Numerous businesses are driving productivity, conversions, and engagement among consumers and employees with kiosk devices. Kiosks are usually placed in high-traffic areas and retail stores but they have become common also in other industries, like education and healthcare.
How can your business leverage kiosk technology easily and efficiently? In this blog post, we are going to cover all the essentials of kiosk devices:
- What is kiosk mode?
- Benefits of using kiosks
- Different types of kiosk devices
- How to enable kiosk mode?
What is kiosk mode?
Taking kiosk devices into use requires companies to set devices into kiosk mode, which means that the device's functionality has been restricted either to a single app or multiple apps. Choosing between single-app and multi-app kiosk mode depends on one’s business goals, but both are great options.
Single-app kiosk mode
In single-app kiosk mode, a device is configured for a single application. This means that the device is configured to run a specific app either from the Microsoft Store (Windows), AppStore (iOS), or Play Store (Android). It is quite typical for businesses to set a browser app, such as Chrome or Firefox, in a single-app kiosk mode but devices can also be configured to run a business’ privately developed app.
Technically, single app kiosk mode does not allow end-users to access other apps on the device. They also cannot exit the app, making it a dedicated device for that specific app. This is typically configured by the IT admin and thus, can only be locked and unlocked by them.
Devices in single-app kiosk mode are typically used as digital signage, mobile POS systems, airport web kiosk browsers, service kiosks in the hospitality industry, and ticket booking kiosks.
Multi-app kiosk mode
In multi-app kiosk mode, devices are allowed access to multiple applications. End-users can navigate between multiple apps (or access device settings) in a controlled environment configured by the IT administrator. The allowed apps are also predefined or preconfigured. As such, end-users can only access the ones allowed by the company.
This type of configuration is typically used by businesses that need two or more apps to run at the same time, or end-users need to access some of the device settings.
Devices in multi-app kiosk mode are typically used in the service industry, for educational purposes, or by delivery and manufacturing companies.
Benefits of using kiosks
There are many benefits to using kiosk devices from both a business and end-user point of view: you can better control the use of your devices, facilitate self-service, and increase customer engagement.
More control over device usage
Kiosk mode is a great option for businesses looking to control the usage of their devices. By limiting device functionalities, businesses can ensure that devices are always used correctly. This means that they can be assured that customers or employees are only using the devices for their intended purposes.
With kiosk mode, there’s no need to worry about end-users accessing apps and settings that they shouldn’t have access to. Devices can be locked to predefined apps with single-app or multi-app kiosk mode. Even with multiple users of a single device (e.g., a shared tablet kiosk for customers or employees), it's easier to monitor and control usage. And what’s great, kiosks typically do not require special training or additional staff in order to be operated.
More control results in:
- Increased employee productivity by promoting focus via specific apps and tasks
- Data cost reduction due to lower consumption of data through non-work-related apps
- Increased device and data security with less access to internet surfing and potentially malicious downloads
- Increased operational efficiency
- Reduced device wear-and-tear as devices cannot be used outside of corporate needs
- Integration of specific business or enterprise needs
Faster (self-) service
Kiosk mode also makes it easier for customers to get faster service, as they do not have to wait in line to be serviced. Kiosks are usually wall-mounted or stand-alone digital devices that users can use at their own pace, and they accelerate transactions and facilitate ease of payment.
These types of devices are already being used in high-traffic establishments like restaurants and airports. Customers can easily navigate the kiosks with a straightforward, easy-to-use interface. A lot of kiosks (such as food ordering kiosks) also allow for wireless payment, so customers can comfortably wait for their orders after paying.
Better customer engagement
Kiosks are also great for marketing purposes because they allow businesses to engage with users through an interactive digital experience. From an advertising and marketing standpoint, kiosks are great at encouraging engagement among potential customers and garnering user attention. They can easily be customized to suit business needs for advertising and marketing. Kiosks also allow brands to carry out attractive campaigns through digital content, eliminating the need for expensive and bulky print materials.
Different types of kiosk devices
Kiosks can be used for various applications and they are typically found in airports, retail stores, hospitals, schools, company cafeterias, and other high-traffic locations. Kiosk devices are normally used as self-check-in and self-service kiosks, digital signage kiosks, or self-operated mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems.
Below are the most common types of kiosk devices:
POS or mobile point of sale (mPOS)
A mobile point of sale (mPOS) is the most common use case for kiosk devices. MPOS devices can be used basically everywhere, from restaurants to retail stores. A mobile POS can be a tablet, smartphone, or another electronic device that can be used as a cash register.
Most stores use Android or iOS tablets for this purpose or specifically built mPOS payment terminals.
Self-service kiosks are interactive kiosks used for various purposes, like:
- Ordering food at a takeaway or self-service restaurants
- Bills payment
- Appointment setting
- Filling out forms
- Purchasing parking tickets
- ATMs for depositing and withdrawing cash
- Paying for hospital prescriptions
Info screen or digital signage
Info screens or digital signages are typically used to educate or provide the user with static information. They are usually placed in shopping malls, museums, and theme parks for the purpose of providing directions and other relevant navigational information. They are usually locked as single-app kiosks.
They can also be used as interactive kiosks wherein users can zoom in and out of various elements on the screen. Other common use applications are:
- Providing patient information in hospitals
- Providing product information and availability in retail stores
- Displaying timetables and schedules in transport hubs
- Displaying ads (photos, videos, presentations, audio) in public spaces such as trade shows, expos, events, and offices
Special use devices in different industries
Kiosks can also be used for specific, repetitive tasks in different industries, including:
- Delivery tracking in the logistics industry
- Stock level monitoring in manufacturing
- Movie ticket scanning in movie theaters
- Sharing devices for internal company use
- Teaching in schools and kindergartens
- Viewing patient information in the healthcare industry or in telehealth
- Viewing seating charts and order information by restaurant employees
How to enable kiosk mode?
When you want to turn your devices into kiosk mode, you can either use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution or kiosk software.
MDM is a great option for setting multiple devices into kiosk mode at once and controlling them remotely. If you are not using an MDM, and you want to set one or a few devices into kiosk mode, you can use kiosk software or an app. However, this would also mean that every device needs to be set into kiosk mode separately.
When setting devices into kiosk mode, you typically configure:
- Application settings: You can lock your devices into a single or multiple applications, e.g., Chrome or Firefox, and define the default home page, and which URLs can be visited.
- Device settings: You can deny adjusting volume or using external USB devices, configure display settings, such as screen timeout, and define Wi-Fi settings.
With Miradore, you can easily configure:
- Android kiosk mode for a single application
- Android kiosk for multiple applications
- Android kiosk mode for Samsung devices
- iPad kiosk mode
- iPhone kiosk mode
In addition to the kiosk mode feature, using MDM gives you access to a variety of other useful device management features. You can keep track of your entire device fleet, set various device configurations (e.g., email, Wi-Fi, VPN), secure devices and data, manage applications, and automate device enrollment tasks.
Finding complete and reliable solutions for kiosks, such as Miradore MDM, can spell the difference between good and bad service delivered to consumers and other end-users. In addition to kiosk mode, Miradore offers easy device management for securing and managing all sorts of devices (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac) in one place.
If you want to know more about kiosk mode or Miradore in general, get in touch with us or start a free trial.