Advanced Kiosks News – Q4 2023

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Newsletter

The past several months have seen a flurry of activity here at Advanced Kiosks, with a variety of new products and updates to existing products being introduced. Here are just a few of the exciting changes happening at our Concord, N.H., facility, along with a glimpse of those working behind the scenes and a look at what the latest research into self-service technology is demonstrating.

Customer News

roslyn

Western Ohio Regional Treatment & Habilitation Center

According to its website, The W.O.R.T.H. Center utilizes a cognitive intervention program from the National Institute of Corrections known as Thinking for a Change (TFAC). The program has been researched and shown to be effective with criminal offenders.

​The center reached out to Advanced Kiosks for a secure and convenient solution for their 106 residents to access treatment software. After weighing several options, they opted to go with four Countertop Kiosks loaded with Office Extension Lite, which offers the same features of Office Extension 3.0 in a smaller, more affordable package designed for shorter interactions in low-risk environment.

roslyn

City of Fresno, Calif.

A few hundred miles north of Paramount, the City of Fresno’s Economic Opportunities Commission has procured a quantity of seven Office Extension Lite Kiosks in order to connect residents with services. Founded in 1965, Fresno EOC offers services addressing almost all facets of human services and economic development, including preschool education, vocational training, senior citizen hot meal services, and preventative health care.

Using the kiosks, residents can apply for services, contact the organization, view food distribution schedules and more. Additionally, they can do so in a variety of languages by utilizing our Translation feature.

customers for self service newsletter

Celebrating Our Customers

We are thrilled to share the latest updates and stories from our valued customers in this month’s newsletter. Our “Customers” page, a vibrant tapestry of success stories and innovative collaborations, has recently been updated with new highlights and in-depth case studies. These updates not only showcase the diverse range of industries and challenges our customers navigate but also highlight the creative and effective solutions we’ve developed together.

These case studies not only reflect the flexibility and adaptability of our products and services but also our commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of each client. The stories reveal the impact of our collaborative approach, highlighting how customer feedback and insights lead to innovation and improvement in our offerings.

Whether you are a long-time client or new to our community, these customer highlights and case studies are a testament to what we can achieve together.

roslyn

City of Paramount, Calif.

The City of Paramount recently deployed the Office Extension 3.0 solution to improve the delivery of government services.

Using the intuitive Office Extension interface (shown below), residents can apply for and renew business licenses, request public records, and view city job opportunities. They can also pay water bills and parking tickets as well as receive information on rebate programs designed to incentivize the replacement of traditional grass with drought-tolerant landscaping.

SOFTWARE NEWS

AI Powered Help Bot for Self Service

"Ask AK AI", our New Support Assistant

We’re excited to announce the launch of “Ask AK AI”, our brand new support chatbot, now live on the Advanced Kiosks website!

This innovative tool, powered by the latest version of ChatGPT (v.4) and integrated through Botsonic, is set to revolutionize the way we interact with and support our customers. What makes “Ask AK AI” exceptional is its training on our own rich database of information, ensuring that the support and guidance it offers are specifically tailored to the unique needs and queries of our clients.

“Ask AK AI” is designed to provide instant, accurate responses to a wide range of questions, from product inquiries and technical support to guidance on custom solutions. This cutting-edge chatbot embodies our commitment to leveraging the latest technology to enhance customer experience.  Go ahead and try it out!

AI Powered Help Bot for Self Service

New Product alert: AK CityGuide

Introducing the AK CityGuide: a dynamic, user-friendly kiosk designed to enhance the city experience for residents and tourists alike. This sleek, durable solution is perfect for public spaces, promoting smart city initiatives with its comprehensive features.

Equipped with tamper-proof hardware, easy WiFi connectivity, and 24/7 technical support, the AK CityGuide ensures reliability and security. Its standout features include interactive maps and wayfinding, event calendars, a local business directory, and real-time updates on city happenings. QR Code Mobile Access and multilingual interface translation further extend its accessibility and convenience.

Customization is a key advantage, allowing cities to tailor content and branding to their unique identity. The platform also offers advertising opportunities for local businesses, adding value as a source of passive income. Recommended models like the Monolith 55” and Merchant Max 32” combine functionality with an engaging design, inviting users to interact.

The AK CityGuide, powered by ZAMOK™ Kiosk Management Software, is more than just an information point; it’s an essential tool for connecting communities, enhancing tourist experiences, and fostering local business growth. It’s a compact, comprehensive solution to making city information accessible, current, and user-friendly.

Zamok Kiosk Management

A Visual Guide for Kiosk Workflows

The launch of the Visual Guide for Kiosk Workflows marks a significant step in addressing the challenges of marketing our kiosk software.

This online guide offers clear, easy-to-follow demonstrations of a few of Zamok’s primary features, and shows users how they can manage their kiosk solutions with ease and creativity.

Zamok Kiosk Management Software

The guide aims to inspire our clients to craft unique, interactive kiosk experiences that elevate the customer service standard. With Zamok Kiosk Management Software, your business gains not just a tool, but a strategic asset that saves time, energy, and resources while enhancing your operational efficiency.

Visitor Management System sign in sign out

New Feature Alert: Visitor Management System

Visitor Sign in / Sign out

Discover our Visitor Management System’s seamless sign-in/sign-out process!  Upon arrival, visitors effortlessly sign up at the Check-in Kiosk. They enter their information, select their host, and go through safety guidelines. Before hitting submit, a photo is snapped for their ID, which gets printed out as a badge for immediate identification.

