The Importance of Touch Screen Technology in Kiosks
Touch screen technology in kiosks / vending machines are now part of our everyday lives, whether it be from ordering a coffee, or paying for a parking ticket. It would be easy to assume that the display and touch element is a simple ‘desktop monitor’, but there are many more factors that need to be considered.
By Richard Murton, Systems Solutions Manager, Crystal Display Systems
Many attributes of a kiosk are assumed, i.e. the product being vended is of a certain quality, or services being provided are to be correct, as will there be an obvious expectation for the kiosk to be working etc. Failure to meet this will deem the kiosk to be good or bad. Even a working kiosk which is poor-quality will have a negative impact on the brand. The CDS goal is therefore to provide a high quality, reliable product which is aesthetically pleasing.
Ultimately once the consumer is in front of the kiosk they will be focusing on the ease and quality of interaction through the display and touchscreen. This is the reason CDS consider the display and touch choice a critical part of any kiosk design.
With access to OEM manufacturers, CDS has the ability to meet these needs without sacrificing any of the important design factors and most importantly are able to offer a competitively priced product. All components used with the design are A-Grade industrial components, that are selected to ensure they are fit for purpose for the usage. The parts a chosen for their quality, reliability and longevity of supply.
Depending on each individual application, CDS offers standard touchscreen monitors for all environments. Experts are in place to help direct the client to match the application brief to the end product - from a simple indoor information point through to an IP rated outdoor high bright solution.
We have covered a wide range of applications including in-store retail style product information kiosks to outdoor extended temperature ruggedised vandal resistant kiosks.
The standard range consists of display sizes from five to 86”, all available with optional touchscreen and choice of interface including HDMI / Integrated PC or Android player. The screens have wide viewing angle and are available from standard brightness through to super high 2500cd brightness for outdoor applications.
Where the standard range does not meet the exact brief, CDS have the ability to design / develop custom solutions. This can be in the form of a tweak to a standard monitor or a full-blown custom design. Many characteristics are considered, including mounting configuration, weight, and ease of maintenance.
Where a client is already using an existing monitor, CDS can quickly develop a mechanically compatible alternative with no/low tooling and can generally supply samples in 3-4 weeks (depending on complexity)
The interaction is critical to any kiosk. With the technological development of the projective capacitive (PCAP) touch screen CDS are able to design a true flat glass look (we call this ‘tabletesque’) by laminating a bespoke cover-glass over the front of the PCAP sensor.
This cover-glass can be fully customised with its oversize perimeter shape, adding holes and rear screen printed to give a fully branded solution with company logo, legends and icons. Suddenly, ignoring the technical benefits of the industrial components, the solution moves far away from a ‘desktop monitor’.
For applications where visibility is critical, but the power/heat from a super bright backlight causes issues, CDS have full optical bonding capability. Optical Bonding is the application of a silicone layer within the void between the front of the LCD and the rear of the touch/glass. This eliminates the air gap and reduces the internal reflections.
The result is to massively reduce the contrast washout in high ambient light conditions. Other advantages include increased ruggedness, UV protection, better heat dissipation, and avoidance in contamination / condensation (fogging). CDS have a range of optical bonding optimised TFT displays which have been developed with an efficient brightness/power ratio.