Thursday, January 19, 2012

Display your website in your store with the MultiQ web kiosk

Your business already has a website intended for your customers. The customers can get all information about your products and offers at home or in the office. However the website is not easily accessible for the customers while in the store. Some customers are not even aware of your website. The MultiQ web kiosk displays your website in your store or in any other public environment and brings all the website features that you have invested in right to the point of purchase. And it is a wonderful way to promote your website too. Web kiosks are also practical for corporate- or governmental use in factories, offices and at other locations where the staff or visitors do not have access to a personal computer to get hold of corporate- or governmental information. The web kiosks will also fit very well into any public location as in hospitals, train stations, airports or hotels.

The MultiQ web kiosk
The MultiQ web kiosk is an “off-the-shelf” product, based on the MultiQ media monitors, that brings your website right into the retail or corporate environment. Using a keyboard and a traditional pointing device makes the web kiosk easy to understand and makes your website to work as a kiosk with only minor (if any) modifications to your website.

By reusing your website, the customer can reach everything that is already there such as the availability of products in a particular store or in your e-commerce system. No special adaptation needs to be done to connect to your existing databases. The customer will quickly learn how to take advantage of the information available in your website. This will make the customers to use your website even at home and increase your hits. Your store is probable one of the best places to promote your website. 

The website can be displayed in landscape or in portrait orientation. When oriented as portrait (see figure) most websites (being 100 pixels or less) will be displayed beautifully on the SXGA (1024 x 1280 pixels) media monitor. Using this orientation will fill out the width of the screen and will reduce scrolling to a minimum. An internal “zoom” feature allows the size of your website to be adjusted for optimum performance.

It is extremely simple to set up a MultiQ media monitor as a web kiosk. The only thing needed to be added to the web kiosk is the address of your website. As you update your website the web kiosk will be updated too. 

The MultiQ media monitors consume less than 40 watts of power in full operation. Also, you can set the web kiosk to switch to standby operation outside business hours to preserve energy and prolong the lifetime of the appliance.

The MultiQ high reliability technology with no fans or hard drives and Linux based software with a built-in watch dog system to prevent the units from hanging will give you years of worry-free operation without maintenance. 

To make the web kiosk respond even quicker and to minimize need of bandwidth it is possible to store parts of your website locally in the media monitor. This will result in superior performance when it comes to quick response, compared to conventional websites.

A web kiosk can be set up as a standalone unit with no central server required. Each unit can be accessed and controlled using the Internet from the location of your choice.

If you have a number of media monitors out there, you may benefit from using a central server making it possible to manage many units simultaneously without addressing them on a one-by-one basis. You also get the possibility to monitor all units simultaneously and to generate alarms if the server looses contact with any of the web kiosks. The server can support systems ranging from a few units to thousands of units at hundreds or thousands of locations. The largest MultiQ system has more than ten thousand units connected.

The MultiQ media monitors are future proof investments since they can be used together with the MultiQ media players for digital signage. All units can be handled using the common MultiQ digital signage management system, DSMS3. This makes it possible for you to expand the system in any way you like. The server can be hosted either by MultiQ or by yourself (preferably using your normal web server hosting provider).

Finally you can add printers, scanners and card readers to the media monitors.

The off the shelf web kiosk comes with the stand of your choice. The floor stand (as well as the monitor itself) can be delivered in customized colours. There is space to add a printer or a scanner to the stand. Table stands and wall mounts are available as alternatives to the floor stand. Most websites will fit beautifully into the 1024x1280 pixels SXGA screen.

Lars-Ingemar Lundström
Documentation and Training Manager, MultiQ


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