Smart Kiosks

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About Smart Kiosks

Kiosks Solution’s Mini Kiosks is powered by Intel® vPro™ technology. Intel® vPro™ technology provide down-the-wire proactive security and manageability capabilities-even for PCs whose power is off or whose operating system is down. These PCs also include virtualization capabilities that allow IT managers to enhance third-party virtualization technologies , it has been designed with the following features :

Why SmartKiosk

Encrypted remote power up/down/reset (via wake-on-LAN, or WOL)
Remote/redirected boot (via integrated device electronics redirect, or IDE-R)
Console redirection (via serial over LAN, or SOL)
Preboot access to BIOS settings
Programmable filtering for inbound and outbound network traffic
Agent presence checking
Out-of-band policy-based alerting
Access to system information, such as the PC's universally unique identifier (UUID), hardware asset information, persistent event logs, and other information that is stored in dedicated memory (not on the hard drive) where it is accessible even if the OS is down or the PC is powered off.
Intel vPro supports encrypted wired and wireless LAN wireless communication for all remote management features for PCs inside the corporate firewall.[11] Intel vPro supports encrypted communication for some remote management features for wired and wireless LAN PCs outside the corporate firewall.
Intel vPro PCs support wireless communication to the AMT features.
For wireless laptops on battery power, communication with AMT features can occur when the system is awake and connected to the corporate network. This communication is available if the OS is down or management agents are missing.
AMT out-of-band communication and some AMT features are available for wireless or wired laptops connected to the corporate network over a host OS-based virtual private network (VPN) when laptops are awake and working properly.
A wireless connection operates at two levels: the wireless network interface (WLAN) and the interface driver executing on the platform host. The network interface manages the RF communications connection.
If the user turns off the wireless transmitter/receiver using either a hardware or software switch, Intel AMT cannot use the wireless interface under any conditions until the user turns on the wireless transmitter/receiver.
Intel AMT Release 2.5/2.6 can send and receive management traffic via the WLAN only when the platform is in the S0 power state (the computer is on and running). It does not receive wireless traffic when the host is asleep or off. If the power state permits it, Intel AMT Release 2.5/2.6 can continue to send and receive out-of-band traffic when the platform is in an Sx state, but only via a wired LAN connection, if one exists.
Release 4.0 and later releases support wireless out-of-band manageability in Sx states, depending on the power setting and other configuration parameters.
Release 7.0 supports wireless manageability on desktop platforms
When a wireless connection is established on a host platform, it is based on a wireless profile that sets up names, passwords and other security elements used to authenticate the platform to the wireless Access Point. The user or the IT organization defines one or more profiles using a tool such as Intel PROSet/Wireless Software. In release 2.5/6, Intel AMT must have a corresponding wireless profile to receive out-of-band traffic over the same wireless link. The network interface API allows defining one or more wireless profiles using the same parameters as the Intel PROSet/Wireless Software. See Wireless Profile Parameters. On power-up of the host, Intel AMT communicates with the wireless LAN driver on the host. When the driver and Intel AMT find matching profiles, the driver routes traffic addressed to the Intel AMT device for manageability processing. With certain limitations, Intel AMT Release 4.0/1 can send and receive out-of-band traffic without an Intel AMT configured wireless profile, as long as the host driver is active and the platform is inside the enterprise.
Intel vPro PCs support encrypted communication while roaming.
vPro PCs version 4.0 or higher support security for mobile communications by establishing a secure tunnel for encrypted AMT communication with the managed service provider when roaming (operating on an open, wired LAN outside the corporate firewall).[11] Secure communication with AMT can be established if the laptop is powered down or the OS is disabled.[11] The AMT encrypted communication tunnel is designed to allow sys-admins to access a laptop or desktop PC at satellite offices where there is no on-site proxy server or management server appliance.
Secure communications outside the corporate firewall depend on adding a new element—a management presence server (Intel calls this a "vPro-enabled gateway")—to the network infrastructure.[11] This requires integration with network switch manufacturers, firewall vendors, and vendors who design management consoles to create infrastructure that supports encrypted roaming communication. So although encrypted roaming communication is enabled as a feature in vPro PCs version 4.0 and higher, the feature will not be fully usable until the infrastructure is in place and functional

Usage Model

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Queue Management System

Kiosk-based queuing systems are often used for medical, banking, and many governmental service locations. As people arrive, they enter basic information into a kiosk about themselves and the reason for their visit. The information is organized and presented to staff to allow for faster customer service response. Kiosk-based systems also include an information tracking system for the business to report on statistics such as wait times, the volume of traffic and staff performance.
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Food/Ticketing Ordering System

An interactive kiosk is a computer terminal featuring specialized hardware and software that provides access to information and applications for communication, commerce, entertainment, food industry or education.

