 20 prospective members), logging thousands of miles both in the air and on the ground. The purpose of these meetings has been to learn, meet, recruit, and write about what we saw and heard. Combined with the trade shows I’ve attended, I couldn’t ask for a better education and we met some terrific people along the way.
Strategic partnerships
Strategic partnerships have been of key importance in raising the profile of the Association, which in turn raises the profile of our members and our industry. In 2006, we partnered with the following associations and trade shows:
  • ATM Industry Association (ATMIA)
  • KioskCom
  • KioskCom Europe
  • Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS)
  • Photo Marketing Association (PMA)
  • Retail Systems
  • Strategy Institute (digital signage conferences)
  • Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (TPCA)
  • Texas Retailers Association
In 2007, we will continue to partner with many of the groups listed above plus:
  • Digital Signage 2007
  • GlobalShop
  • RFID World
We are also in talks with other organizations and should have more to announce soon.
Our Marketing Committee, led by Alex Richardson, developed a public awareness campaign called “The Best Service is Self-Service.” Highlighting well-known brands who have implemented self-service technologies, such as Behr Paint, BMW, the City of New Orleans and Mazda, the promotion has been featured online, in print, via email and at trade shows. This campaign is far from over, as we have more snapshots in the works.
Leads generated from our request for proposal (RFP) and request for information (RFI) engines are very important to many of our vendor members. In 2006, we delivered nearly 200 leads to our members. In October, I contacted several companies who had used our referral process to see how it was working. One California bank was “looking for a full service ‘teller’ type ATM/kiosk.” The bank’s representative said he “had several quality calls” and that his questions “were answered quickly by all.”
A New Jersey consulting firm was “looking a mall-based wayfinding directory solution.” After members responded to their request, the firm said, “We are moving in the right direction.” Finally, a major Las Vegas casino was “looking into a multifunctional kiosk solution and possible CUSS compliant vendors.” The response from members helped her find some viable options.
These are just some samplings to give you an idea of the effectiveness of the program. We will continue to do what we can to generate as many quality leads for members while providing a great service to the public. For example, we may modify the forms from time to time to ensure an efficient and effective process.
Next week, I’ll address increased visibility, membership growth, elections and awards, committee activity and the professional deployer program in part two of my State of the Association.
Posted by: David Drain AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 20 March 2006
I’m pleased to report that membership is at an all-time high of 193. This total is comprised of 172 vendors, three deployers, and 18 individuals. What’s apparent is that our association has appealed to those who provide self-service solutions (vendors). In the coming months, we plan to explore the value proposition for those purchasing and implementing self-service (deployers). To do this, we will be talking to as many deployers as possible to determine the benefits sought and gained by membership in our organization.
For our vendors, there are a few simple, but compelling reasons to join and remain a member. These reasons include:
  • Listing in the membership directory (searchable alphabetically and by product category)
  • Access to Requests for Proposal (RFP) submitted through our site
  • Substantial discounts on trade shows, advertising, research reports and more
  • Ability to be profiled for a case study or feature
  • Press release postings in our news section
I have to wonder, though, are you taking full advantage of these benefits? Are you responding to the RFPs that come your way? Does your company have a mechanism in place for handling RFPs as they come in? Did you know that you have the ability to use the SSKA logo on your Web site or in print?
As I mentioned in my last letter, there are three distinct ways you can get the most of out of your membership right now:
  1. Contact our editor, Bryan Harris, at . Introduce yourself if you haven’t already and talk to him about getting your company in the news, features or case studies sections of our website.
  2. Contact Advisory Board Member Alex Richardson at with information about your company’s involvement with a well-known brand for inclusion in our promotional campaign, “The Best Service is Self-Service.”
  3. Contact me at to learn how you can get involved in one of our committees. This is your opportunity to impact the industry in a positive way.
I want to add to that another action item – review your company’s listing in our member directory.
  • Do we have the right representatives from your company in our database? In addition to your primary delegate, you can list up to four other delegates.
  • Do we have the right contact information, including mailing address, telephone, fax and e-mail?
If you have any changes to your listing, please contact Diana Sexson at and she will update it immediately.
