The Allied Group Partners With MicroTouch and Factura To
Produce Complete Java Technology-based Solutions For Networked Kiosk Market
(Business Wire; 04/28/98)
GLASTONBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 28, 1998-- Three kiosk industry
leaders are combining their products and skills in a move to offer complete
solutions to the burgeoning market for networked public-access kiosks.
The Allied Group, a developer and integrator of interactive software
applications, today announced an alliance with touchscreen supplier
MicroTouch(R) Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:MTSI) and its kiosk enclosure division,
Factura(tm) Kiosks, to produce kiosk systems based on Sun Microsystems(R)
Inc.'s Java(tm) programming language.
Many large businesses are embracing the self-service interactive kiosk as a
new, strategically important method to sell products and provide services. For
these businesses, this alliance of kiosk suppliers makes it easy and cost-
effective to procure cohesive, fully integrated solutions.
"The goal of our alliance is to address the rapidly-growing demand for
comprehensive, cross-platform solutions in such industries as retailing and
banking. Our alliance will enable us to produce complete, high-quality, built-
to-order kiosk systems, and reduce time to delivery, which are both important
to the success of any large-scale kiosk deployment," said Irv Miglietta,
president of The Allied Group.
Kiosk Industry Expertise
The alliance effectively brings together three market leaders in the kiosk
--MicroTouch Systems, Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of
touchscreens used in point-of-sale, gaming, industrial, multimedia, and many
other computer-based systems.
--Factura Kiosks, a division of MicroTouch Systems, is the largest
manufacturer of kiosk housings in the U.S. and has produced an estimated 30
percent of the U.S. installed base. Factura's expertise is in kiosk design,
manufacturing, final assembly, and logistics services.
--The Allied Group's Interactive Technology unit specializes in networked-
based kiosk applications, and has developed a Java kiosk framework/toolkit that
is based on open standards and cross-platform applications.
The strength of the open-standard Java programming language is its "Write
Once, Run Anywhere" capability, which means that Java kiosk applications can
operate on any computing platform. As a result, kiosk application development,
deployment, and maintenance is much faster than traditional programs, and
customers have the freedom to choose the best hardware and software solutions
for their individual business needs.
For example, The Allied Group, MicroTouch Systems, and Factura recently
demonstrated a prototype Java-based retail kiosk at Sun's JavaOne(tm)
conference in March in San Francisco, and at the KioskCom conference in April
in New York. In the demonstration, a bridal registry application developed by
The Allied Group and powered by Sun's JavaStation(tm) Network Computer
technology ran on a MicroTouch Systems flat-panel touchscreen monitor with a
receipt printer, all housed in a trim enclosure built by Factura. JavaStation
Network Computer technology enables the deployment of kiosk applications that
can operate on intranets, extranets, and the Internet. As a result, kiosk
applications can be rapidly developed, deployed, and maintained from one
Growing Kiosk Market
For MicroTouch, the alliance is an extension of its business development
program to work with a variety of companies in the worldwide kiosk market,
which research firm Frost & Sullivan predicts will grow at a rate of 27 percent
a year to $5.3 billion by 2004.
"The demand for interactive, networked kiosk applications is growing very
quickly in a wide range of industries, so MicroTouch is forming partnerships
with software developers, systems integrators, and OEMs to meet this demand.
This partnership with The Allied Group will make it possible for our common
customers to roll out new Java-based networked kiosk systems efficiently and
cost-effectively," said Janet Muto, vice president of marketing at MicroTouch
About The Allied Group
The Allied Group provides advanced interactive technology, solutions
integration, and data management services to companies both nationally and
internationally. The company is headquartered in Glastonbury, CT, with several
other offices on the East Coast. Allied's interactive clients include Wal-
Mart, OfficeMax, AIG Insurance, United Technologies, Hamilton Standard, and
About MicroTouch Systems, Inc.
MicroTouch Systems, Inc., headquartered in Methuen, Mass., is the world's
leading provider of complete computer touch-input solutions. Its touchscreen
hardware and software technologies have consistently led the industry in
numerous innovations and standards. Founded in 1982, MicroTouch reported sales
of $128.5 million in 1997.
Factura, founded in 1986, is headquartered in Rochester, New York. Factura
is the nation's leading manufacturer of kiosk housings and specializes in the
creative design, engineering, manufacturing, and delivery of Ready-to-Ship,
Ready-to-Build, and Custom Kiosks for a variety of markets. To date, Factura
has built more than 50,000 kiosks for Fortune 500 companies, system
integrators, and entrepreneurs worldwide, including Eastman Kodak, Agfa, Sears,
Wal-Mart, Dayton-Hudson, EDS, AT&T, Andersen Consulting, IBM, and PepsiCo. In
February 1995, Factura was acquired by and became a division of MicroTouch
CONTACT: The Allied Group
(860) 652-6623, ext. 228
MicroTouch Systems, Inc.
Edward F. Clough