8 Things to Know Before Installing an Outdoor Digital Kiosk
Digital kiosk or interactive kiosk provides convenient access to various self-service solutions. In order to provide user interaction, most digital kiosks are designed with built-in touch screen feature and a user-friendly interface.
All you need to do is to click on the screen, and you are able to access engaging content and information effortlessly.
Digital kiosks are commonly found in various indoor venues such as shopping malls and airports. However, it is definitely possible to install a digital kiosk under a hot sun.
Business owners have seen outstanding results by deploying various digital kiosks in their businesses, such as ticketing kiosks, digital information kiosks, check-in kiosks and wayfinding kiosks.
Today, most of them are also starting to explore possibilities of installing outdoor digital kiosks.
The outdoor digital kiosk is definitely a great addition to the business. However, it requires a more detailed planning framework when compared to using an indoor digital kiosk. There are 8 things to know before installing an outdoor digital kiosk. Let’s dive in.
The 8 main areas that we need to consider before installing an outdoor kiosk are:
- Location & Installation
- Weather Protection
- Kiosk Damage Protection
- Display Brightness
- Display Visibility
1. Location & Installation
What is the application or purpose of the digital kiosk? This is always the first question that we must ask.
Whether it is for wayfinding or ticketing, we can only start conducting detailed planning once we have understood the application.
A suitable location is always the most important factor.
Engineers will always need to conduct a site survey. They need to evaluate whether the site is suitable for installation.
A stable and sturdy ground is essential. If the ground is soft, we will need to use a concrete pad.
Besides, engineers will also need to consider the internet connection and the access to electricity. Unlike indoor venues, there are complications in setting up the internet connection in outdoor areas. Additional cabling is needed too if there is no nearby power supply.
On the other hand, size and weight of the digital kiosk are important too. By installing a large kiosk in an outdoor venue, will it cause any inconvenience to the public? Will it cause light pollution or any traffic obstruction? Is the kiosk heavy enough to withstand external pressure or strong winds?
We need to answer a lot of questions when installing an outdoor digital kiosk due to the increased number of uncertainties such as extreme weather, vandalism and public safety.
And one more thing, you also need to check whether you need to apply a license with the local authority to install an outdoor digital kiosk.
2. Weather Protection
Weather is one of the biggest factors in installing any outdoor electronic display or device. It is always out there, and we need to take it seriously.
Equatorial countries and countries located around the equator experience humid climate throughout the year. The weather is wet and hot. Heavy and frequent rainfall is a common phenomenon.
When the weather is hot, the temperature of the outdoor digital kiosk or signage can reach a very high level. Overheating can decrease the lifespan of any electronic display. Thus, thermal management is very important.
First, the design of the outdoor kiosk needs to allow air circulation inside the kiosk. An effective ventilation system can help to maintain the temperature of the kiosk. However, air filters are needed to work together with a ventilation system. The filters can help to prevent dust from entering the kiosk together with air.
Second, we can use the air conditioner. The air conditioner is one of the best ways to cool down the outdoor kiosk. A working environment with a maintained temperature can maximize the efficiency of the kiosk.
Third, we can use thermal insulation materials in manufacturing the outer shell of the outdoor digital kiosk. An insulated shell can slow down the transfer of heat energy. In short, the materials can prevent the digital kiosk from getting hot too fast, even though the weather is hot.
In order to tackle heavy rainfall, the outdoor kiosk needs to be sealed properly. An IP65 protection is necessary. Ingress Protection or IP rating is an international standard used to determine the level of sealing effectiveness. An IP65 protected kiosk can prevent intrusion of water and dirt.
3. Kiosk Damage Protection
Beside extreme weather, the outdoor digital kiosk is also exposed to vandalism and accidental damage. Since most outdoor interactive kiosks are installed in public outdoor places, it is common that these kiosks are exposed to higher traffic flow. Higher traffic exposure means higher risk of damage.
Vandalism is an illegal event that could happen to any public infrastructure. In order to prevent vandalism, the areas where outdoor kiosks are installed need to be kept well lit. A well-lit area can make it difficult for vandals to commit the act. It can also protect the outdoor kiosks from theft.
Besides, it is also important to install kiosks in areas that are away from any chemical substances and air pollutants. For example, it is not suggested to install kiosks next to a construction site or a chemical factory.
Kiosk manufacturers also need to consider all these risks when manufacturing the kiosks. They can install both anti-vandalism and anti-theft systems. The systems can help to contact the relevant authorities or police force when any illegal action or damage is detected.
Furthermore, manufacturers also need to build the kiosks with durable materials. A durable outer shell and a tempered screen surface can help to protect the kiosk against minor damages, whether it is due to human action or some other environmental damages such as falling branches and tiny stones.
