(FIRST-WAVE) Kiosk Failures Costing Retailers Billions Annually

(Business Wire; 11/06/97)

Business Editors/Computer Writers

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 1997--Touch-screen kiosks that don't work are costing retailers billions of dollars annually.

An audience of major retailers at the KioskCom '97 conference at the Regency Hotel today heard from a pioneer in the development of touch-screen kiosk technology that an estimated $4.5 billion is lost annually by retailers through poorly conceived and malfunctioning kiosks.

"More often than not when the customer approaches a kiosk it's either not working or the desired information can't be found," explained John Glitsos, founder and chief executive officer of First Wave Inc. "The result is a frustrated customer and a lost sale."

Glitsos told the group the retail industry is entering the early phases of marketing automation, not unlike the early days of desktop publishing.

"Interactive touch-screen kiosks that are being pieced together with software originally designed for slide shows produce kiosks that act like a slide show instead of a knowledgeable automated sales and marketing agent," he added. "The goal should be to develop content for this new medium that gives the shopper a fast, fun way to find products and make informed purchase decisions that often lead to the customer deciding to purchase a higher margin item."

He noted, kiosks that work well are on the sales floor seven days a week 24 hours a day ready to help customers with consistent, accurate information leading to a very high return on investment through increased customer satisfaction and sales.

"The key to maximizing return on investment and customer satisfaction," Glitsos said, "is in careful planning of system development and information content, the use of proven kiosk technology and the appropriate location and promotion of the kiosk in the store."

Glitsos established the human interface standard for interactive touch- screen technology with the release of his firm's Information Rainbow kiosk development system in 1994. First Wave leads a kiosk alliance group supported by Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), MicroAge Inc. (NASDAQ:MICA), WavePhore Inc. (NASDAQ:WAVO), Mitsubishi, MicroTouch Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSI), Okidata and Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE).

First Wave, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a developer and manufacturer of interactive multi-media touch-screen kiosk applications. Its Information Rainbow software is used to dispense information and gather marketing data through kiosks at retail stores, corporate lobbies, museums, hospitals and other public places.

Customers include large organizations such as Osco Drug, MicroAge, the City of Bridgeport, Honeywell, David Weekley Homes, Arizona Public Service, the U.S. District Courts and Samaritan Health Systems as well as many small, and medium-size businesses.