Weathering the storm: 10 'must-haves' of outdoor kiosks
- Chris Gilder
Weathering the storm with 10 key components for self-service technology solutions
It's summer. It's hot. The fans are blowing and the ACs are working overtime. Fires are burning in the West. Hurricanes are brewing in the Gulf Coast. Storms are rocking the South. Tornados are blowing through the Midwest. All this wild weather isn't stopping everyone from experiencing the great outdoors. Of course, we have to keep these types of drastic weather conditions -- hot and cold -- in mind when developing outdoor kiosk solutions.
If you're looking to build a self-service solution to expand your brand or engage your customers and need to have the solution accessible outside – there are several options to consider. At Meridian, for the last five years, we have designed outdoor kiosk solutions. Our concept to completion philosophy has been the key to our growth and understanding of reliable outdoor kiosk solutions. We've had some misses early on, which have led to many consistent hits since. Learn from our mistakes and consider these 10 key components for a reliable outdoor solution.
1. Hurricane Preparedness: Here in North Carolina – summer doesn't start without the weather men talking about hurricane preparedness and storm tracking. Successful outdoor solutions start with planning. Write down who, what, where and how. Who will use this system, for what purpose will it be used, where will it be located and how long will it be needed? These four questions can go a long way in creating a successful design.
2. Climate control: Where would we be without climate control? Our houses have it, our cars have it, our offices have it – your kiosks need it
3. Direct sun. We all wear sunglasses for a reason. Make sure you build your solution using screen technology that allows user to see your information in direct sun, curtains are not the answer.
4. Touchscreen durability. The purpose is to engage your customers and build your brand; it's important for people to actually be able to use the kiosk touchscreen.
5. Seal tight. Have you ever gone swimming with a cheap watch and the next thing you know, the face is fogged. If you are exposing your kiosk to the elements – make sure it's components are fully sealed, and and get a better watch.
6. Quality processing. There is nothing worse than seeing an hour glass or a circle spin while you patiently (or impatiently tap your fingers) wait. Our outdoor kiosk contain fast Intel processors
7. Four seasons mean variable conditions. Think rugged. People can be as harsh as the weather – make sure you have stable construction with a UV protective powder coat finish. If you don't want it to rust buy aluminum units for outdoors. I have seen many outdoor deployments that are almost rusted through and the bottom.
8. Hats have a purpose. Summer, spring, winter or fall – Hats are great for keeping the elements at bay. Consider a hat for your kiosk; a canopy can be a great option. The kiosk can take direct rain or snow but why should the user?
9. Accessorize. Depending upon the usage, consider if a keyboard option if your users need to enter more than basic point and click usage. Wireless Internet and cellular wireless may also be accessories to consider based upon your needs.
10. Henna or Tattoo? Think about whether you need a permanent or portable solution. Correct installation is a critical component in outdoor environments.
Chris Gilder, CEO & Founder of Meridian, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. His vision and drive to succeed has led Meridian’s double digit growth for well over a decade. Meridian has been recognized as the leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.