After submission, the system not only emails but also texts the host about the visit, ensuring prompt communication. The check-in details are securely logged. For a smooth departure, guests simply tap to sign out, automatically updating our system with their sign-out time. The system is secured with Zamok Kiosk Management Software.

Explore the pinnacle of efficient and secure visitor management here!

Hardware News

New 32-inch Pedestal Kiosk

Introducing the latest innovation from Advanced Kiosks: the 32-inch Pedestal Kiosk. Meticulously designed for both mobility and stability, this cutting-edge kiosk features removable wheels for easy transportation and a boltable base for secure installation.

The centerpiece is its brilliant 32″ monitor, which offers stunning visuals and user-friendly interaction. For seamless connectivity, the kiosk is equipped with a CAT5 network cable coupler.

Maintenance and upgrades are a breeze, thanks to the thoughtfully placed lower side doors that provide convenient access to the power strip. Additionally, the front patch of the kiosk is effortlessly removable, allowing for hassle-free upgrades, such as integrating an RFID reader.

To ensure easy computer access, an upper side door has been smartly incorporated.

gsa-coop

View information about our GSA Contract.

industrial-pedestal-kiosk-angle

Company NEWS

Advanced Kiosks Celebrates Exceptional CPARS Rating and Successful Government Projects

Advanced Kiosks Celebrates Exceptional CPARS Rating & Successful Government Projects

This past year has been a landmark period for Advanced Kiosks, marked by significant achievements and collaborations with government entities.

We are proud to announce that our efforts have been recognized with an Exceptional rating in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS). This prestigious rating reflects our commitment to delivering superior quality and performance in federal contracts. Our success in this arena is exemplified by our recent partnership with the U.S.

Our Exceptional CPARS rating is a testament to our dedication across various aspects of contract fulfillment, including quality, schedule adherence, cost control, and management.

READ MORE

Advanced Kiosks Homepage

Advanced Kiosks Unveils a Fresh New Look

We are excited to announce a major facelift of the Advanced Kiosks website, including a refreshed home page and some revamped interior pages. This redesign is part of our ongoing commitment to provide an engaging, user-friendly online experience for our customers.

With a cleaner layout, improved navigation, and a modern aesthetic, our updated home page now offers a more intuitive and informative journey for visitors exploring our self-service kiosk solutions.

In addition to the home page, several interior pages have also received significant updates. The new layouts ensure that vital information about our products and services is more accessible and easier to understand.  We invite you to explore our newly designed website and experience the enhancements firsthand.

24 Years in Business

Visit Advanced Kiosks Blog

Our blog articles delve into the innovative ways interactive kiosks are transforming industries, from enhancing customer experiences to streamlining operations across various sectors. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a business professional looking to optimize your services, our blog provides valuable knowledge and inspiration. Dive into our latest articles to discover how our cutting-edge kiosk solutions can revolutionize your approach to customer engagement and operational efficiency. Visit our blog today!

kmaglobal

Advanced Kiosks Becomes a Gold Sponsor of KMA.global

We are excited to announce that Advanced Kiosks has achieved the status of Gold Sponsor of KMA.global (Kiosk Manufacturer Association). This significant partnership aligns with our dedication to fostering innovation and excellence in the kiosk industry.

As a Gold Sponsor, we are poised to play an integral role in shaping the future of self-service technology and contribute to the thriving community of KMA.global. This collaboration underscores our commitment to driving industry standards and providing top-quality solutions in the kiosk market. We look forward to an enriching exchange of ideas and expertise, further solidifying our position as leaders in the field.

Partners & Resellers

Partnership and Reseller Resources

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Partners and Resellers page, a dedicated resource hub on the Advanced Kiosks website!

This new section is designed to support and empower our network of partners and resellers, providing them with the tools and information necessary to succeed in the ever-evolving world of kiosk technology.

Whether you’re looking to deepen your product knowledge, access marketing materials, or explore collaboration opportunities, our new page is your go-to source for all things related to Advanced Kiosks partnerships.

We’re committed to nurturing these relationships, and this platform is a significant step towards enhancing our joint ventures. Visit now to explore resources tailored for our valued partners and resellers and join us in shaping the future of self-service solutions.

24 Years in Business

24th Year in Business!

As Advanced Kiosks celebrates its 24th year in business, we’re proud to reflect on our journey of innovation and dedication in the kiosk industry. Our enduring commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has been the cornerstone of our success. We thank our valued clients and partners for their trust and support. Here’s to 24 years of excellence and many more to come!

The solutions Advanced Kiosks provides can improve security, save time and costs, enhance efficiency, provide valuable data insights, project a professional image, ensure compliance, and offer customization options for businesses. Contact one of our experts for additional information.

FROM OUR BLOG 

Kiosk Session Security: Facial Detection vs. Facial Recognition

Attaching a camera to any publicly accessible digital device is guaranteed to raise privacy concerns. Can the device recognize who I am? Does it store my image in a secret government database? Are the feds at some point going to come knocking at my door because a self-service device recognized me and alerted the authorities?

Those are all questions users of Advanced Kiosks’ self-service solutions may have in the wake of the company’s introduction of its FaceLock feature to its Zamok kiosk management software. FaceLock uses facial detection technology to provide secure access to kiosk interactions.

In the realm of modern technology, facial detection and facial recognition are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, they refer to distinct processes with unique functions and applications. Understanding the difference between these two technologies is essential, particularly as they become increasingly prevalent in the public sphere.

 

Facial Detection: Identifying the presence of a face

Facial detection is the first step in any facial recognition system. It involves identifying the presence of a face in an image or video. The goal is not to recognize who the person is, but simply to determine that a face is present.

