The self service kiosk has proved itself a boon to both businesses and consumers all over the world since they were first developed in the 1970s but for every queue cutting kiosk at the airport check in desk, there has been a kiosk idea that hasn’t quite made the grade.
KIOSKS THAT DON’T TAKE OFF
One of the most bizarre ideas is the carbon offset kiosk at San Francisco International Airport. As weary travellers land they are offered the chance to check the carbon emissions their journey has pumped into the atmosphere. They can then swipe their debit or credit card to pay “compensation” for their abuse of the planet; in return they receive an entirely worthless and useless certificate congratulating them.
The introduction of wine kiosks in the supermarkets of Pennsylvania in 2010, a US state renowned for its draconian liquor laws, meant customers had to exhale into a breathalyser, scan their photo ID and look into a video while someone in an office verified their identity before they could make a purchase. The kiosks eventually fell foul of an argument over expenses between the state’s Liquor Control Board and the machine’s makers and were removed.
The kiosks that Los Angeles installed across the city were also removed. The Marijuana kiosks that dispensed medical marijuana to customers were very quickly declared illegal by the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna.
They would no doubt have approved of the Honest Tea kiosks which were used in a social experiment across the United States. Unmanned tea kiosks were set up around the country asking people to pay a dollar for their beverage of choice. At the end of the experiment, Salt Lake City in Utah and Oakland in California proved to have a 100 per cent honesty rate while Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal had the lowest with only 61 per cent paying their dollar bill.
The Robot kiosks of Japan evoke kiosks from a sci-fi world. Placed on the streets, they are one of the oddest of inventions. Designed to look like life sized android replicas they are, to all intents and purposes glorified ticket dispensers but have facial recognition technology that targets ads at individual users.
In Vancouver, Canada, they took an old idea out on to the streets and invited the country’s would-be singers to perform karaoke on the red carpet of the bright red kiosk that was moved around the city. The brave karaoke singers could select their desired language and choose from an extensive range of songs
DOING IT YOURSELF..
A newer development is a kiosk designed to allow users to create their own professional quality videos for personal or business use. Evolving technology has resulted in producing quite sophisticated videos and the choice of hundreds of background features.
A book publishing company has also taken the idea of Do It Yourself and developed a kiosk which can publish books. Working from PDF files, it prints, aligns, glues and dispenses professionally bound books in just seven minutes.
The Roboputt machine is a golf lesson kiosk that gives golf enthusiasts a chance to practice their swing under a computer’s instructional guidance complete with professional tips. Users can attach their own clubs and store data from lessons on a card that can be used in similar units around the world.
Most bizarre of all are the kiosks in the grocery stores of Colorado. They have installed self service kiosks that can allow shoppers to look up their child’s school grades, attendance, assignments and lunch expenditure as well as schedule parent teacher conferences while doing the weekly shop.
Ryan Writes about Health, Environment, Home Decor, Kids, Laws in Blogger Dojo.