Kiosks: There’s an App for That–Why Tablets and Smartphones Will Cannibalize the Kiosk Market

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Kiosk, Tablets

Many are familiar with Apple’s “there’s an app for that” commercial which aired back in 2009.

The innovation housed in today’s smartphone and tablet devices is revolutionizing the way we communicate, share and ultimate transact in a digital world. My personal opinion is that the strides made by utilizing such devices will further cannibalize many market sectors including, including one of our own–kiosks.

In the classic “creative destruction” scenario, smartphone apps may well replace everything having to do with a kiosk in the near future, especially as mobile payment and mobile ticketing solutions continue to become more prevalent. Here are a few ways it may be accomplished.

  1. Information Sharing. Some kiosks are nothing more than information portals for the masses. Touchscreen, wayfinding kiosks could easily be replaced by application development for iPads, tablets and smartphones. 
  2. Payment processing. Cinemark employs kiosks to process purchases of movie tickets. Mobile phone applications already do the same thing and will only get better as time progresses.
  3. Ticket Printing. Some kiosks are strictly made for printing tickets at “will call.” Groupon does the same thing with the digital version, complete with a bar code.

The chances that we’ll see much more development in the realms of kiosk manufacturing and deployment is minimal. My guess is that we’ll be seeing more large format touch screen digital signage before we’ll see the deployment of more self-service kiosk machines. The compelling argument would indicate that software developers in this industry should get accustomed to developing more for mobile applications than for kiosks.


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