Facial detection algorithms work by analyzing images to find patterns that are characteristic of human faces. These patterns include features such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and the overall shape of the face.

When a user approaches one of Advanced Kiosks’ self-service solutions, they’ll see a prompt on the screen asking if they want to enable the FaceLock feature. If they approve, FaceLock is enabled and recognizes that someone is at the kiosk. If they step away from the device, the software will run a countdown and delete session data. If the user steps back into view before the timer expires, they can continue their interaction uninterrupted.

The main purpose of FaceLock is to help ensure a user’s transaction information isn’t accessible to others if they forget to log out once their business is concluded. No image is stored, and users can conduct transactions as normal even if they decline to enable FaceLock.

Facial Recognition: Identifying and verifying individuals

Facial recognition, on the other hand, is a completely different process. Depending on the application, facial recognition systems can analyze a face to identify demographic information such as gender, race, and approximate age. Advertising platforms can use that information to deliver content targeted to that demographic. In some cases, facial recognition can be used for things ranging from providing users with secure access to computers, verifying identities for building entry, or identifying suspects at checkpoints.

Unlike facial detection, the use of facial recognition is fraught with privacy and ethical concerns. In one controversial application, for example, the company that owns Radio City Music Hall in New York used facial recognition to identify lawyers working for a firm involved in litigation against the company and deny them access to Rockettes shows at the venue as well as concerts and sporting events at Madison Square Garden.

Again, facial detection applications such as FaceLock only identify the presence of a face, don’t store images, and don’t link it to an identity. Its sole purpose is to ensure that business conducted at an Advanced Kiosks solution remains safe and secure.

Want to learn more about how FaceLock works? Reach out to our Sales team to start your self-service journey today.

Unlocking the Future: Advanced Kiosks' New FaceLock Feature

In an era where convenience and security are paramount, technology continues to evolve to meet these needs. When it comes to self-service kiosks, one of the standout innovations in this field is the FaceLock™ feature, part of a recent update of Advanced Kiosks' Zamok® kiosk management software suite. This feature represents a significant leap forward in how organizations manage access and security, offering a seamless blend of user-friendliness and stringent security measures.

Zamok is a comprehensive kiosk management software solution that enhances the functionality of interactive kiosks, providing tools for remote management, usage tracking, and a host of other features that make kiosks more efficient and easier to use.

FaceLock uses facial detection to continuously monitor the user's presence in front of the kiosk camera throughout their session.

When users initiate a workflow at a FaceLock-enabled kiosk, they will see a prompt asking if they want to use FaceLock to secure their session.

If the user agrees, FaceLock will actively monitor their face using the kiosk's camera. To indicate that FaceLock is active, a subtle message will be displayed at the bottom of the workflow, reassuring the user that their session is being secured by FaceLock.

Once FaceLock is activated, it remains active throughout the entire session. The only way to deactivate FaceLock is by pressing the Zamok browser logout button, which will end the session and restore the kiosk to its default state. This ensures that a user's session remains secure and private until they explicitly choose to log out.

One of the key features of FaceLock is its ability to detect when the user moves out of the camera's view. Using cameras with a wide-angle lens, FaceLock can instantly detect if the user has stepped away from the kiosk or is no longer visible. If this occurs, a warning message will appear on the screen and a sound will alert the user to return to the camera's range.

If the user doesn’t return to the camera's view within a specified time frame, the session will end. If they do return to the camera's view the warning message disappears, and the user can continue their session.

The potential applications of Zamok with FaceLock are vast. In healthcare, for example, it can secure access to medical records at patient check-in kiosks. In corporate environments, it can manage access to sensitive project information at collaborative kiosk stations. In public settings like airports or train stations, FaceLock can enhance the security of self-service ticketing kiosks.

Simplified implementation

To activate FaceLock, administrators can easily attach it to specific buttons or workflows within the Zamok template editor. By toggling a switch in the template editor configuration pane, FaceLock can be enabled for the desired workflow, providing a seamless integration with the kiosk's existing functionality.

By accessing the "FaceLock" settings card in the Zamok dashboard, administrators have the flexibility to customize the duration of the countdown timer before the session is terminated as well as adjust the sensitivity of the facial detection sensor. This allows organizations to tailor the FaceLock behavior to their specific security requirements and user preferences.

While implementing FaceLock on your kiosk, It is important to consider the kiosk's hardware and environment. Adequate lighting is essential for accurate facial detection, and the kiosk should be positioned in a way that captures the user's face clearly.

FaceLock is a powerful new security feature in Zamok kiosks that protects user sessions. By continuously monitoring the user's presence, FaceLock ensures that sessions remain secure and private.

Advanced Kiosks Recognized for Exceptional Contract Performance

CPARS RATING: Exceptional

Preface: All US Government contracts are reviewed by the Contracting Officer (CO) who represent the United States Government. CPARS is a Government-wide system used by federal agencies to report the performance of contractor work.

UEI#: TUNJLAP2GBM3 CAGE Code: 1YA98  NACIS # : 334118
SIC # : 3575 Company Legal Name:  H32 Design and Development LLC

The past year has been an exciting one for Advanced Kiosks, with the company completing several projects for government entities. Advanced Kiosks’ performance has resulted in an Exceptional rating on its recent Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) evaluation. The CPARS rating is used in part to document contractor performance on federal contracts.

Aegis BoothThe main project was Advanced Kiosks’ partnership with the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA).  The system, consisting of Advanced Kiosks’ Aegis Booth, allows members of Native American Tribes to securely talk by video conferencing to a Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) representative and access federal benefits.