Remember, with membership organizations, you get out of it what you put into it. Make sure you are maximizing the benefits from your organization.
Posted by: David Drain AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 06 March 2006
As with spring each year comes a time of new beginnings. I am thrilled to be serving as the new executive director of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association. My first day on the job found me in Orlando at The Self-Service & Kiosk Show. What a great way to start! I was able to dive right in, meet people and begin to get my arms around this intriguing industry.
If you missed Orlando, you have another opportunity to put your finger on the pulse of the industry in a couple of weeks at KioskCom 2006 in Las Vegas, April 10-12 and in the fall when The Self-Service & Kiosk Show travels to San Antonio, Texas, September 28-29.
Though I’ve only been with the organization for three weeks, I have many exciting things to share with you. First, there is the completely revamped website. Like a welcoming gift, the new site was finished upon my arrival. From its clean, fresh look, to its ease of navigation and depth of content, you will find it a site to revisit often. One only has to look at the dates of the news items to appreciate the up-to-date reporting found on the new site.
The man who will be behind writing the features and gathering case studies is Bryan Harris, our new, dedicated editor. If you were in Orlando, there was a good chance you met Bryan. He was out there in the trenches meeting people and scoping out the good stories. Bryan brings a much-welcomed energy and enthusiasm to the website and newsletters. If you have any suggestions, comments or leads for articles, please contact Bryan at .
The next big item on the list is the marketing campaign, headed up by Marketing Chair and Advisory Board Member Alex Richardson. Dubbed “The Best Service is Self-Service,” the promotion focuses on successful, brand-recognized deployments. The goal is to highlight the impact and various ways self service helps organizations – from all market segments – to improve service and increase sales and customer satisfaction. Over the next 12-18 months, we will collect and create these “snapshots” and post a library of them on our website. Be on the lookout for these promotions in print, email and on the web. If you have a project you think would make an excellent candidate for the campaign, please contact Alex at .
Why are the new website and marketing campaign so important? Our goal is to build more traffic, which in turn raises industry awareness and credibility, leading to interest in members and ultimately quality leads and requests for proposals.
The recent elections for the Advisory Board have concluded and we have both incumbents and newcomers appointed to serve the association during the next year. As you read their personal biographies, you will see that we have a qualified group of people steering the ship. While we are sure to chart both familiar and unfamiliar waters, we will always act in a manner that is in the best interest of the membership at large and will ultimately move our industry forward.
If you would like to get more involved, we have several committees in place now and I anticipate more being created in the near future. The current list of committees includes Best Practices, Membership and Marketing, Research and Statistics, and Standards. Please contact me at to learn more about how you can get plugged in.
Another major initiative of our organization is to develop strategic alliances and partnerships with other associations, trade shows and media that will further advance the awareness of the SSKA. I am compiling a list of all the related entities out there. While I will be reporting on the progress of these efforts in future columns, I welcome any suggestions or insight you have in this area.
In closing, I would like to thank Dick Good and Alan Fryrear for giving me this opportunity and for their wise counsel. I also appreciate Greg Swistak, whom I met in Orlando and who served before me in this role. His willingness to support me is much appreciated. It’s been great getting to know the other Advisory Board members and staff. Together I know we can achieve great things in the weeks and months to come.
Posted by: David Drain AT 01:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Thursday, 01 December 2005
Greg Swistak is gone — but is he really? The Executive Committee of your association has asked Greg to stick around in an advisory capacity, and he has agreed. Thanks, Greg. I personally appreciate your help while we search for a new executive director.
Greg served as our executive director for almost two years. Under his leadership, our association took on a new air. We grew, increased committee involvement, renewed affiliations with other organizations, renamed our association and received national media exposure, with Greg representing us. His enthusiasm, dedication and hard work were an inspiration to those who worked closely with him. I am extremely glad he is not going away.
If we are fortunate, someone will nominate Greg for membership on our advisory board and he can continue as a leader from a different perspective — which brings me to the subject of the annual nominations and election of our advisory board.
