How has touch interactivity evolved over the past few years, and what are some important things to consider today before implementation?”
About the only thing that has changed in the last few years with touch in the kiosk/digital signage space is the size of the screen. The apps are quite similar. Screens that were 15 inches in the past are 40 inches and larger these days. Of course, that makes the experience a lot more engaging, but from a transactional point of view … it’s pretty much the same. There’s still a lot of dynamic real time data involved. And the user interfaces are a lot more “big button user friendly” instead of just being utilitarian. Sometimes, the biggest expense with these is not the screen or media player or even connectivity (although if you are planning to use a cell-based network, please, please make sure that you have three bars or better reception in the location you are thinking about.), but the most costly piece of the deployment is the “furniture,” (i.e., the enclosure). Retailers will want sleek and sexy. Unfortunately, that does not describe most kiosk enclosures. And if they are outdoor or semi-outdoor, an exterior location causes additional expense to ensure that the enclosure is suitable for the “elements” (hot, cold, sun, rain, etc.). So choose wisely.
In retail applications, touch is often used to provide the “endless aisle.” Don’t have every size and color in stock? No problem. Walk to the kiosk and scan the bar code. Select the correct size and color, plus get free shipping to your home from the kiosk. Done. Satisfied customer.
Transportation is probably the only venue still using smallish screens (airline check-in kiosks for instance). Over the next years, these devices will likely go the way of the “pay phone” (does anyone still remember those???!!! OK … where is the closest pay phone to where you are RIGHT NOW??? HA! I bet you can’t answer that anymore!) Once smart phones COMPLETELY take over, these kiosks will fade away. After all, you have the most amazing kiosk in your pocket!