As companies in a range of industries seek to reduce costs, increase revenue opportunities, and improve customer service, they are increasingly turning to interactive kiosks as an additional channel to enable their customers with self-service options. The number of interactive kiosks in operation will rise from approximately 1.6 million deployed in 2011 to nearly three million deployed globally by 2016, according to a recent report by ABI Research .
“The self-service technology trend has been occurring for several years, with consumers increasingly seeking greater convenience in the channel that they choose to utilize,” says Sam Lucero, practice director, M2M connectivity at ABI Research (New York). “At the center of this self-service technology trend are interactive kiosks. Kiosks are not a new channel by any means, but consumers worldwide have grown more accustomed to using them for everything from self-checkout in the supermarket to checking in for a flight at an airport.”
One market where interactive kiosks are becoming more prevalent is in the healthcare sector. In February, at CTIA Enterprise and Applications, Sprint’s Emerging Solutions Group demonstrated its wireless kiosks used to remotely capture a person’s health and medical information and then send it to their health provider.
The kiosks, which could be located anywhere from malls to corporate officers, measured such things as oxygen levels, blood pressure, pulse and glucose levels, and then automatically send them to your physician for observation.
Other markets where interactive kiosks have a particularly large impact are:
• Entertainment (e.g. DVD rental, photo printing, movie ticket ordering)
• Retail (e.g. self-checkout, deli-counter ordering, product information)
• Travel (e.g. airport check-in, hotel check-in/check-out)
• Financial services (e.g. bill payment, coin exchange, check cashing)
• Healthcare (e.g. patient check-in, patient information, prescription refills)
• Municipal & government (e.g. train/bus ticketing, driver’s license renewal, tax payment)
• Information/other (e.g. wayfinding, information, human resources)
While the interactive kiosk market is expected to grow strongly over the next five years, there remain challenges to address.
“Interactive kiosks in various segments, such as healthcare, can face challenges regarding consumer acceptance, channel conflict with other means of interactions with the consumer, and with automated customer service not meeting a desired level of personalized support,” says Lucero.