You may send your nominations now to . Each nominee will be asked to send a response to a particular question, which will be published for all voting members to read before casting their ballots. Nominations will close Dec. 31. Voting will take place Jan. 15 - Feb. 15. Each member company will be able to cast one ballot. Results will be announced at our spring meeting.
Committed leadership is important to every organization, and this is particularly true for our association. We are going through some very interesting times, and the success of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association will depend on the individuals we select to lead. Please do not take the process lightly. Give it much thought, and nominate someone you know will be committed to spending the extra time to make a difference. And please vote.
SUBHEAD: Special dates to remember
  • Dec. 1: Nominations for association leadership
  • Dec. 31: Nominations close
  • Jan. 15: Vote for association leadership
  • Feb. 15: Voting closes
Posted by: AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 01 November 2005
Change, while inevitable, isn’t always good. In the case of our association there have been quite a number of changes in the last few months. Some of those will change the way you think about the association, others will make us more efficient and, hopefully, all of those changes will be considered “good” when we reflect back a year from now.
A new name
At our recent annual meeting, held at The Self-Service & Kiosk Show in San Francisco, Oct. 18, association announced it will change its name to the Self-Service & Kiosk Association, effective immediately. The association also announced that the URL for its Web site will change to
In making those announcements, I told the assembled members that, beginning at the association’s 2002 annual meeting held at Stone Mountain, Ga., and continuing at the advisory board and executive committee meetings held in Louisville, Ky., Chicago and Las Vegas, the name of the association has been a regular topic of discussion. At the April 2005 meeting in Las Vegas, the advisory board identified renaming the association as one of its key initiatives. The board determined that the association’s annual meeting was the proper venue to reveal the new name and associated Web site changes
In identifying the name change as a key initiative, the advisory board recognized the importance of the industry’s evolution and the broader view of self-service taken by many of its members. The name change was motivated by the fact that the kiosk is primarily considered a hardware device and many of the members of the association, while actively deploying these devices, are usually involved with a much larger self-service initiative.
Hall of Fame winner, Alex Richardson
Each year the association nominates members for induction into the Hall of Fame. These nominees are then voted on by the executive committee. The candidates are nominated based on their leadership and contributions to the association and the industry overall. This year’s winner has been very generous with his time by volunteering on a regular basis for committees and leadership roles in the association. Congratulations, Alex Richardson. We all appreciate your efforts.
Executive director
After a wonderful and productive nearly 2 years as the association’s executive director, I have decided to accept a position in industry with Elo TouchSystems. Although I will greatly miss my coworkers in Louisville, Ky., my friends on the advisory board and all of the members that I’ve had a chance to work with, this new position is a tremendous opportunity.
It has truly been a privilege for me to have been at the helm of your association. We have done some great work including the renaming of the association, running our first elections, getting exposure on TV and other media, working on partnerships with other associations and examining the goals and direction and how we will provide value to the members in the future. Thank you for providing me with this great experience.
Posted by: AT 01:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Friday, 21 October 2005
MEI announces support for new $10 bill
WEST CHESTER, Pa. — MEI, developer of unattended payment systems, announced in a news release plans to seamlessly transition retail customers to accept the soon-to-be-released U.S. $10 bill in kiosks, self-checkouts, and other self-service retail systems. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will begin releasing the new $10 bill in early 2006.
MEI will offer customers several options to upgrade their bill acceptors in the field so that they will recognize and accept the new $10 bill immediately upon release. Upgrade and pricing options differ according to the bill acceptor model. Most products can be easily upgraded with a simple software change using a handheld device. MEI customers will receive detailed upgrade ordering information from MEI via e-mail and service bulletins that will be issued to service centers, distributors and direct to customers.
Systems with either an MEI CASHFLOW SC or a Series 2000 (AE2800) bill acceptor can be upgraded by remote FLASH download through the interface or by using an MEI handheld tool (CPM/BPM). Most product lines that have been discontinued but are still in operation out in the field will be supported with this upgrade.
Based on its close working relationship with the U.S. Treasury BEP, MEI designed its upgrade technology to ensure that retail kiosks and self-serve systems could be updated to accept the new $10 bill even before its official launch. All upgrades should be in place by December 2005.
