Jump to content

What's your dream kiosk software?


tyler
 Share

Recommended Posts

Really several questions.

Most importantly, What does your dream kiosk do? What do you want to be able to customize, what do you want to be able to enable/disable? Do you need something that supports local photo printing, or is it all going to go to your wet/drylab? How big is the screen? Does it need bluetooth support? How about WiFi?

But also,

What's the minimum you would use in your business? (at any price, free or not) Does it have to support cropping? Does it have to tie into your minilab, or is a shared folder enough? Does it need to support greeting cards, custom text and red-eye removal?

What is your max and ideal price point for the software? How about the hardware? How about paying for a support contract (assuming it's fully functional) Are you more likely to have multiple kiosks if the software was less expensive than current commercial options? What about free software and $400 (or euros) a year for a support contract, would you buy the contract? What if it were $400 for 6 hours of support, or $1000 for unlimited support?

What about open-source kiosks? Would you pay more, less or no difference for open-source software? Would you be willing to pay extra one time to add features you wanted? Would you want to just use it and not support it financially? Would your business be able to use (or prefer to use/not use) open-source kiosks? Would you be able to contribute code, or icons, bug reports, documentation back to the open-source software?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

My dream kiosk software:

1 Would be low cost, on a per computer basis, like most regular software. (not a site license like Xkiosk!) And would not have on going license fees .

2 Would be able to be used on any low spec computer.

3 Idealy have basic editing, like cropping, redeye, b&w.

4 Would allow to quickly browse to a file or folder

5 Would be simple, fast, reliable & safe.

6 Would just save images to a shared folder, for printing

7 Could be customised to add sizes, photo gifts ect. and to be able to personalise the graphics.

It really shouldn't be that hard, all you need to do is be able to select the images you want quickly and save them to a suitably named folder/s. Why kiosk software should be so expensive and complicated is beyond me. :-/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- It should also have a quick and fast print selection ability - similar to Dakis - I say similar because we don't want to violate patents - like Kodak seems to be trying to enforce lately.

- ability to handle most image types - except RAW

- easy to create templates for print overlays, calendars, photo gifts, etc.

more to come I'm sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kiosk interface/GUI should be as similar as possible to the same software running online so our customers only have one learning experience.

My whole estate of kiosks should be centrally administered so i can quickly and easily change my offering/prices/promotions etc.

It should be straightforward to self create templates for new or seasonal themed products.

Templates should be tradable, so i can give/share/swap/buy new creations.

The software creaters should support a client user forum where ideas and experiences can be exchanged, and issues asked and addressed, and future updates suggested.

It's not about price, it's about value.

I would probably prefere to just buy licences and source my own hardware, but that can create issues which can be hard to support, so maybe i have to buy the whole bundle .....

Second and extra kiosks should be discounted.

Annual licences should be optional, meaning that the supplier is incentivised to keep improving their product so owners keep paying annual fees.

It should be easy to skin, so I can theme my kiosks so they don't look same as multiples.

It should be ready now, coz I want to upgrade a few !

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Where are you going with this Tyler? Are we about to see a lauch of software that WE want, not what our suppliers want?

My Kiosks use photo-me s/w which is rubbish. Very slow to load photos.

I wouldn't mind upgrading the software to make them faster, and able to order items other than prints and CD's. But, it would have to be cheap and easy to self update with new graphics, pricing, products etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Orundarkes,

I know and like your on-line 3cent solution, but not willing to pay the monthly for the kiosk as our volume doesn't allow me to use that....  

The Kiosk application is where a "freebie" / mostly freebie / shareware would be very helpful for this community, and allow, all of us, to start the "Template Sharing Program" that was discussed last year.  

IF Tyler here can follow through with a worthy application that could be installed on any computer with a simple touch screen interface, SUPER easy to use, LOTS OF COOL Features (collages/posters/cards/folding cards/birth announcements/etc/red eye/cropping/rotating/text/fonts/colors/backgrounds/blurs/thankyou cards/etc.), AND be cost effective, then GREAT, we might try it.  But I'm not sure if I want to invest in new Kiosk hardware for a solution that might die with the single unsupported software developer that is Tyler.... The touch screen drivers for the kiosk I'm using now are impossible to find, and the CPU is quite slow, but can I afford another $800-1200 for new hardware ?  per kiosk ??  