Recognition of excellence

Advanced Kiosks’ performance on the Fort Peck project has resulted in an Exceptional rating on its recent Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) evaluation. The CPARS rating is used in part to document contractor performance on federal awards. According to the CPARS website that information includes “the contractor’s record of conforming to requirements and to standards of good workmanship; forecasting and controlling costs; adherence to schedules, including the administrative aspects of performance; reasonable and cooperative behavior and commitment to customer satisfaction; reporting into databases; integrity and business ethics; and business-like concern for the interest of the customer.”

Government agencies use a company’s CPARS rating when considering future contract awards. Here are a few comments about Advanced Kiosks that were included in the evaluation:

Quality: The contractor exceeded the contract requirements in terms of Quality. The Contractor consistently provided deliverables that are detailed, polished, and professional that included all the contract requirements. This is shown in the form of the kiosk booth, with the contractor using high quality materials for the booth-enclosure, integrating a high-quality design and technology throughout the booth. The quality of the kiosk application is also exceptional, with a clear, clean, and easy to use interface for a higher-level User Experience.

Schedule: The Contractor performed at a Very Good rating in terms of the Schedule. The Contractor met all deadline timeframes. The Contractor accomplished this by maintaining consistent communication with the Gov't.

Cost Control: The Contractor performed at the Very Good rating for Cost Control. The Contractor performed all requirements at the agreed upon costs and any modifications/upgrades that were identified and requested by the Govt were provided a quotation timely and modifications/upgrades were integrated timely and within agreed upon costs.

Management: The Contractor performed at the Exceptional rating for Management. The Contractor maintained consistent communication with the Govt. The Contractor provided regular updates and collaborated with the Govt on any issues.

Small Business Subcontracting: The Contractor performed at the Exceptional rating or Small Business. The Contractor provided a high quality and functioning kiosk to the Govt while at the same time being flexible with the Govt needs and objectives. This allowed for the Govt to receive dedicated 1-on-1 time and attention to the kiosk project that resulted in a high-quality product with the flexibility and attention of a small business.

“Our Exceptional rating reflects the dedication and hard work of our entire team,” said Advanced Kiosks CEO Howard Horn. “We are deeply committed to delivering the highest level of quality, adhering to schedules, maintaining cost control, and managing projects with excellence. This achievement would not have been possible without the trust and collaboration of our valued clients and partners; specifically the BTFA and our friends at New Hampshire APEX Accelerator”  Horn said. “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to each one of you for your continued support and partnership.”

Advanced Kiosks is also an approved vendor to the ‘General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage!’ program. The GSA is an organization that provides products, services, and facilities to federal, state, and local Government agencies so that they may serve the public. Any GSA Advantage member gets a significant discount off Advanced Kiosks products to ensure that government organizations get the absolute lowest price for their project.

For additional information or to discuss your own self-service project, contact us today!

Sabino Canyon Crawler Upgrades Operations With Self-Service Kiosks

A renowned natural attraction in southern Arizona has integrated a sustainable and tech-savvy approach to enhance the visitor experience.

Replacing old diesel shuttles, the Pima, AZ Regional Partnering Center introduced the emission-free Sabino Canyon Crawler in 2019. To further streamline the visitor experience, Advanced Kiosks was hand-picked to deploy four modern ticketing kiosks, designed to withstand Arizona’s extreme climate.

These kiosks have since processed tickets for over 330,000 visitors, generating $3.8 million in sales.

Despite challenges, the initiative has been successful, capturing interest from other organizations aiming to replicate the model.

Click here to read the full case study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter Blog: Catch up on what’s happening at Advanced Kiosks!

The world is constantly evolving, and it’s no different when it comes to the self-service industry. New applications, new hardware and new software are being introduced on nearly a daily basis.

Advanced Kiosks is proud to be at the forefront of many of those changes. And to share what’s taking place at the company and the new offerings we’ve introduced, we’ve launched a quarterly newsletter.

Here’s a sample of what’s been happening at our New Hampshire headquarters and beyond:

New software

Advanced Kiosks recently released Office Extension 3.0, a groundbreaking update to its popular self-service office management system. This update is in conjunction with a major update of Zamok 3.0, Advanced Kiosks’ proprietary kiosk management software.

Key features of Office Extension 3.0 that have been updated and added include new translation capabilities, new and improved secure file upload, human detection technology and much more.

Expanded deployments

Validating the value of those new features is a project that’s taking place in Prince William County, Va. In an effort led by Circuit Court Clerk Jacqueline Smith and funded by Virginia Technology grants, the Circuit Court of Prince William County has rolled out 11 of Advanced Kiosks’ Office Extension 3.0 kiosks to increase public access to services.

The kiosks are located in several locations throughout the county (no longer just the courthouse) to accommodate the busy lifestyles of residents who are unable to visit the courthouse during restrictive office hours. Here’s our case study on this project.

New hardware

For those who need self-service solutions in places where deploying a traditional kiosk might be difficult or impossible, Advanced Kiosks has introduced a new No-Power Kiosk, a tablet kiosk that does not require 110 power. Instead, it draws electricity via an ethernet cable that serves as an all-in-one power source and internet connection. The No-Power Kiosk is offered in both a wall-mounted or counter-based version, making it ideal for uses where space is tight and access to an electrical source is limited.

Because the No-Power Kiosk doesn’t require a power outlet, it opens the door to new possibilities for customer engagement or information dissemination. It can be easily moved around and placed in unconventional or remote locations such as temporary events, trade shows, conferences, or pop-up installations.

