The technology available today for developing innovative, proprietary, commercial-grade kiosks has never been more advanced. The design considerations and engineering factors that go into a kiosk prototype are critically important. They have much to do with the potential success of a kiosk concept. There are other considerations, however, that are equally important to ensuring a kiosk project’s success. Here we list five factors our experience has shown are critical to kiosk development success:
Kiosks, just like the businesses that deploy them, are subject to government regulation and oversight. A company can develop its brilliant kiosk idea, investing a substantial amount of R&D budget to create a working prototype that is deployment ready. Then, at the eleventh hour when the company is ready to roll-out its kiosks, it discovers that government certifications are required. These certifications are particularly applicable to food-grade kiosks, but others as well. Failing to consider from the outset the types of certifications a kiosk will require to enter operation at the very least can cause frustration. It is far more likely, however, that waiting on certifications will delay the project and defer revenue while waiting on proper certifications from government and industry bodies, such as NSF. If the plan is to deploy kiosks internationally, keep in mind that each country has its own requirements for certification.
It’s one thing to build and successfully test a kiosk concept in the safe, comfortable environs of the laboratory. To achieve a true growth solution, however, its necessary to consider all the places and sites in which the kiosk needs to operate. The kiosk owners may have a different vision for kiosk placement than did the designers and developers. It’s important to consider from the project’s outset where kiosks need to operate. All environmental factors require thorough consideration: access to power, operating temperature range, visibility of any screens or displays in bright sunlight, humidity variations, how level the site is, and many other factors. The development lab is probably the most hospitable environment in which it will operate. Anticipating all possible environments for kiosk deployment allows developers to temper the technology for these environmental conditions.
Kiosks projects usually start with an idea or insight of how to serve one market segment’s needs with a specific solution. Once successfully deployed, most of those kiosk concepts expose previously unknown needs that a kiosk could meet. Or, deployment to one segment creates interest and demand in another segment. The companies that deploy kiosks are usually eager to expand and pursue these new opportunities. To do that in nimble fashion requires kiosks designed for extensibility. While extensibility has design and engineering considerations, it’s also a vision for meeting the needs of many different types of consumers based on who and where they are. Designing extensible kiosks enables companies to adapt and deploy them in agile fashion to achieve first-mover status in meeting the needs of new market segments.
4. Plug-and-Play Design
No matter how well a kiosk is designed, at some point it will fail and require service. Failures usually mean downtime, and out-of-operation kiosks can’t generate revenue. Keeping kiosks operational is a top priority, as is maintenance when they fail. For this reason, it’s very important to use as much plug-and-play technology as possible when developing advanced kiosk concepts. Plug-and-play components let a kiosk that is down get back up and running quickly. The latest, leading-edge technology can seduce kiosk engineers to incorporate it into their designs. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, as long as the serviceability trade-offs are fully considered. Put a premium on plug-and-play components that are well-tested and have a reputation for reliability, because it doesn’t matter how advanced kiosk technology is if it can’t remain operational.
5. Supply Chain
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of kiosk design has little to do with its technology. The supply chain is an Achille’s heel for too many deployed kiosks, because it was an afterthought. Lack of a kiosk supply chain is a big barrier to success. In reality, a good kiosk supply chain translates into a major, competitive advantage. Too often, kiosk concepts are successfully prototyped and pushed to the brink of deployment before supply chain requirements are considered. Advanced kiosks pose some unique supply chain challenges. A profitable kiosk deployment requires a supply chain that minimizes costs while maximizing uptime. Having supply chain expertise is therefore a critical success factor for kiosk development.
CA Creates Successful Kiosks
Innovative robotics and software are essential to successful kiosk design. Effective deployment requires multidisciplinary expertise of the type CA can lend to your project. The experienced team at Commercial Automation provides all the expertise necessary to design, test, manufacture and deploy profitable kiosks. Contact us to discuss your kiosk concept with our experts.
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