Subway selects Pro-Tech kiosks
ATLANTA — According to a news release, Subway has selected Pro-Tech as the global provider of kiosks for customer self-ordering and pre-payment within their chain of 24,000 Subway stores worldwide.
Subway has installed Pro-Tech kiosks in a number of Subway stores throughout the United States and in Latin America as a way of improving the customer’s experience by reducing the time customers wait in line, allowing customers to order at their own pace and to customize their sandwich.
The kiosks provide an intuitive touchscreen interface with large buttons, enticing graphics and photos of the food options, from fresh subs to salads, as well as a full array of toppings and assorted condiments. A pleasant and encouraging voiceover assists the customer with the ordering process, each step of the way.
Customers are able to order quicker, minimize order errors from poor communication, choose from a number of upgrade options and pay at the kiosk with their credit or debit card. In addition, the software, text and voiceovers are able to switch to a different language at the touch of a button.
Pro-Tech provides three types of self-ordering kiosks for Subway. The in-store version, mounted at the front counter is the most popular while the remote version allows for kiosks to be placed in "remote" areas, like the lobby of an office building, in a hospital, at a sports venue, so that customers can order from this "virtual" Subway store and arrange for timed pick-up or delivery. The third kiosk option is for the drive-up window.
The Subway kiosks are designed and manufactured by Pro-Tech and are powered by NexTep Systems software.
Infonox launches ActiveKiosk suite
SAN FRANCISCO — Infonox, provider of turnkey solutions for delivering financial and non-financial services to kiosks, has introduced its ActiveKiosk Suite, designed to simplify the transition from clerk-, teller- and cashier-managed processes to self-service kiosks. With the ActiveKiosk Suite, kiosk deployers can offer multiple fee-based services.
According to a news release, ActiveKiosk Suite can be deployed in locations such as retail stores, restaurants, auto rental outlets, malls, bank lobbies and other customer-facing areas. Based on their business requirements, deployers can brand, co-brand, integrate and select service menus. ActiveKiosk Suite interfaces with existing card and EFT payment infrastructure via Infonox's Active Payment Platform.
"By unifying applications, devices, backend providers and business processes we save deployers both time and money," said Safwan Shah, chief executive officer of Infonox. "Additionally, the creation of this suite addresses multiple issues plaguing the industry, including customer retention and compliance."
NCR announces European launch of end-to-end RFID solution
MoreRFID: NCR Corp. launched its end-to-end RFID offer, designed to help European companies achieve a faster return on RFID investment through a one-stop-shop solution, at RFID Journal LIVE! Europe, Oct. 10-12 in Amsterdam. NCR is the first company to cover the whole chain of RFID deployment from manufacturing, through supply chain distribution to back-of-store, center-of-store and through to consumer-facing technology such as contactless payment methods, self-checkout and kiosks.
Read more

News from the Self-Service & Kiosk Show

Self-Service & Kiosk Show announces partners, sponsors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Source Technologies, St. Clair Interactive Communications Inc., Palm Desert National Bank and friendlyway have agreed to be anchor partners for the Oct. 17-18 Self-Service & Kiosk Show in San Francisco.
According to a news release, IBM, Zoom Systems and Whitech Software Solutions have agreed to sponsor the show.
Source Technologies, based in Charlotte, N.C., is expected to feature three standard Concourse hardware platforms. Toronto-based St. Clair Interactive plans to demonstrate its solutions for grocery and specialty retail, quick-service restaurants, telecom, digital entertainment and other vertical markets.
California-based PDNB Electronic Banking Solutions, a division of Palm Desert National Bank, will provide information about its cash services, including cash acceptance, currency management, multiapplication settlement for bill payers and reconciliation and kiosk balancing for ATMs and advance-function kiosks.
Public-access self-service systems provider friendlyway of San Francisco will exhibit its Impress combination digital signage/kiosk and its screen segmentation software, Composer, which enables multiple media to share one screen, as well as five other kiosks.
Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM will display its cart-mounted personal shopping devices and a range of self-checkout and kiosk solutions. Zoom Systems, another San Francisco company, will demonstrate Zoom Shops — revolutionized vending machines.
