The benefits of upgrading self-service technology in theme parks

19th December 2018
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
The benefits of upgrading self-service technology in theme parks

Nothing beats a theme park for thrills, excitement, magic and pure escapism. With global appeal, the world’s top theme parks promise the experience of a lifetime. Take 2017 for example, 20.45 million guests passed through the gates at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Millions more have visited associated and competing theme parks in Asia, Europe and across the US. Providing a positive customer experience for that number of guests is a logistical challenge.

Every detail must be planned with precision to ensure optimal performance is maintained at all times.

For many years, self-service kiosks have played a role in reducing queues, managing the flow of people and boosting revenue at Theme Parks. As technology evolves, some older systems no longer provide the service expected by park managers and more crucially by guests.

This was the experience of one of our customers, a theme park management company. Their dated technology, used to process guests through their entrance gates, was no longer reliable. Re-occurring errors were causing frustration for guests and employees. They decided that investment in new technology was essential.

Upgrades to self-service technology
With expertise in kiosk and theme park technology, M&A Technology was approached for a solution. They were keen to work in partnership with ARBOR Technology to manufacture the replacement system.

ARBOR Technology was delighted to work in partnership with M&A Technology to upgrade 300 of the customer’s existing self-service kiosks at 30 theme parks. The original kiosks relied on an overly complicated IT infrastructure and the technology was both outdated and no longer dependable. Our task was to work in a partnership to create a viable alternative.

The management company’s brief included the replacement of existing technology with new hardware that would enable Windows 8.1 Embedded. It was also important that the single board computer could drive two screens. To further enhance performance, it was also decided that the power supply should be increased to 500 Watts and that barcode and biometric scanning would be implemented. They also wanted the original kiosk casing to be used.

Steps to developing an efficient self-service kiosk
In terms of the work carried out by ARBOR Technology, the process is summarised below:

  • ARBOR’s EmCORE i230G-E3845SBC single board computer was selected to fulfil the demands of the application. It offered the capacity to support dual, independent displays and used an Intel Atom Processor.
  • We mounted the SBC boards into the existing kiosk enclosures. We also created custom cables and routed them to connect to every component to the board, including the barcode and biometric scanners.
  • To heighten safety, we incorporated a Lexan cover for the 500W power supply. The power switch was also replaced by a reset switch that connected to the SBC. This enabled standby voltage, along with Wake-On-LAN (WoL) for remote management.
  • Finally, AD/Adapter boards were utilised in order to connect the kiosk’s touch screen.
  • With manufacturing and rigorously testing complete, M&A Technology managed the rollout and installation of the 300 upgraded self-service kiosks across 30 theme parks.

The benefits of upgrading self-service technology
By working in partnership, ARBOR and M&A Technology were able to provide a high performance solution that met the customer's brief. The results are greater efficiency at the theme park gates. The guest experience is enhanced by a quick, convenient and reliable system which has reduced queuing times.

The management company is rewarded by the increased revenue that has been generated by getting more people through the gates. The customer is also delighted that many of the complex maintenance issues associated with the old kiosks have been resolved.


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