What are Outdoor Kiosks?

Felicia Dye

An outdoor kiosk is a machine that allows people to perform tasks outside of the businesses they are related to. In some instances, the distance can be fairly close. An example would be a movie ticketing machine on the outer wall of the movie theater. In other instances, however, the distance can be substantial. This is often seen with automatic teller machines (ATMs) located several miles away from the banks that own them.

Many box offices have outdoor kiosks.
Many box offices have outdoor kiosks.

One of the main purposes for erecting an outdoor kiosk is to provide convenience. There are some transactions that can be automated so people are not required to employ the assistance of other people. These functions include buying transportation tickets, withdrawing money from a financial institution, and paying for fuel. Using these machines to conduct such transactions can also be profitable for companies by relieving them of some labor costs.

Automatic ticket dispensers are common to see at outdoor kiosks.
Automatic ticket dispensers are common to see at outdoor kiosks.

A kiosk may consist of only a card reader, such as the type of devices used at access points. In many cases, however, an outdoor kiosk will include a screen. These are usually liquid digital crystal (LCD). They allow information to be communicated and allow for more complex transactions that require offering the users options. Some machines operate in connection with a keypad, while others operate by way of touch screen functions.

Two outdoor kiosks can appear very similar but have different functions. This is possible because they may have different software. These programs determine what functions can be performed on a particular machine.

An outdoor kiosk may also appear similar to one located indoors. Even when both are used by the same company, it is not likely they are exactly the same. Different factors must be considered when placing these machines outdoors.

For example, it is generally important for an outdoor kiosk to be weather-resistant. There are usually many sensitive, electronic elements inside. Whether or not moisture from rain and snow will enter is one consideration. However, it is also important to make sure cold and hot temperatures or the shifts from one to another will not cause the machine to malfunction.

Since an outdoor kiosk is generally unmanned, it can be more susceptible to vandalism than an indoor machine. Some outdoor kiosks, such as ATMs, store money and may be seen as an easy target by thieves. It is important to make sure these machines are properly equipped to discourage or withstand malicious behavior.

ATM machines outside of a bank branch are a common type of outdoor kiosk.
ATM machines outside of a bank branch are a common type of outdoor kiosk.

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