MArketing One to One excerpts:
ActiveNet's Kiosks: Brawn AND Brain
may 8, 1997 artilce
Responding to our April 17th article, "Where Have All the Kiosks Gone?" ActiveNet's
Vice President and General Manager Carlos Palacio writes to tell us about a truly
interactive series of prototype kiosks and, more importantly, the network system to
support them. These modular, highly customizable kiosks will be able support electronic
commerce of any type, from advanced financial transactions to ordering pizza. In
addition to the usual touchscreen, the kiosks incorporate document scanners, credit
card swipers, printers, and signature capture capabilities. They can also be equipped
with an audio/video system that allows for live video conferencing with customer
service , tech support, or just a friend at another location.
One must keep in mind, Palacio points out, that the kiosks are designed to be the
sensory organs rather than the system itself. He explains that the Achilles heel of most
kiosks is that they do not have the depth of network support to provide anything more
sophisticated than static information. ActiveNet's kiosks get their brainpower from an
artificial intelligence engine that recognizes each individual user and grows toward that
person's needs and preferences. The system is also designed to implement community
knowledge by learning which customers engage in which types of transactions and
offering those transactions to those that fit the developing customer profile.
For any kiosk, the real one-to-one issue is whether it knows the identity of the person
with whom it is interacting and REMEMBERS the interaction when the person walks
away. If it can't, then it is still just an elaborate point-of-purchase display.