In a recent post, I wrote about the possibilities of making kiosks accessible for people with vision disabilities by using Braille-enabled touchscreens. Today I'd like to continue on a similar subject, but with a focus on cosmetic design rather than accessibility.
The reason we are thinking a bit freely here is from the fact that an F-Origin touch panel can consist of a variety of materials, not just glass. This started us down the path of thinking about kiosks designed a bit differently from the ones we see today. Also, some of the best people to bounce this idea off of are here at kioskmarketplace, and hence this blog post.
There are, off course, natural limitations to what you can do here. There are obvious benefits of having the display itself in glass (or other transparent material), but there are also many applications/opportunities to change kiosks from how most of them look today.
The possibility to redesign/enlarge the touch area on and around the display is quite tempting to me. I can picture an "ordinary" glass touchscreen that seamlessly transcends into a metal touch area. "Buttons" could be etched out of the metal to create a clean, functional design. Equally tempting would be to do something similar but with an all-glass front of the kiosk with part of the glass covering the display and part of if consisting of "buttons" engraved in the glass. Clean design, anyone? Naturally this could also be done with an all-glass kiosk with nothing but a screen facing the user, as well. And not only can this be done rather neatly design-wise, it can be done in a cost-effective fashion as well.
I've also played with the idea of having a bit more of an unorthodox design. What about having a wooden bezel with similar engraved (laser etched) buttons, or why not a granite one? Not necessarily the most practical ideas, naturally, but I'm sure that these types of designs can serve a certain purpose and probably attract quite a lot of attention in the correct environment. A granite-walled hotel lobby, for instance, would look quite nice with a kiosk/elevator panel in a matching stone theme.
I'm mostly just thinking out loud here, but I can't, as I mentioned, see any better place to share ideas like this. The technology to create these solutions is available, and I really think it could be something quite innovative and unique. So, anyone interested in doing a granite touch-panel kiosk -- a world's-first and a real attention-catcher?
With more than 32 years of electronics industry experience, Flint's held cross-functional roles for fortune 500 to start-up companies. He has a BSEE with an emphasis in Microelectronics Processing and Operations from Arizona State.