LONDON, ENGLAND, 1997 OCT 7 (NB) -- By Sylvia Dennis. ICL has unveiled a plug'n'go Web kiosk called WebTouch. As the name implies, it is a self-contained Web kiosk that is claimed to be deliverable and installable almost anywhere in the UK for UKP4,975 (US$8,000).
According to ICL, the WebTouch unit has been designed to allow members of the public to browse an organization's Web site with a simple touchscreen interface, without the need for a mouse or a standalone keyboard.
ICL claims that many organizations have made significant investments in the production of their own Internet and intranet Web sites. The company notes, however, that relatively few of their customers, visitors, or their staff will ever see this information either because they don't have Internet access or, even if they do, they won't know where to look for it.
WebTouch is claimed to allow organizations to introduce their current Web pages into a touchscreen environment unchanged, and make them available to a wide audience at specific locations. The WebTouch kiosk takes an existing Web page and removes all of the toolbars and scroll bars, providing a clean full screen view of the page to the end user.
Instead of the usual navigational controls and scroll bars, familiar to all Internet users, kiosk users are provided with a set of scroll "buttons" at the bottom of the screen, which provide the scroll bar functionality in a form readily usable within a touchscreen environment.
According to ICL, by siting kiosks at locations such as public buildings, shops, and reception areas, and by configuring the kiosk's screen, it is possible to provide selected information to any target audience, there are facilities to prevent users "surfing" the net.
Derek Sayers, director of ICL's multimedia solutions division, said that he has been amazed at the interest shown in these kiosks, particularly by local authorities. "It is such an easy way to open up an organization's valuable information quickly and without incurring a large systems cost," he said.
According to Sayers, systems using WebTouch are a means of assessing the public's reaction to kiosks and can be the introduction to more sophisticated public information systems linked to legacy systems and other data bases.
Newsbytes notes that the WebTouch terminal includes a pedestal kiosk with a touchscreen and a Pentium PC, the WebTouch software browser all delivered and installed to site.
ICL's Web site is at http://icl.co.uk .
(19971007/Press Contact: Neil Pattle, ICL +44-181-565-6651; Fax +44- 181-565-6645; Reader Contact: ICL Action Desk +44-181-565-7993; E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/Reported By Newsbytes News Network: http://www.newsbytes.com)