Waterstones Win Award with Neo Kiosks


At the 1999 Revolution Awards, Waterstones' Bookstores, one of the largest book chains in the UK, won the award for the "Best Use of Kiosk Technology" for their in-store online kiosk directory system.

LGC, NeoProducts' UK distributor and the leading kiosk manufacturer in the UK, installed 20 Neo K15 kiosks into Waterstones' book stores throughout the United Kingdom, offering an Intranet based book searching service. The application has experienced phenomenal success with an average 900 customers per day using the kiosks in the Glasgow store alone.

A modified version of the K15 with a flat LCD touchscreen and thermal printer was used for the project.

As stated by IT director of Waterstone's Bookstores, Ian Newman, "What we are doing is allowing the customer to access a cut-down version of the information available to staff."

The customer is able to search for the appropriate book and check that it is in stock. If the book is in stock, the kiosk prints out a store map showing the book location. If the book is not in stock, the kiosk prints out an order form that can be submitted to a staff member.

The kiosks are networked to a central database in each store, which is updated each evening from the main company's database. Therefore, all the information on the kiosks is up to date with current stock numbers. The kiosks also allow the user to view the titles on order and their availability. In some stores, up to 1.2 million book titles are accessible.

The kiosk system was awarded the 1999 Revolution Award for "Best Use of Kiosk Technology".

Waterstone's began this service over the Internet in 1996 and used this as a basis for the kiosk application. The application allows the user to search by author, book title, publisher, publication date, keyword, ISBN (book registration number), or by price if the user is searching for the cheapest option.

Customers use a touchscreen keyboard in the design of an old fashioned typewriter to access the database as earlier experiences have shown that many users are not comfortable using a mouse or regular keyboard. A fully engineered touchscreen solution was considered much more appropriate.


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email  [email protected]

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