Digital Signage Kiosks – What happens when they fail?

By | January 8, 2010

During the month of December in Philadelphia the kiosks that are used for deploying parking tickets were not working due to the extreme cold, some thought this was cool as they got free parking – how wrong they were!

We all see kiosks everywhere we go from the train station to the shopping mall and we are becoming very reliant on them for information, but here is a situation were the kiosks that have digital signage built in and is targeted at the vehicle owner whilst they are paying for a car park ticket with their Smartcard or credit card.

The problem was that the kiosks who were manufactured by a company out of Wentzville Missouri did not have the correct upgraded software installed and caused the kiosks to malfunction and reject valid payment methods, making parking almost impossible.

During one of the busiest shopping weeks of the year in the build up to Christmas drivers found that curb side parking was a very rare and valuable asset.

The problems did not end there, with the parking authority admitting that a new software upgrade would be available in the next week, however the frustration turned to rage when Christmas shoppers received parking tickets for exceeding their allotted time and some drivers reported getting violation tickets for parking whilst in queues waiting for a parking space at the side of a kiosk!

The parking authority’s stance was that drivers had to pay some how, if they had a prepaid Smart card and it got rejected they could either pay by cash or credit card (so the driver in effect had to pay twice!). In 2009 the sale of Smart Cards for parking in Philadelphia reached an estimated $2.5 million.

Is this a start of things to come with digital signage solutions including self serve kiosks taking over the world of advertising? Hopefully not, especially when it is down to a software problem and NOT the enclosure!

Graham is the owner of LCD Enclosure Global who have launched a range of kiosk call Fahrenheit Kiosks, these have been designed to work in extreme temperatures from -30 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This compliments their range of gas pump enclosures.

LCD Enclosure Global – anything else is a compromise.