Sydney, Australia-based Whitech Software Solutions specializes in industry-specific and customized electronic point-of-sale solutions aimed at improving customer efficiency and profitability. association announces name change
SAN FRANCISCO — association announced today at its annual meeting that it would change its name to the Self-Service & Kiosk Association, effective immediately. The association also announced that the URL for its Web site will change to In conjunction with the name change, the association's Web site has been updated to reflect the industry’s overall evolution from a hardware orientation to a solution orientation.
Read the entire article
Swistak to depart Self-Service & Kiosk Association
SAN FRANCISCO — At Tuesday’s association annual meeting, it was announced that executive director Greg Swistak would step down from his position at the end of the month to take a position with Elo TouchSystems as general manager of its custom products division. (The name of the association was changed to The Self-Service & Kiosk Association at the meeting, as well.)
Swistak has been involved with the association since its first meeting in 2001. In 2004, NetWorld CEO Dick Good invited him to serve as the association’s executive director. Under Swistak the association has evolved from a volunteer organization to one with elected officials, it has become more active within the industry and has increased the quality of RFPs generated by its Web site.
Swistak said his stepping down is by no means "goodbye." "I don’t intend to stop being active with the association in any way," he said. "I’ll be involved with this association for a very long time."
Alex Richardson inducted into Self-Service & Kiosk Association’s Hall of Fame
SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Richardson, managing director of Selling Machine Partners LLC, was inducted into the Self-Service & Kiosk Association’s Hall of Fame at Tuesday morning’s annual meeting.
Read the entire article
Self-Service & Kiosk Show opens in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 17, — The Self-Service & Kiosk show opens today at the South San Francisco Convention Center. The two-day event not only highlights self-service technology but also features real-world kiosk demonstrations. Show attendees are pre-screened buyers and key industry decision-makers involved with the purchasing or management of self-service/interactive kiosk solutions.
Tuesday, keynote speaker Mohsen Moazami, a retail executive with Cisco Systems, is expected to speak about connected commerce and how it is re-defining the shopping experience and challenging traditional retailing models.
Other speakers include Brian Slaughter of Dell Inc. and Mark Krogh of NCR Corp.
Slaughter is scheduled to head a seminar on why 2005 is the year for digital signage, how retailers can fund digital signage initiatives and what to look for in retail digital signage solutions.
In his presentation, Krogh plans to detail the key lessons one retailer learned during its self-service implementation and how those lessons can be applied across industries.
Self-Service & Kiosk Show underway with cutting-edge tech, seminars
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, — The Self-Service & Kiosk Show opened yesterday in San Francisco.
Officials with NetWorld Alliance, which owns and operates the event formerly known as The Kiosk Show, said about 600 people were expected to attend, based on preregistration numbers and early check-in rates.
Monday morning was devoted to three tracks of pre-conference workshops, with topics ranging from ROI to systems integration to usability design. Speakers included NCR’s Mark Krogh; Doug Peter of St. Clair; Sylvia Berens of Apunix Computer Services; Alex Richardson with Selling Machine Partners; Summit Research’s Francie Mendelsohn; and Greg Swistak of the association.
Afternoon seminars were devoted to in-depth exploration of specific topics, and most of them were delivered to standing-room-only crowds. While classes were in session, exhibitors were busily preparing the "main event," and at 5:00 pm, that event roared to life. In a special welcome reception sponsored by IBM, the show floors were opened.
On tap for today: Association has its annual meeting, Cisco Systems’ Mohsen Moazami presents the show’s keynote address, panel discussions on digital signage and an "ask the experts" roundtable. Winners of the 2005 Kiosk Awards and Readers' Choice will be announced following the keynote address.
Read the entire article
Wrap-up: The Self-Service & Kiosk Show, day two
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, — The second day of this season’s Self-Service & Kiosk Show started early, with the annual meeting of the association. And one of the key announcements made at that meeting was the official change of the organization’s name to The Self-Service & Kiosk Association. Also announced at the meeting was Swistak’s departure as executive director of the organization, effective Oct. 28.