Value-added services

And to help ensure each self-service project is a success, Advanced Kiosks provides an onboarding service, an essential offering that gets customers up and running quickly and helps deliver maximum results. The onboarding service includes everything needed to get your solution deployed. An onboarding specialist continually monitors the production timeline and schedules regular check-ins to keep your project running smoothly.

These are just a few of the exciting things happening here at Advanced Kiosks, so be sure and check out the newsletter page to see what else is happening. If you’d like to learn more about what we do and read a few or our success stories, visit our Resources page.

Keep an eye out for the next edition of the newsletter, slated to come out in December. If you’re interested in exploring self-service solutions for your operation, contact one of our experts.

Language Barriers a Growing Challenge in K-12 Schools

Language-based communication issues in K-12 schools have long been a challenge for educators. More than 70% of teachers who participated in a recent nationwide survey said they have taught students for whom English wasn’t their first language, and 56% said they were concerned that the parents of these students didn’t have the English language skills to effectively participate in parent-teacher conferences and aid in their child’s education.

The challenge is only expected to grow. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that the number of students in K-12 schools learning English has increased by more than 1 million over the past 20 years.

InterprestationHaving a convenient, cost-effective way to communicate with those who have a limited command of English can help improve education outcomes for students and provide a way for parents to better participate in their child’s education.

Helping to overcome language barriers is the InterpreStation from Advanced Kiosks. The InterpreStation allows those who do not speak English as a first language to ask complex questions and receive answers instantly through a human translator, at a fraction of the cost of hiring an interpreter.

By leveraging the services of LanguageLine Solutions, the kiosk offers interpretation and translation services in 240 languages plus American Sign Language, with weekly usage reports and personal information security. School systems pay by the minute for substantial savings.

The countertop kiosk features a built-in webcam and 4K monitor large enough to capture details including facial expressions and hand gestures. The system includes two VOIP handsets for crisp, clear audio communication.

InterpreStation is an excellent fit for school systems where many students and parents have limited command of English.

Contact Advanced Kiosks today for more information.

Advanced Kiosks Visits Big Sky Country

Advanced Kiosks installed the first Aegis Booth as part of its contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and suffice it to say it was an adventure for all.

Advanced Kiosks won a contract with the DOI for a kiosk system that will allow members of Native American Tribes to securely talk by video conferencing to Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) representatives and access federal
benefits. Getting qualified personnel to remote locations to work with Native American Tribes is very difficult in these rural areas. The BTFA contacted Advanced Kiosk for a highly customized assisted self-service system to simulate an in-person meeting.

The first Aegis Booth kiosk is located at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation near Poplar, Mont. The reservation is home to both the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. The nearest airports to Fort Peck are ones in Williston, N.D., 140 miles away, or Bozeman, Mont., about 400 miles away. Because the contract included installation, members of the Advanced Kiosk team traveled to Fort Peck in late July.

Advanced Kiosks Production Manager, Keith, installs Aegis Booth prototype at it's new home in Ft. Peck Indian Reservation, MT

Considering recent disruptions in air travel, Advanced Kiosks president Howard Horn left for Bozeman on Thursday, three days ahead of the planned setup date.

“The Fort Peck Reservation is not an easy place to get to even under ideal conditions,” Horn said. “Our main goal was to make sure we get there on time if there were any travel issues, and we did have issues,” he said. “There were plane delays and cancellations, rental car problems and hotels with no rooms. So, we flew into Bozeman where we knew we could get a rental car and brought our equipment and camping gear.”

When the team got to Montana, the question was: what were they going to do for three days? They decided to spend some time at Glacier National Park along the U.S.-Canada border. The park covers more than 1 million acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges.

Breathtaking views at Glacier National Park

“I called every hotel in the area and found two cancelations at two different hotels for Friday and Saturday nights,” he said. “It was beautiful, there weren’t TVs at the hotels where we stayed, and if you wanted to connect to the Internet you had to go out on the front porch, we had a great time.” Sunday, Horn just missed a deadly dust storm on the seven-hour drive to Poplar, Mont, but he made it to Fort Peck on Monday. Everyone else involved in the project was delayed 2 days.

Advanced Kiosks President Howard Horn in Montana, July 2022

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 30% of the residents of the Fort Peck reservation lack health coverage. The area has traditionally suffered from high unemployment and high poverty rates, indicating the kiosk project is desperately needed.

“Several studies have made it clear that Native Americans are disproportionately underserved and economically vulnerable,” said Advanced Kiosks president Howard Horn. “These kiosks will be one step along the journey to eliminating those inequities.”

Advanced Kiosks’ contract is for one year with the option for more booth kiosks at other remote locations. The first booth was installed and is still undergoing testing.

Electronic Kiosks Help Businesses Adapt to the New Normal

As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment remains low, businesses of all types are struggling to deliver more services with fewer staff.

Unemployment levels in mid-July 2022 stood at 3.6% for a fourth straight month, matching a near-50-year low that was reached before the pandemic began sweeping across the country in early 2020. At the same time, many of those who were put out of work due to pandemic-related shutdowns didn’t return to their jobs once the economy began to reopen. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, half of all small businesses have open positions they are unable to fill. The situation is similar for large organizations.

And as part of an effort to cope with staffing shortages, more and more companies are utilizing an electronic kiosk to deliver essential services to both customers and employees.

Streamlining services

They come in various shapes and sizes, but at their core, electronic kiosks are digital devices that allow users to perform tasks independently without the assistance of staff.

The most common form of those devices, of course, is the ATM. Thanks to ATMs, many of us haven’t been inside a bank branch in years. The digital devices allow us to withdraw cash from and make deposits to our accounts without teller assistance, with branch visits reserved for more complicated interactions such as opening new accounts or signing loan documents. In many cases, even those tasks can be performed at an ATM.

