(HEWLETT-PACKARD)(HWP) HP and North Communications to Provide Networked Kiosks to Give Consumers Easy Access to Product Information and Services;


PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 12, 1997--To give consumers easy, touch-screen access to selected product information and services over the Internet, Hewlett-Packard Company and North Communications today announce an agreement to jointly market networked multimedia kiosks.These compact yet powerful kiosks can be a convenient way for consumers to get information on a wide range of products and services.Similar in size to most automated teller machines, the kiosks can be placed in malls, car dealerships, convenience stores and other public locations, where they can be used as important sales and marketing tools by businesses such as retailers, car dealers and financial-services firms, and by government agencies.

The advanced computing and networking technologies built into the kiosks are designed to allow consumers to perform secure financial transactions, for example, or to get the latest online product demonstration using full-motion video and high-quality sound.The kiosks also can be used to capture customer information, such as individual preferences, past purchasing patterns and future purchasing intentions.


"These kiosks provide an excellent way for businesses to leverage their Web-site investments and give their customers a convenient and immediate channel for purchasing products and services securely, as well as for exchanging information with participating companies,"said John Weidert, general manager of HP's Integrated Systems Division."Our agreement with North Communications unites the key technologies that make these kiosks a powerful sales and marketing tool."

"Mall owners, for instance, could design their kiosk network as an advertising option for tenant stores.By collecting fees for placing ads, coupon offers and ordering programs, mall owners can effectively make the kiosk a profit center while providing free services to shoppers," said Rick Rommel, vice president of marketing for North Communications."Kiosk users will not need to be computer savvy -- anyone will be able to take advantage of the high performance and reliability our kiosk system will offer."

As part of the marketing agreement, HP will supply customized PCs, multimedia equipment, printers and touch screens for the kiosks.North Communications will provide its standard and custom kiosk enclosures, NetGain software to support kiosk-based Web access, multimedia application development, and ongoing network operations and service.


The kiosks currently are available from North Communications. Pricing varies depending on specific customer applications.Sample pricing and additional product details are available via the World Wide Web at http://www.kioskstore.com .


North Communications designs, manufactures and operates transactional kiosk networks for business and government.More information is available on the Web at http://www.infonorth.com .


HP is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support.HP has 114,600 employees and had revenue of $38.4 billion in its 1996 fiscal year.

Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com .