Based on Tyler's questions, his kiosk software is probably going to be more expensive than your monthly charge for the kiosk.... and there will be (possibly) support costs to troubleshoot or add new features... and this is where things can get scary.  How does Tyler control all the separate features that he's customizing the "base model" off of for all the individual photo labs ?  Or do you Roll them all up once a year ?  This probably won't end up being the "LINUX" of kiosk software, but you never know.... if it was open sourced, and anyone could / would make changes to it, then it could be possible that YOU (Dakis) take a chunk of it, but who knows.... it's still just a dream.

For now, I'm looking to sell my existing Kiosks, and invest in a refurb HP Photosmart Kiosk system because my employees really liked playing with them at PMA, and they are FEATURE RICH, EASY TO USE, FAST and somewhat customizable, but I don't like having to buy yet another "server" to process the images / collages/etc, but if it's necessary so be it, for the features I WANT my customers to have.

BUT I want to be able to create my own cards AND support (& take advantage of) the future (yet to be created) Mini Lab Help "Template Sharing Program" - It truly is a difficult time to be in the photo business....  No wonder I'm getting fat, grey and bald...  :'(

Send me a PM and we can talk - you already know me.

@Tyler:

Go take a look at the HP photosmart kiosk solution.  I want it's features without the monthly/annual subscription fees, I want a template sharing solution whereby ALL mini-lab help users can contribute and (based upon points) download templates that others have put up, but having that single "base model kiosk software" where all of us can use and contribute to would be very cool.  That way if one of us makes a 2011 calendar, all of us could have it on our kiosks, etc, etc...

Worst case, we can trade multi-layer PSD or TIFF files, I hate flatted photoshop files.

sorry for rambling.... these daylight savings hours are killing me....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big Dave- I like what you are saying.

None of us want expensive solutions, there simply is not the money available. However together we can , all of us, be a major resource. How do we go about it? I truly don't know, like you , too old and grey  ;D

Anyone have a teenage computer whizz kid that needs some extra pocket money ???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have lot of templates collections.....all are self designed...if anybody need i can give free. all are 6x4 sizes.

C.R

that's nice of you!

Can you e-mail them to me at

qualityexposed@btinternet.com

and does anyone know how I can load them into a DKS1550?  Pskaro ?? Are you there  ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I was watching this thread, but apparently I missed all the action! So I'll comment on some things now.

The sad fact though, is that you would get some twit, that would then copy and then sell for gain.

This is true-ish. But an open-sourced solution with a restrictive license (like the GPL or Affero) would make it so even someone who wanted to charge for the open-source code (which they can do) would then be required by law to distribute the source, and couldn't stop further distribution. Open-source could work from a commercial standpoint just because of service contracts, guaranteed to work kiosks, etc. Plus, why would someone buy Evil-Theif's knockoff kiosk when they could buy/download White-Kinght's open-source version if they were the same?

Hardware. I saw at least one mention of being usable on low speced computers. Which I sort of agree with. But there are technical limitations to that. A 10 year old pentium 3 is going to be slow as molasses loading newer digital media cards. You shouldn't need a quad-core with 16gb of memory and 4 Tb of storage, but the lower end for new systems is probably a pentium 4 ~3 ghz with 100-200 gigs of storage and 2+ gigs of memory.

I'm shooting for platform independence, and I haven't really seen much in the way of issues with hardware (if the hardware has drivers that are supported by the underlying OS they work in the software). This is more how I've seen HP and Noritsu handling their card readers, receipt printers and touchscreens.

Skinning. This would probably be something I wouldn't actively support but would publish information on. Does anyone remember the Winamp3 days, where every app was totally skinnable and with each skin you had to re-learn how to use the app? No? Well I do. Skinning is a usability nightmare.

Customizability, however, is easy. (think Windows themes and backgrounds). Essentially colors of buttons, background images, logos etc.

Templates. My thought here would be support for TIFF, PNG and SVG templates. I've not really looked into how other kiosks do multipage templates (like calendars) so that's something I'll have to look into.

Price.  How about optional support plans, would anyone purchase them? A prebuilt kiosk system (HP touchsmart probably) that's a bit more expensive with a warranty has also been suggested.

Management @philspectrum brought up

My whole estate of kiosks should be centrally administered so i can quickly and easily change my offering/prices/promotions etc.
I'd not even considered that. But to do so it would require running a server that the kiosks could get information from. There's no reason the examples given couldn't just be a single shared configuration file. So a simple SFTP or HTTP server would work.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No wanting to be a Fly in the ointment, but should one not consider the sort of Kiosk our customers require.