It's much the same with other businesses. Increasingly, companies are allowing their clients to perform tasks on their own time and at their own pace via a digital electronic kiosk.

Examples of how kiosks are being used in businesses include:

The remote office: Many businesses operate 24 hours a day, but employee services such as HR offices may only operate during weekdays. By using a self-service kiosk such as the Office Extension from Advanced Kiosks, employees can receive round-the-clock access to HR services, allowing them to request vacation time or schedule changes; fill out forms and submit applications; remotely scan documents and send them to any email; print forms, documents, or receipts on demand and much more.

When it comes to delivering services to customers, the Office Extension allows them to pay bills through third-party portals securely; place phone calls via an optional VOIP handset through a directory or slideshow of quick-dial buttons and remotely access other customer services.

And if the interaction is more complicated than what can be accomplished in a few minutes, the Office Extension Desk allows users to sit comfortably and spread out their documents.

Wayfinding and building directories: Advanced Kiosks’ wayfinding kiosks can provide visitors with turn-by-turn directions to their destination; notify guests of activity schedules, upcoming events or other information; communicate information about local businesses or attractions and much more.   When placed in the lobby of an office building or medical complex, directory kiosks act as a virtual receptionist in your lobby, with a click-to-call phone directory using VOIP technology.

Government services: In December 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order with the goal of streamlining government services to eliminate some of the bureaucracy around tasks such as renewing passports, applying for permits and paying taxes. Digital kiosks are a key part of that effort.

Electronic kiosks are also increasingly being used in courthouse modernization. Tasks such as checking in with a parole office, paying traffic fines, applying for a marriage license and more can be accomplished at a kiosk.

Applications abound

Although these are some of the most common uses of kiosks in business, they aren’t the only ones. Businesses that service clients who speak a language other than English, for example, may benefit from deploying Advanced Kiosks’ Interpretation Kiosk. If the client still requires occasional help from a customer service agent, there’s the Assisted Self Service Kiosk, a secure solution that provides a way for people to hold a confidential online conversation and transfer documents safely and securely. For businesses that frequently cope with lines of customers, there’s a dynamic queuing kiosk designed for check-in, processing and visitor data gathering. The kiosk checks in visitors and sets them up in a queue, with queuing status available on-screen or displayed elsewhere for high visibility. Visitors can also be notified via text message when their turn has come.

All sorts of services can be delivered via an electronic kiosk. Businesses benefit from labor savings and increased efficiency, while customers save time and receive an outstanding experience.

To see how your business can benefit from delivering services via kiosk, reach out to the experts at Advanced Kiosks.

U.S. Dept. of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs partners with Advanced Kiosks

Advanced Kiosks is partnering with the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs on a kiosk project that will allow members of Native American Tribes to securely talk by video conferencing to a Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) representative and access federal benefits.

The first prototype will be located at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation near Fort Peck, Mont. The reservation is home to both Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. There are an estimated 10,000 enrolled tribal members, of whom approximately 6,000 reside on or near the reservation. With a total land area of 2.1 million acres, it is the ninth-largest Indian reservation in the United States.

Aegis Booth for Secure Assisted Self Service

Aegis Booth Smart Glass Demonstration

The Aegis Desk & Booth

  • Secure & Private Document Scan, Print & Transfer
    Digitize forms easily and send or file them away securely with the tap of a button
  • Secure & Private Video Conferencing Capability
    Offer comprehensive support to those who need it
  • Bill Payment
    Securely execute or receive assistance with financial transactions
  • Information Access
    Provide users access to helpful resources
  • Accessibility Features
    Including high contrast interface and Storm Navpad functionality

MORE DETAILS

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 30% of the residents of the Fort Peck reservation lack health coverage. The area has traditionally suffered from high unemployment and high poverty rates, indicating the kiosk project is desperately needed.

“Several studies have made it clear that Native Americans are disproportionately underserved and economically vulnerable,” said Advanced Kiosks president Howard Horn. “These kiosks will be one step along the journey to eliminating those inequities.”

Advanced Kiosks’ contract is for one year with the option for several more. As part of the contract, Advanced Kiosks is designing, building and delivering the booth and desk hardware as well as developing the software.

Grant deadline extended

Separately, the deadline for federally recognized Indian tribes to apply for a Treasury Department grant for digital connectivity projects has been extended to Aug. 15, 2022.  The department defines digital connectivity technology projects as those involving the purchase or installation of devices and equipment such as laptops, tablets, desktop personal computers, and public Wi-Fi equipment to facilitate broadband internet access for communities where affordability is a barrier to broadband adoption and use. Tribes can receive $167,000 from this grant.

Advanced Kiosks has created a website to assist Tribes in applying for the grant. Click here for more information.

 

Devlyn Optical Teams with Advanced Kiosks to Modernize Eye Care

DevlynOn a regular basis, Advanced Kiosks helps implement self-service technology for customers of all kinds. When Houston vision care provider Devlyn Optical contacted us about their project, we tested their software on one of our kiosks at our Concord, N.H., facility to make sure that this would work out of the box.  As soon as we tried it we were all impressed and we are sure you will be too.

A Community in Need

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in America. The Houston metro area is home to more than 6.5 million people of a variety of ethnicities and income levels. Great disparities exist amongst its inhabitants, particularly when it comes to the availability of affordable health and vision care services for the city’s large Hispanic population. Residents often don’t get the care they need.

