Touchless Interactive Kiosk: Is It Hype Or Not?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. From personal hygiene to daily routine and retail experience, we are adopting new ways of living. While many businesses are putting more effort into their e-commerce operations, offline retail is still playing a significant role in delivering a great customer experience.
Even today, most consumers still prefer shopping at retail stores. They want to view, feel and touch the physical products. This is a unique experience that online businesses can never offer. Hence, in addition to adapting to the pandemic, retail businesses also need to adopt new and safer customer experience practices. One of the practices is to introduce modern tools such as touchless interactive kiosks and digital signages to engage customers.
For many years, the interactive kiosk has been an effective tool in customer engagement. Things have changed since the pandemic outbreak. Customers are reluctant to touch and interact with digital kiosks. Out of a sudden, as one of the most engaging and interesting approaches in the old days, the interactive kiosk is no longer appealing nowadays. This is the reason why touchless kiosk technology is introduced.
Recently, the touchless or touch-free interactive kiosk has been mentioned intensively everywhere. In this article, we will explain what a touchless interactive kiosk is. We will also discuss whether is it hype or not.
What Is An Interactive Kiosk?
An interactive kiosk is a digital display that provides access to information and other self-service tasks via a touch screen interface. Interactive kiosks can come in various shapes and sizes. They are widely used in wayfinding, bill payments, information sharing, education, entertainment, and food ordering.
For years, retailers and restaurants have been using interactive kiosks or self-service kiosks in providing better customer experiences. Interactive kiosks in a quick-service restaurant (QSR) can help to smoothen the ordering process by reducing waiting time.
Besides, retailers also use interactive kiosks to engage their in-store customers with product demonstrations and information. Customers can always look for anything by interacting with the screens. Interactive kiosks can help to create memorable retail experiences, improve recall rate and thus encourage customers to act.
What Is A Touchless Interactive Kiosk?
A touchless interactive kiosk is a digital display that provides access to information and other features via a touch-free engagement process. In short, it is an interactive kiosk that requires no physical touch.
But how to interact if users are not touching the screen or pressing the buttons?
The interface might look the same as the usual interactive screen. There are still buttons and keypads on the screen. Users only need to press and click as usual, but without touching the screen. The sensor of the touchless kiosk can detect a user’s hand movement or gesture. It will then turn the mid-air hand movement into an onscreen cursor.
Touchless interactive kiosk is introduced due to the changing consumer behaviour. Consumers have learned a lot from the pandemic. They are now trying to avoid touching surfaces in public areas due to contamination concerns. As a result, interactive kiosks receive lesser engagements nowadays. Businesses are not able to reach and engage their audience effectively using interactive kiosks.
The Technology Behind Touchless Kiosk
A touchless interactive kiosk can be either an end-product or a solution. In addition to purchasing brand-new and customized touchless kiosks, business owners can also choose to reuse their existing interactive kiosks. They can look for solution providers that can help to integrate sensors and touchless solutions into their displays.
Short-range motion sensor is commonly used in touchless interactive kiosks. The sensor can detect hand movement from a distance of 2 to 25 inches. Hence, it is important for the advertiser or the kiosk owner to place a mark on the floor to ensure the user is standing within a detectable range.
Depending on the types of sensors and software used, the contactless kiosk can help to provide a wide range of engaging interactions. In addition to common actions such as click and swipe, some touchless interactive solutions can even mimic the actions of grabbing and rotating.
Benefits of A Touchless Interactive Kiosks
A touchless interactive kiosk benefits businesses in the same way that a usual interactive kiosk does. In fact, it could offer even more especially during the pandemic and post-pandemic eras.
First, a touchless interactive kiosk is a great tool in providing great customer experiences while protecting the users from contamination risk. Businesses do not need to make a trade-off between interactive experience and safety.
Second, the touchless kiosk is appealing and can attract consumers’ attention due to its new, modern, cool and creative technology. Most consumers will want to try this multi-sensory way of interacting with the screen since it is something that they have never experienced before.
Third, the touchless interactive experience can drive strong engagement and thus improve brand awareness. Users will remember the brand easily due to the exciting experience they have engaged in.
Is Touchless Kiosk Hype or Not?
Some question the sustainability of using touchless interactive kiosks. It is true that the touchless kiosk can help to address many concerns during the pandemic and post-pandemic eras. However, it does not mean the common interactive kiosk has become useless or been eliminated.
The common interactive kiosk will still serve its purpose well when things return to normal. It is still a very effective tool in engaging users and customers. Besides, some argue that there is a learning curve in using the touchless kiosk. Different devices might require different gestures or hand movements to interact.
In our opinion, it does not matter whether a touchless interactive kiosk is hype or not. What matters the most is to choose the most suitable tool for your business. We believe a touchless interactive experience is a great fit for various creative and entertainment applications. The kiosk can be used in places such as exhibition halls, experiential centres, museums, and retail stores. Visitors or users will be thrilled to explore this new and entertaining technology.
However, a touchless interactive kiosk might not be suitable for transactional applications such as bill payment and parking payment. When it comes to payment, users want a quick and easy-to-use approach. They are not looking for an amusing experience. They do not have the leisure or time to learn or follow the instructions provided by the touchless interactive kiosks. Besides, if everyone is taking time to interact, the queue will get longer and longer.
Touchless interactive kiosk is definitely a game-changer. It helps to address consumers’ concerns but still manages to provide engaging experiences during this uneasy period. The touchless kiosks are not going to replace any existing interactive kiosks. In fact, a touchless kiosk will be a great addition to businesses. Businesses have more options now to reach and deliver messages to their audiences.