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Kiosks.Org Announces Best of Show for KioskCom Europe

Note: -- We asked Summit Research to act as our eyes and ears at the recent KioskCom Europe conference and to look and tell us who they found to be the most interesting products. This is our report.

About our Correspondent: --
Frances D. Mendelsohn is president of Summit Research Associates, Inc. (www.summit-res.com), the only consulting firm devoted to the kiosk industry. The company has published their newest report, Design Tips for Internet Kiosks, on June 1.

Kiosks.org asked me to evaluate the exhibitors at KioskCom Europe and come up with some winners. There were a number of innovative products and solutions. It was not easy to come up with winners. The best overall product was, hands-down, Degasoft's KUDOS presented at the TouchPoint/Degasoft booth. This Kiosk management development tool takes the most tedious and difficult parts of kiosk interface design and back-end monitoring and makes it very easy to accomplish. What formerly could take days, weeks or even months to develop can now be implemented in minutes. Everyone who was able to see a demonstration of the Reykjavik, Iceland-based company's product came away almost awe-struck. A truly amazing product. (Note: Toronto's TouchPoint Technologies Corporation had seen the product at KioskCom in Las Vegas and was so impressed that they invested in the company and have secured the North American and Australian rights to the software and have renamed it Kudos. TouchPoint is actively working to set up a developers and partners network.

In the hardware arena, Mundlesheim, Germany's Dreifeld AG showed some very impressive and innovative enclosures. The company has paid attention to ergonomic and ease of use issues and have produced units that are not only attractive but conducive to lengthy customer "visits." What impressed me the most were their keyboards. Rugged, water-proof, and angled so that people would feel comfortable using them, they are available in two models - a plastic coated version (similar to that found on appliances like microwave ovens) and a metal version. Both provided very nice tactile feedback so that the user would instantly be aware that his touch had been recognized by the system.

The winner in Web Payphone implementation was the UK's WebPoint. These units, originally developed and widely deployed in Australia, were fast, reliable, easy and comfortable to use and offered a wide range of services. The pointing device is a large trackball; in our opinion, the most intuitive and user-friendly device of them all. The charges, 1 for 15 minutes of access (approximately $.10 per minute), are very reasonable and truly deliver value, the most important ingredient for kiosk success. They have been successfully placed in Victoria Station, Heathrow Airport and other high-traffic locations throughout London and the UK.

Website information:

Degasoft: www degasoft.com

Dreifeld: www.dreifeld.de

WebPoint: www.webpoint-kiosk.com

KioskCom: www.kioskcom.com

Summit: www.summit-res.com

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