This is an issue of great importance to Jesse Devlyn, owner of Devlyn Optical. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, there is evidence to show that between 25% and 40% of people with significant eye pathology will be affected by depression. In addition, a 2021 study appearing in the medical journal JAMA Ophthalmology indicates that correcting vision problems in school children leads to higher test scores and better academic performance.

Devlyn partnered with Advanced Kiosks for a custom kiosk project that may change the way people think about the way prescription eyeglass services and eye health checkups are delivered.

Their unique solution offers both eye health checkups and virtual eyewear style fittings in the same self-service kiosk system. While providing a one-stop-shop for eye care service was a motivating factor behind this project, Jesse Devlyn says the main driving force was a desire to make cheap and convenient healthcare more accessible for the underserved Hispanic population in the Houston area. Devlyn frequently sees a lack of these types of services for those who need them most and hopes this kiosk will inspire new ways to improve the lives of people in the Houston area and beyond.

Eye-Catching Eye Care

Eye Care Custom Kiosk

Devlyn Optical provided custom artwork for a branded vinyl wrap on their Merchant Max kiosk eye care station, creating a visually stunning kiosk. The large, portrait-style touchscreen and the LED light panel built into the top of the kiosk are bright and attractive, guaranteed to catch the eyes of passersby. The kiosk is placed in a high-traffic location in a popular Hispanic grocery store, catering specifically to that community.

The interactive software offers users the ability to try on different frame styles virtually, using a high-definition webcam and face-tracking software to show what the frames would look like on the user’s face. This technology spares the user from having to make an appointment with an eye doctor just to pick out a new style of eyeglass frames.

Custom Interactive Kiosk

Even more impressive is the ability of the kiosk to conduct remote eye health screenings. Completed virtually on the kiosk machine via custom software, the system requires only a webcam installed above the monitor to function.

For the underserved populations in the greater Houston area, these eye health services offered by the Devlyn Optical kiosk help to bridge the health service gap between economic and societal classes. The kiosk is a prime example of how self-service technology can be used to benefit communities in need and should help to inspire more healthcare organizations to follow suit.

For more details on the technology behind the eye health software, reach out directly to Devlyn Optical at 1-800-778-2145. For information about self-service technology or interactive kiosks, visit our website or call 1-603-865-1000. 

Does Your Kiosk Deployment Require a Desk? - Part 1

Self-service kiosks are a great way to allow users to handle quick tasks on their own, such as paying bills, ordering food, checking in at a health care facility or looking up information in a product catalog or building directory. They’re short transactions that self-service kiosks accomplish in thousands of stores, restaurants, and other venues every day. Organizations of all types have been adopting kiosks to provide a better customer experience via self-service.  

Paperwork

But while such tasks are easily accomplished while the user is standing, kiosks are increasingly being used in situations where the interaction is more complicated and takes much more time. For tasks such as filling out job applications, notarizing documents, help with lengthy court, tax or insurance document submissions, video conferencing with a case manager, telehealth sessions, applying for an apartment or communicating with HR, it’s unreasonable to expect people to stand for the entire process. In addition, occasions arise where users will need to scan and submit a variety of paperwork, and they’ll likely need space to spread out and organize forms.

Kiosk PaperworkIn those cases, a desk and a chair will be required.

Not standing room only

Standards are difficult to quantify, but retail consumers tend to believe that 5 to 10 minutes is the maximum amount of time that they are prepared to stand in a line. It’s a good bet that kiosk users have similar feelings. If a kiosk interaction requires the user to stand for more than 5 or 10 minutes, it’s common courtesy to deploy a solution that incorporates a chair for the user to sit.

Those who may need to be seated when conducting business via kiosk include:

  • People filing court papers such as restraining orders, petition for an appointment, or motion
  • Citizens working with government agencies to apply for benefits such as Social Security, health insurance, public housing, and more
  • Applying for a building permit at the local city hall
  • Disaster victims working with FEMA to secure aid
  • Banking customers interacting with a remote loan officer or customer service personnel
  • Employees filling out new hire paperwork with the company’s HR department 

The answer to these issues is the A.S.K. (Assisted Self-Service Kiosk) 3.0 solution from Advanced Kiosks.

Assisted Self Service Kiosk

A.S.K. 3.0 leverages the Aegis Desk, Office Extension 2.0, and cutting-edge videoconferencing equipment including webcams, 4K monitors, and directional soundbars to recreate a person-to-person experience with technology. The transfer of data and documents is secure and easy.

This self-service station affords users comfort as well as the tools to get more done. The desk is tamper-proof, with all switches, wires, and ports under lock and key.

For more on how A.S.K. 3.0 can help your organization better serve your customers, reach out to the experts at Advanced Kiosks.

764 HR Professionals Surveyed on Technology Issues

Delivering HR Services in the Modern World

Manufacturing facilities, hospitals, logistics hubs, and other 24-hour operations face a variety of challenges when it comes to providing human resources services to their employees. HR offices are typically only open during weekdays, but a significant portion of the workforce may be on the job at night or the weekends, or work in remote locations not large enough to support a dedicated HR office. That disconnect can make it difficult for employees to accomplish tasks such as submitting vacation requests, updating personal information, or making changes to insurance information.

Complicating those challenges are the dual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing labor shortage. Even if an HR office is fully staffed, having face-to-face interactions with employees is likely discouraged, making the delivery of services even more difficult.

To adapt, HR departments around the country are incorporating technology to both cut costs and improve service.

Increasing tech investments

A recent survey of 764 HR professionals across various industries in the United States, conducted by business technology review site TrustRadius, spotlighted some of the issues facing HR departments as well as the ways technology is helping to address those issues.

