How to install an iPad kiosk successfully

Posted on: 2014-05-17

Whether you are planing to display an iPad kiosk or Android kiosk inside an office, a shop, an hotel or a public area, there’s a few things to consider and that needs to be plan ahead for a successful installation. Indeed, deciding to install one or multiple iPad Kiosk is not the same as shortlisting a software or a kiosk mobile application.

Selecting and installing iPad kiosks requires some planing so we propose some tips and advices on the keys things to consider during your project.

1- Selecting the correct type of iPad kiosk

iPad and Android kiosks usually fall into the following categories.

– On-Wall (Wall-mount) kiosk that would be ideal to collect visitors feedback in public space or to display a tablet at the entrance of a meeting room.

Wall mount iPad Kiosk, best for  public area, airport, train station or toilet.

Wall mount iPad Kiosk, best for public area, airport, train station or toilet.

– Standee (kiosk with a leg)  is a good choice to display a tablet  during temporary events, be it a trade-show or an exhibition. These are commonly use to collect some visitors or prospects information and for displaying a product or company’s interactive presentation. The quality of the leg is quite important to ensure that the standee will not fall or be stolen easily.

iPad kiosk for temporary events, be it a trade-show or an exhibition

Best tablet kiosks for trade-show, exhibition or other open space with private access

– Countertop (on-desk kiosk) , best for  performing  check-in or check-out works directly at the counter. This kiosk is popular with hotel, hospital, clinic or leisure and hospitality related businesses.

Display iPad Kiosk or Android Tablet kisok on counter at the reception

Countertop iPad kiosk, best for check in or check out. Hospital, hotel, hospitality, medical, leisure or any reception.

Some providers also propose some imaginative and sleek accessories that truly can make the difference in the long run. We will dig later into theBut before digging in the list of kiosk providers, here is a list of the Top 5 things to consider when selecting a kiosk:

2- Robustness and longevity of your iPad Kiosk

The overall technical strength of the kiosk will be the first thing to consider when shortlisting your tablet kiosk. Indeed, if you are planing to permanently install a kiosk inside a public and high trafic place such as a train station or an airport, you’ll need to ensure that your kiosk will not broke after a week, or a month. If displaying a kiosk inside a local fashion shop or inside an office, your kiosk will probably not need to be as resistant and you’ll be able to focus more on aesthetics. Of course, with the proper budget, you can get both strength and beauty.

Kiosks made of  steel or polycarbonate are strong and resistant, hence are commonly used in outdoor furnitures and shall resist high trafic. On the other hand, glass or plastic made kiosks may be less strong but will probably get cheaper and easier to customise.

Metal Cased LCD for Industrial Displays

Robust, metal made kiosk

Also, if you are in a public area, you will want to make sure that your tablet is secure and that the kiosk can be closed with a key.

2- Form factors and the choice of the right tablet

Most tablet kiosks providers started out with the iPad in mind. Then Samsung Galaxy Tab became popular and started being supported. However, the tablet market is now filled with plenty of devices with multiple screen sizes, whether it is iPad Mini, Galaxy tab 10′, 11′ or 12′, Asus transformer or other Chinese made Android Tablet. Make sure to select a kiosk matching with the selected tablet and vice-versa. Your kiosk needs to be specifically produced to fit the length, width and depth of  your tablet. The power charger needs also to be at the exact right position. Brief, you do not want to have a floating tablet inside your kiosks.

Selecting the right kiosk for my iPad

Be careful of the position of your charging cable so it last longer.

With regards to shortlisting your tablet, it’s really up to your budget and OS preference. However, going for a usd 99 Android tablet should not be considered as a long-term choice and the risk of changing the tablet after 6 month of operation is quite high. For the time being, the iPad is still the most robust hardware (and probably software) in the market. Also, the iPad Guided Access or Parental Control mode make it easy to lock your ipad on one specific mobile application for your users. Here’s a complete guide to enable this guided access mode on iOS.

By the way, make sure to check with your provider whether the tablet external button such as the Home , Volume or Screen lock button will be accessible to the end-users. Also, do you need the front and back camera to be accessible to end users ? If so, make sure the kiosk provide the correct aperture to do so.

3- Battery and connectivity – position your kiosk at the right place

Perhaps not the first issue that comes into mind when selecting a kiosk, this is actually one of the most important part of the installation. If planned wrong, it may leads to extra un-budgeted installation costs inside the venue. If most kiosks  integrate with the iPad or Samsung charging cable, you need not to forget to ensure that the kiosk you are selecting is working with your selected device, especially providing a hidden, clean space to position the charger.

As we all know, the less cable are visible to the users, the more beautiful will the overall installation looks like.

Some questions you need to answer:

– If you are using a standee in the center of an open space, how are you gone manage the power jack ?

– If you are using a wall mount kiosk, are you willing to do extra work so that direct power arrives directly in the wall at the right height ?  Or perhaps you simply need to add a pipe or conduit to protect the power cable ?

– planing on an countertop kiosk ? make sure the power cable is not gone mess around all day when talking with customers.

To cater to these situation, maybe you will need to buy and extra-long charging cable  or a USB extension cable to reaching the closest power outlet. Some smart manufacturers have been thinking about this for us.

ipad floor stand with battery pack for bouncepad floorstanding

For exhibition, trade show or other short-term needs, the Power Bank could be the best way to manage power access

In order to have a neat installation, you’ll probably want to have a third party building companies to have a look at your installation. Perhaps a few hole in your wall or in the floor will have to be done or even a completely new retail experience should be designed. It’s always better to look for a professional to get the right advice and plan ahead of your plan. 

4- Branding and colour

in order to increase adoption and use of your iPad kiosk, you’ll probably want to have some customisation and add you logo, color and tagline to the kiosk. If you went for a countertop or wall-mount iPad kiosk, there’s probably not much that you’ll be able to customise. The easy road would be to simply print a sticker that will fit around the case.

The standee kiosk should provide more surface for your imagination and a complete re-design is often proposed by manufacturers.

Be aware that you’ll need a furniture designer to do so and provide the exact right file format to the provider. contrary to web design, there’s no second chance after the design is sent to the printer so you need to make sure that you’re designer is familiar with furniture design.

Integrate your iPad kiosk into your brand environment

Integrate your iPad kiosk into your brand environment and increase engagement and adoption. Image courtesy of Lilipad

5- Pricing

In our next article, we will introduce several kiosk providers and detail their pricing. However, make sure when doing overall  budgeting that you have priced for all accessories, design, hardware, shipping and installation costs that may apply for your specific projet.

Also, always keep in mind that you can get interesting discount when ordering in bulk. And bulk can start as low as 5 units. So if you need to cover your full retail networks, do not hesitate to make a trial with 3 different units from different providers, then test it out for a month. You’ll quickly see feedback from your customer with regards to beauty, ergonomic and whaooo effect.  Then you may be ready to pick the winner.

As a conclusion, we often see marketers minimising the investment of managing a kiosk installation. Indeed, purchasing the tablet and selecting the software/application provider is only the first step. Then you’ll really need to dig into hardware manufacturer and select the one that best suit your project, given your own constraints. This shortlisting process is really important in the overall success of your project.

Success will mean that your staffs and customers will engage and interact with your iPad kiosk. You will have created a new touch point that will buzz around and help you increase your brand experience.

Failure will end up in staff and customer rejections, ultimately resulting in throwing away the kiosk.

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