At the end of the Day they will be using them so they need to be happy with the look of both hardware and software.

You are correct, but I don't see how you're being a fly in the ointment. Customers want easy. Sure, some might take hours on a kiosk fiddling with color corrections, custom borders, text, and effects. but most just want to order their images and have them printed. Similarly most labs don't want customers to spend hours on the kiosks.

Depending on the lab I've seen the main customer workflows be different. Some labs have a majority of customers who want a few specific images. Some have customers who are printing digital photos as if they were shooting film (2 each 4x6"). Some predominantly just want to offload their card to a CD/DVD. And around the holidays most customers are ordering greeting cards.

So I think the ability to customize the workflow is beneficial. But mostly people want fast and easy. I hate waiting for the kiosk to read my card when I go somewhere to get prints. I hate how slow some operations are. So, fast and easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to split "preview and select (4x6)"

and the fancy services.

I'm not interested in preview select, I want a great kiosk that sells the big value added sales.

Books, callendars, montages, and photo gifts. All with great templates that are easily adjusted for season or holiday.

Frankly anyone who expects to run kiosk on a scrappy old PC is not thinking outside the box.

Once I've set somthing up I want it to last forever, a few hundred quid at the start is inconsequential in the long term, and with a decent Pc is will perform!

P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to split "preview and select (4x6)" and the fancy services. I'm not interested in preview select, I want a great kiosk that sells the big value added sales.

Interesting I'd not considered that option.

Books, callendars, montages, and photo gifts. All with great templates that are easily adjusted for season or holiday.

Like I said previously, support for tiff, png and svg is planned. I'd welcome any input on how calendars are done.

Frankly anyone who expects to run kiosk on a scrappy old PC is not thinking outside the box. Once I've set somthing up I want it to last forever, a few hundred quid at the start is inconsequential in the long term, and with a decent Pc is will perform!

This is how I feel. I'd rather spend extra now and be able to upgrade it a few times than just toss it on some old thing. That being said, I don't see the point in using the new processors and not taking complete advantage of them. I think that a 5-8 year lifespan (with commodity part upgrades) for a kiosk is reasonable. Much longer and you're not keeping pace with the changes in camera and memory card technology..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Together all minilab owner can organize a fund collection (donation collection maybe).

We could start implementing a project. Looking at current Adobe Flash/Flex/AIR feature set, it can easily handle all kind of image format. Who knows even RAW in future ?

Being AIR app, it can work as Kiosk. When you upload the same app to website it can become your remote order system. Your customer will always see same interface, over time they will be happy to order from home itself.

I am really interested to have an application that can be kiosk as well web order.

A good development team can get things done nicely. now don’t say iPad doesn’t support flash so its a waste technology.

I like open source, but in this case I would recommend having it as Donation ware. donate some $$ every year to keep the app improving. Also if you need extra feature contribute $$ towards it.

My experience with Freelance site on developing appl has been quite good, hence the recommendation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Together all minilab owner can organize a fund collection (donation collection maybe).

That's an interesting thought, but generally projects don't do well if the developers aren't intimately familiar with the problem space.

We could start implementing a project. Looking at current Adobe Flash/Flex/AIR feature set, it can easily handle all kind of image format. Who knows even RAW in future ?

Being AIR app, it can work as Kiosk. When you upload the same app to website it can become your remote order system. Your customer will always see same interface, over time they will be happy to order from home itself.

To this I'm going to say, "Good luck." As some may have noticed with other Flash based kiosk software, the Actionscript VM (this is what Flash runs on) is pretty slow. The toy Python implementation I worked on for selecting photos and outputting print size and quantity is easily 100x as fast as the most prominent flash-based kiosk solution. Now it didn't have interactive cropping, red-eye removal or support for borders, but loading and processing the images was much faster.

I am really interested to have an application that can be kiosk as well web order.

I don't really understand this from a consumer perspective. If to print at my local shop I have to create yet another account on yet another website that's going to piss me off. Combine that with requiring payment at the time of request for off-site orders (what if a bot/kid just made thousands of legitimate looking orders?) and I think it's kind of a lot to ask from a kiosk.

Support for existing web applications (flickr, smugmug, picasa, lifepics) is much simpler, more usable, and much less likely to end with customer frustration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...