maandag 17 december 2012

The year of the tablet.

An interesting phenomenon occurred in self-service this year: While no single deployment dominated the industry's attention, notable trends seemed to fall in line with the greater scheme of things. As more people bought tablets, joined social media and shopped on smartphones, self-service technology providers found ways to assist, capitalize and profit from the will of the masses.

Tablets take over
As is the case with most disruptive innovations in technology, one item in a new segment tends to become the standard-bearer that others attempt to follow. For tablets, the obvious leader of the pack is Apple's iPad. The device has infiltrated homes worldwide, and kiosk manufacturers have taken notice. The past year has been a boon for tablet kiosks, with companies building enclosures, stands and software to transform the iPad and other tablets into a self-service customer engagement technology. "The beginning of year there were maybe a dozen iPad kiosk companies and now there is somewhere around 50," said Mike James, a 30-year kiosk professional and developer of the Kiosk Pro App for iPad and iPad2. "This year it's clear that iPad and tablet-based kiosks are sweeping the industry." According to James, there is no going back to the old form PC-based kiosks, as he consistently deals with clients looking for the lower overhead and greater ROI that comes from a tablet-based kiosk. And there are no signs of the popularity slowing down. With what started as small orders for 10 to 20 tablet kiosks, James said, "Now we get orders for 250 to 500 at a time. They've gone into big business." Michael Ionescu, president of Ionescu Technologies, agrees that with no standout, overarching trend of 2012, tablets take the cake this year, even in the interactive digital signage industry. "I think the most important trend to happen in our industry is the growth of tablet computing and the fact that interactive smartphones have reached over 50 percent of cell users," he said. "What this means is that more and more people are getting use to digital and interacting with digital screens."

More information here.

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