Kiosk Newsbit

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.  

     Java-based Solutions 

     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 
 central location.  

     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 
 Otis Elevator.

     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.  

     About Factura 

     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 
 Systems, Inc.  


     CONTACT: The Allied Group
              Marvin Elbaum
              (860) 652-6623, ext. 228
              [email protected]
              MicroTouch Systems, Inc.
              Edward F. Clough
              (978) 659-9120
              [email protected]

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