As the presence of kiosks in retail environments continues to grow at a rapid pace, their uses in other applications are sometimes overshadowed. Self-serve kiosks have been instrumental in transforming the transportation industry, speeding up the check-in process and reducing operation costs in many different sectors.
Airlines were early adopters of touchscreen kiosks in the transportation sector and saw early reductions in operating expenses. Ten years ago, analysis by Aviation Pros saw that using kiosks for ticketing and self-check-in, allowing travelers to print their own boarding passes and baggage, reduced the cost of checking in a traveler by $3.70. However, it’s important to note how dramatic a cost savings this is; before introducing kiosks, the cost was $3.86 (in 2006). For an industry operating on thin profit margins, these savings became a huge boon for airlines; plus, they went a long way toward improving customer satisfaction as consumers experienced greater consumer autonomy, shorter wait times, and reduced congestion. Common use self-service, or CUSS, kiosks are also being implemented by airports themselves, rather than airlines using dedicated kiosks.
Train & Bus Travel
Inter-city train and bus travel in North America has been slower to introduce touchscreen kiosks and remains a growth market for kiosk manufacturers. There are unique challenges to be faced by companies that have yet to introduce kiosks, such as how to manage student and senior discounts, but kiosks have the potential to save commuter and inter-city transportation companies considerable sums when it comes to operation.
One technology that has seen major expansion in inter-city transportation is barcode scanners, as online booking and mobile QR codes have become ubiquitous among tech-savvy travelers. Mobile computing is another area where touchscreens are the preferred HMI and in colder climates, bus drivers often have to operate barcode scanners during deep freezes. As a barcode scanner manufacturer, it’s up to you to make sure that your products are functional wherever your customers operate, including terminals with outdoor boarding in northern cities. Look into touchscreen suppliers who build interfaces that can handle extreme weather; manufacturer A D Metro, for example, has an ULTRA Resistive touchscreen that functions in extreme temperatures and is also weather- and contaminant-proof. With low power consumption and durability, it’s popular with warehouse workers and reduces costs. If you’re building barcode scanners for outdoor use, a company like A D Metro can provide solutions that withstand the elements.
Public transportation systems across North America have been much slower to update when it comes to kiosks. While systems like MTA in New York have adopted them, large transit markets like Toronto have been slower to introduce kiosks. However, as more transit authorities overhaul their payment systems and introduce cards over tickets, tokens, and cash fares, touchscreen technology for the transportation industry has another great opportunity. When it comes to touchscreens, public transportation uses demand durability, as thousands of people use and rely on a single machine daily. They have to be vandal-proof and in some cases weather-proof as well, or else your clients will face high replacement costs. The right touchscreen solution is out there; source your touchscreens from the right supplier for durability and reliability.