The Digital Signage Insider

Movement in the Kiosk Marketplace, despite the Diebold Debacle

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According to a report from kiosk research firm Summit Research (which has been summarized here), the kiosk industry will see 69% growth between now and 2007, with overall shipments of kiosk products and services peaking around the end of next year.  Anybody following this industry will notice that these numbers are not dramatically different than what Summit posted last year.  What is somewhat sobering, though, is the comparison of these new estimates with those from late 2000 early 2001, when growth thorough '05 was expected to be about 400% of what it currently is (Forrester Research was the biggest culprit in this case).  Of course, at that time nobody really had any idea of what a post-bubble economy looked like, and everybody was struggling to cope with the effects of market slowdown and erosion.  I think some people even thought that boundless optimism would somehow buoy the industry... they were quite obviously wrong.

Now I'm forced to wonder how much of an effect the stupid e-voting mandate and the work of companies like Diebold have to do with the current kiosk upswing.  While Summit's report notes that retail is the biggest consumer of these technologies, I'd guess that federal, state and local government purchases can't be entirely overlooked.  On the other hand, considering that California has decertified their Diebold solution, and the ACLU is currently suing the state of Ohio to take these machines offline before the November elections, there might not be a lot of volume in that market anytime soon :)  I know I've been pretty vocal about the dire state of electronic voting in the past, but these recent events aren't proving to be the least bit encouraging.  And while extensive provisions are being made to ensure that electronic voting  will be reliable and secure this November (as this NY Times article points out), many sre still raising issues about the efficacy of the machines.  Interested readers might also want to check out this article in eWeek that has an excellent summary of the situation.


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