4. Display Brightness
The main purpose of an interactive kiosk is to improve engagement. But the goal could fail if the screen is not readable due to a bright environment.
Never underestimate the impact of direct sunlight or bright ambient light. It is very difficult to read and interact with an outdoor kiosk if the display brightness is not high enough.
Outdoor digital kiosks need to have a higher level of display brightness compared to other indoor digital displays. However, a kiosk with a very bright screen is never the best solution.
The sky can turn cloudy anytime and night falls every day. When the display brightness is too high in a darker environment, it can cause light pollution. It is very uncomfortable to read a screen which is too bright.
And if worse comes to worst, an accident could happen to pedestrians or road users when the bright screen affects their sights.
Outdoor digital kiosk display should be equipped with a feature that allows adjustable display brightness. The kiosk will adjust its screen brightness automatically according to the area brightness. The screen will appear brighter during daytime, and it will appear dimmer at night.
Image by Digital AV Magazine. [Image source https://www.digitalavmagazine.com/en]
5. Display Visibility
An outdoor kiosk with a higher level of display brightness can solve most of the problems related to display visibility and readability, but it is not enough.
A screen is made of glasses or transparent plastic surfaces. Glasses or plastic screens are reflective in their nature. When the sun’s rays hit the surface, the light reflection can cause glare.
Glare is a light disturbance that can affect the screen readability. It hurts our eyes, and it is hard to read the screen.
It is suggested to use anti-glare glasses to reduce the level of disturbance caused by the glare. Besides, manufacturers can also use extra clear glasses to offer a sharper and a more stunning viewing experience.
No digital display is complete without an engaging digital content. An interactive digital kiosk is nothing but a standing decoration if it is not displaying any content.
When a business owner places an order to purchase a digital kiosk, he or she should immediately take the content creation into consideration. But how do you produce a content?
The easiest way is to create content using a content management system. Some digital kiosks come with their own content management system.
Content management system is a software that helps to organize, schedule, and monitor the digital kiosks. Besides, the system also provides some predesigned templates that can help users to create their content easily.
With just a few drags and drops, users can quickly design their own contents without hassle. This method is suitable for simple information sharing and content display.
However, it is necessary to hire a professional production team if one is looking for a more advanced solution. Some examples are ticketing solution and payment solution. These solutions are required to be connected to their own respective servers or back-end technologies. Hence, a content management system is not capable of designing such solutions.
But always remember. The core of an engaging content is its ability to inform, to entertain and to add value. A content needs to be designed in a way that grabs users’ attention. A kiosk content also needs to provide an interactive experience that helps users to solve their needs.
Security can be a difficult issue that each kiosk owner needs to deal with. An outdoor digital kiosk is exposed to both physical security risk and cybersecurity risk.
As we mentioned above, theft and vandalism are the two most common issues that an outdoor kiosk should be protected against. We can install an alarm system and a remote monitoring system to protect the kiosk.
A remote monitoring system can help us to monitor the status of all components in the kiosk. It can also notify us whenever any suspicious activity or damage is detected.
Beside the physical security, cybersecurity is a challenging issue too. Since an outdoor interactive kiosk is accessible to the public, it poses a higher level of risk.
If a solution kiosk is hacked, a great number of users’ personal information will be stolen. If an outdoor kiosk is hacked, hackers can display any content that he wants to the public audience.
To tackle cybersecurity issues, the kiosk provider should ensure a secured internet system. Kiosk owner can also hire a professional solution production team that can design a solution with adequate security protection.
Finally, cost is also one of the important factors to take concern of. Any business person should know the cost involved before making any investment decision.
It is important to understand that an outdoor kiosk is usually more expensive than an indoor kiosk. Besides, an outdoor kiosk is also exposed to a higher level of risks and uncertainties due to climate and environmental impacts.
However, if we can consider all factors mentioned above and plan our budget carefully, the benefits can greatly outweigh the costs. An outdoor digital kiosk provides a lot of advantages that can help us to shape a better digital world.
Some of the advantages of outdoor digital kiosk are:
- Reach a very wide range of audience
- Customized content and solution
- Great visibility
- Interactive and engaging content
- Display content in various formats
- Integrate with other technologies such as QR code, mobile devices and the Internet
- Attract attention
An outdoor digital kiosk is an excellent display in reaching your audience. It can provide interactive experience and help to improve engagement. Besides, it also helps to establish solid customer relationships through the interactive user experience. Although there are various factors that must be taken into consideration when installing an outdoor digital kiosk, the benefits outweigh the costs with proper planning. Contact your reliable digital kiosk provider and get a consultation today.