The Digital Signage Insider

When is a sign not a sign...?

Published on: 0000-00-00

... When it's a kiosk!

Lately, it seems that there have been a number of projects cropping up using the concept of an "interactive billboard." It's an interesting idea, and makes a killer demo. Basically, you take a plasma or large format LCD screen (think at least 30"), add a touch screen, and have the plasma play both interactive and non-interactive content. It's not surprising that many people are talking about this type of application, with plasma and LCD prices falling more and more every day, enabling software like FireCast digital signage software readily available, and companies like CyberTouch and SMART Technologies making commodity plasma touchscreens, this seems to be an application whose time has come. Rather than stifle creativity I'm not going to list all of the potential uses for this type of application, however it suffices to say that a number of interesting projects have come across my desk utilizing this concept recently. Companies are scrambling to address this new niche market, with products that look like traditional plasma displays in beefed-up bezels to other, distinctly kiosk-like form factors.

So the question becomes, at what point is a digital signage a kiosk application? At WireSpring, we basically consider anything with an interactive component to be a kiosk application. It may have aspects of a digital signage, including content management and scheduling, the use of advertisements or entertainment "attract" content during idle periods, etc., but if a user can walk up to the screen and interact with it, we feel that the usual design rules for a kiosk application should apply.

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