Frost & Sullivan - Kiosks: The New 'Vending Machine' of the Information Age, Coming Soon via the Internet

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 11 /PRNewswire/ - The vending machine of the information age enables individuals to access products and information in an interactive and non-threatening manner. Interactive kiosks fulfill end-user needs and hold revenue- generating potential in areas ranging from small niche markets to mainstream business concerns.

According to new strategic research from Frost & Sullivan, U.S. Interactive Kiosks Markets, the interactive kiosk market is growing at a formidable pace. In 1996, the interactive kiosk market reached $369.7 million, and is expected to grow to $2.94 billion in 2003, with a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent over the forecast period.

"In 1996, 67 firms competed in the interactive kiosk market. Seven of those firms participated in all market segments," says information technology industry analyst Steve Pearson. Vertical markets covered in the report include retail, finance, government, tourism and entertainment, and a miscellaneous category that includes the food and beverage, healthcare, high technology, and transportation industries. The retail sector was the most active segment with 37 competitors, while the government sector experienced the lowest degree of participation with 25 vendors.

New firms have readily entered the retail market because technological barriers are easy to overcome. Many new entrants have expertise in developing and distributing multimedia applications. This situation allows small vendors to enter the interactive kiosk market either directly or as a partner with a solid business strategy.

"The kiosk market is extremely fragmented in the lower tiers because of the project-by-project nature of sales," says information technology industry analyst Steve Pearson. "In most vertical segments, vendors with less than 5 percent of the market comprise more than 50 percent of the entire segment."

The competitive advantage held by large-scale kiosk vendors that are active in large enterprise projects ranks as a significant market trend. Another recent trend is the increased demand to automate those services that demand the time and effort of personnel. Lastly, the emerging demand for Internet access has opened lucrative niches for kiosk vendors.

Internet access is perceived as the premier technology affecting the kiosk market. Access to the Internet is expected to affect most kiosk vendors.

Kiosks typically consist of a desktop computer with a hard drive, keyboard, compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM) drive, monitor with video card and audio card capabilities. The end-user input may be a touch screen, keypad, keyboard, magnetic card reader, pointing device, microphone, camera, or some combination of these devices. The objective is to convert user actions into messages the kiosk can interpret.

Market Participants include: Active Frame Productions, Advanced Media, Inc., AG Industries (AGI), Atcom/Info, ATI Advertising Technologies, Inc., Big Hand, Inc., Breakaway Presentations, Inc., ComArt, Compass Technologies, Compustar Network, DCI Marketing, Diebold, Inc., Dolphin Works Corporation., Dunn Systems, Inc., Dynatouch Corporation, Ecotek Technology Solutions, EDR Systems, Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS), EMF Corp., Exhibitgroup/Giltspur (Exhibit Masters), First Wave, Inc., Golden Screens America, Inc., Greenway Engineering, GS Interactive, Hasting & Baio, Haukom Associates, Horizons Technology, Inc., HSI Computer Systems, IBM Kiosk Solutions, ICL Retail Systems, Interactive Ideas, Inc., Ivid Communications, King Products, Inc., The Kiosk Software Company, Kiosk Information Systems (KIS), Lexitech, Logica, Inc., Micro Rent, MPO Videotronics, Midi, Inc., MSA, Multimedia Resources, Inc., Muze Inc., NCR Corporation, NetAccess Inc., North Communications, N-Vision Systems, Inc., ObjectSoft Corporation, Pearlson Development, Pen-Tech Associates, Pixel Touch, Red Dot Interactive , Rocky Mountain Multimedia, RTC & Associates, Southwest Business/Financial Data, St. Clair Interactive Communications, Inc., TouchNet Information Systems, Inc., Touchscreen Promotions, Triadigm Technology, Trident Computer Systems, Troll Touch, Unisys Corporation., Acoustics Development Corporation, Dynapro TF Products, Factura Composites, Inc., Gibco, GS Interactive, Magnetec Corporation, MicroTouch Systems, Inc., Open Domain Inc., Pacific Rim Network Systems, Redfield Company, Ross Roy Advertising Co., Sequoia Wood Products, Signature Marketing, Touchsource Inc., Ultimate Technologies, USA Technologies, Interactive Multimedia Association (IMA), and International Interactive Communications Society

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting company that monitors the information technology industry for market trends, market measurements, and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of research publications such as .5432-74 U.S. Network Security Markets and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs.

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