A massive crowd turned out to listen to the keynote address, "Connected Commerce Drives Customer Satisfaction to a New All-Time High," delivered by Mohsen Moazami, vice president and global managing director, retail — IBSG, Cisco Systems Inc. Moazami stressed the need for an intelligent core structure at the "bottom" of a business IT model, one which would easily allow new channels to be integrated without requiring an entire new infrastructure.
Immediately after Moazami’s presentation, NetWorld Alliance vice president and associate publisher Joseph Grove presented the 6th Annual Kiosk Awards.
Read the entire article
2005 Kiosk Award winners
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, — The winners of the 6th Annual Kiosk Awards were announced in a presentation Tuesday at The Self-Service & Kiosk Show, held Oct. 17-18 in San Francisco.
Winners were …
Best Retail Kiosk
1st place     DekkoMatic-AmeriGas Propane Exchange at AmeriGas vending locations, by WebRaiser Technologies Inc.
2nd place    Photo.Teller by Whitech USA Inc.
3rd place     Product Advisor Kiosk at OfficeMax Inc., by Active Decisions Inc.
Best Financial Kiosk
1st place     Express Bill Payment Kiosk at Verizon Wireless, by Source Technologies
2nd place    Self-Service Branch at credit unions, by Ensenta
3rd place     TIO Bill Pay and Financial Services Kiosk at convenience stores, by Info Touch and Palm Desert National Bank
Best Travel or Hospitality Kiosk
1st place    Hilton Self-Service Checkin Kiosk, by Hilton Hotels Corp.
2nd place   EasyPoint Xpress Check-In at Hyatt, by NCR
3rd place    Virtual Visitor Center at North Carolina Division of Tourism and Department of                  Transportation, by Technology Portals Inc.
Best Entertainment or Gaming Kiosk
1st place     Interactive Entertainment System at KC Hopps Inc./The 810 Zone sports bar & restaurant, by Nanonation
2nd place    The Big Red Kiosk at Riviera Hotel and Casino, by Apunix Computer Services
3rd place     Kid's Virtual Fun Center at Burger King, by D2 Sales
Best New Kiosk Application
1st place     DekkoMatic-AmeriGas Propane Exchange at AmeriGas vending locations, by WebRaiser    Technologies Inc.
2nd place    The Informer Kiosk at Swift Transportation, by Netkey Inc. and Kiosk Information Systems Inc.
3rd place     Product Advisor Kiosk at OfficeMax Inc., by Active Decisions Inc.
Best Digital Display Application
1st place    Douglas Theatres Interactive Digital Displays, by Nanonation
2nd place   The HomeOwnership Center on DisplayPoint, by SeePoint Technology
Best Demonstration of ROI
1st place     Photo.Teller by Whitech USA Inc.
2nd place    The Mazda Retail Kiosk, by Nanonation
3rd place     SHOW/PRO Promotional Kiosk at Roomful Express Furniture, by Showroom Technology Inc.
Best Kiosk in Categories Not Named Above (General)
1st place     The Informer Kiosk at Swift Transportation, by Netkey Inc. and Kiosk Information Systems Inc.
2nd place    EasyPoint Xpress Payment at T-Mobile, by NCR
3rd place     DukeCard Express Station at Duke University, by Sequoia Retail Systems Inc.
Judges were:
Lief Larson, founder and former publisher of Kiosk magazine
Francie Mendelsohn, president, Summit Research Associates
Tamara Mendelsohn (no relation to Francie Mendelsohn), Forrester Research
Peter C. Honebein, Ph.D., co-author, "Creating Do-It-Yourself Customers"
Gary Pageau, group executive, Photo Marketing Association
Judging comprised two components: evaluation of the devices based on written answers to questions about them, as well as on-site, hands-on use. On-site judging took place Monday, Oct. 17, on the show floor as well as in a room at an adjacent hotel.
In addition to the winners in the above categories, a survey was published online at, soliciting reader opinions on which kiosk application was the best of its breed. The machine that received the most votes overall was named the Readers’ Choice. That award went to the Express Bill Payment Kiosk at Verizon Wireless, by Source Technologies.
Posted by: AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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