The survey found that the vast majority of HR teams (74%) feel challenged by the pandemic, with 38% saying they are exhausted. They’re increasingly turning to technology for respite, with 55% of HR professionals saying that their companies are spending more on HR technology right now. Of those, 45% are spending to upgrade their existing tech stack, while 38% are purchasing new tech.

And in many cases, those investments are in self-service technology that allows workers to perform many HR tasks on their own, without the need to interact with a member of the HR team.

Office ExtensionAdvanced Kiosks’ Office Extension 2.0 is the perfect technology solution for providing HR services even when the HR office is closed. Placed in the break room, cafeteria, or other easily accessible location, the kiosk and software solution serves as an extension of your HR department, providing your employees with the best possible experience whenever and wherever they’re on the job.

For a company, deploying Office Extension 2.0 as an HR solution can:

  • Provide 24/7 employee access
  • Reduce HR staffing demands
  • Ensure documentation accuracy
  • Audit and track user activity
  • Increase employee engagement and satisfaction

For workers, implementing an Office Extension 2.0 HR solution allows them to:

  • View time clock and payroll information
  • Submit vacation and PTO requests
  • Sign up or make changes to benefit
  • Schedule HR appointments
  • And much more

In addition to these features, the Office Extension 2.0 solution can provide services including MSDS access, the delivery of company communications, and employee orientation and training. When combined with an optional VOIP handset, users can place phone calls through a directory or slideshow of quick-dial buttons. To date, the VOIP handset on existing Office Extension 2.0 deployments has been used to make more than 46,000 calls.

Scan Print Voip Forms

Office Extension 2.0 can also provide the HR department with analytics that can be used to determine the types of services that are most in-demand among workers, increasing employee satisfaction by allowing the department to continually improve the services they provide.

And by eliminating paper-based processes and reducing demand on HR staff, Office Extension 2.0 can trim printing and mailing expenses, save on labor costs, and improve staff retention.

The Office Extension 2.0 HR solution provides employees with 24/7 access to a service portal for all your digital HR resources. Contact us today for more information!

Kiosks and Windows 11

People who work in the technology universe tend to share a common trait: They want to be at the forefront of technological advances. They want the latest hardware, the latest software, and of course, the latest operating system.

It’s no surprise, then, that kiosk manufacturer Advanced Kiosks has been fielding dozens of calls from deployers about the Pro version of the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 11, and when they might see it on their self-service kiosk systems. Windows 11 has received positive reviews from users for its improved visual design, window management, and an increased focus on security.

But if you’re eager to see Windows 11 Pro as part of your kiosk project, we advise you to be patient.

Advanced Kiosks hasn’t upgraded their kiosks to Windows 11 Pro for several reasons. One of the biggest has to do with what we’ve all come to expect when Microsoft releases a new product. Previously unknown bugs and security issues arise, requiring regular patches. Occasionally, those patches create issues that result in operational problems such as failed updates, system crashes, or applications that no longer function as expected. Occasionally, the device locks up completely and you’re forced to roll back the OS to the previous version.

And if your livelihood depends on 24/7 uptime for your kiosk deployment, those issues are the last thing you want.

Why Hasnt Advanced Kiosks Upgraded To Windows 11

Along with the kiosk itself, electronic self-service devices include a host of peripherals, including card readers, VOIP devices, interactive touchscreens, RFID readers, scanners, printers, and more. All of these depend on drivers that need to be thoroughly tested to guarantee they function properly with Windows 11.

We are currently putting our custom kiosk software Zamok through rigorous testing to make sure no issues arise from updating to Windows 11. We’re also testing the custom GPOs and registry changes that assist in locking the kiosk down and creating a secure environment, as well as the drivers that make those peripherals perform.

So, when asked when our kiosks will begin using Windows 11 Pro, our answer needs to be, “As soon as we’re sure our hardware and Windows 11 are ready to work together.”

Advanced Kiosks is at the forefront of kiosk technology, and this includes our commitment to making sure our kiosks are secure and function as intended. Once we complete our testing and Microsoft completes its patching process, our kiosk systems will carry Windows 11 Pro.

Take Advantage of CARES Act Funds Before They Expire on 12/31

Made-in-USAThe CARES Act included $685 million to help public housing agencies maintain normal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but time to take advantage of those funds is running out.

The Office Extension 2.0 solution from Advanced Kiosks is serving as a robotic office for housing authorities across the country. Office Extension 2.0 allows housing authorities to serve residents where they are, at times that are most convenient for them, in a safe and socially distanced manner. The solution is GSA-approved and ADA compliant.

Best of all, CARES Act funds can be used to implement Office Extension 2.0 in your organization.

To secure your funding, all you need to do is sign a purchase order by the end of 2021. Products can be preordered with CARES Act funding as well.

With Office Extension 2.0, your organization can have a 24/7 presence wherever you choose. With Office Extension 2.0, your clients can:

  • Scan documents and send to any staff email.
  • Fill out forms and submit applications remotely.
  • Print forms, documents, or receipts on demand.
  • Pay bills through third-party portals securely.
  • Place VOIP calls through a directory or slideshow of quick-dial buttons.

The kiosk communicates to your staff via text and email when a customer submits or completes a task. Weekly reports and statistics are also sent from the Advanced Kiosks' server for a tangible overview of Office Extension 2.0 data. Functionality can be controlled remotely.

These features and more position Office Extension 2.0 as an additional 24/7 robotic office for housing authorities of all sizes. Organizations across the country are using Office Extension 2.0 to improve service, reduce staff workload, and cut costs.

For more information, including pricing, please call Advanced Kiosks at 603-865-1000 or visit https://advancedkiosks.com/products/officeextension/.