Early interactive kiosks sometimes resembled telephone booths, but have been embraced by retail, food service and hospitality to improve customer service. Interactive kiosks are typically placed in high foot traffic settings such as shops, hotel lobbies or airports.

Integration of technology allows kiosks to perform a wide range of functions, evolving into self-service kiosks. For example, kiosks may enable users to order from a shop's catalogue when items are not in stock, check out a library book, look up information about products, issue a hotel key card, enter a public utility bill account number in order to perform an online transaction, or collect cash in exchange for merchandise. Customised components such as coin hoppers, bill acceptors, card readers and thermal printers enable kiosks to meet the owner's specialised needs.

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Point of Sales (POS)

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Cloud Based

cloud-based

The advent of cloud computing has given birth to the possibility of POS systems to be deployed as software as a service, which can be accessed directly from the Internet using any internet browser. Using the previous advances in the communication protocols for POS’s control of hardware, cloud-based POS systems are independent from platform and operating system limitations. Cloud-based POS systems are also created to be compatible with a wide range of POS hardware like the Smart Kiosks. Thus cloud-based POS also helped expand POS systems to mobile devices, such as tablet computers or smartphones.[12] These devices can also act as barcode readers using a built-in camera and as payment terminals using built-in NFC technology or an external payment card reader. A number of POS companies built their software specifically to be cloud-based. Other businesses who launched pre-2000s have since adapted their software to evolving technology.

Cloud-based POS systems are different from traditional POS largely because user data, including sales and inventory, are not stored locally, but in a remote server. The POS system is also not run locally, so there is no installation required.

Depending on the POS vendor and the terms of contract, compared to traditional on-premises POS installation, the software is more likely to be continually updated by the developer with more useful features and better performance in terms of computer resources at the remote server and in terms of lesser bugs and errors.

Other advantages of a cloud-based POS are instant centralization of data (important especially to chain stores), ability to access data from anywhere there is internet connection, and lower start-up costs.

Cloud based POS requires an internet connection. For this reason it important to use a device with 3G connectivity in case the device’s primary internet goes down. In addition to being significantly less expensive than traditional legacy point of sale systems, the real strength of a cloud based point of sale system is that there are developers all over the world creating software applications for cloud based POS. Cloud based POS systems are often described as future proof as new applications are constantly being conceived and built.

A number of noted emerging cloud-based POS systems came on the scene less than a decade or even half a decade back. These systems are usually designed for restaurants, small and medium-sized retail operations with fairly simple sale processes as can be culled from POS system review sites. It appears from such software reviews that enterprise-level cloud-based POS systems are currently lacking in the market. “Enterprise-level” here means that the inventory should be capable of handling a large number of records, such as required by grocery stores and supermarkets. It can also mean that the system—software and cloud server—must be capable of generating reports such as analytics of sale against inventory for both a single and multiple outlets that are interlinked for administration by the headquarters of the business operation.

POS vendors of such cloud based systems should also have a strong contingency plan for the breakdown of their remote server such as represented by fail-over server support. However, sometimes even a major data center can fail completely, such as in a fire. On-premises installations are therefore sometimes seen alongside cloud-based implementation to preempt such incidents, especially for businesses with very high traffic. However the on-premises installations may not have the most up-to-date inventory and membership information.

For such contingency, a more innovative though highly complex approach for the developer is to have a trimmed down version of the POS system installed on the cashier computer at the outlet. On a daily basis the latest inventory and membership information from the remote server is automatically updated into the local database. Thus should the remote server fail, the cashier can switch over to the local sale window without disrupting sales. When the remote server is restored and the cashier switches over to the cloud system, the locally processed sale records are then automatically submitted to the remote system, thus maintaining the integrity of the remote database.

Although cloud-based POS systems save the end-user startup cost and technical challenges in maintaining an otherwise on-premises installation, there is a risk that should the cloud-based vendor close down it may result in more immediate termination of services for the end-user compared to the case of a traditional full on-premises POS system where it can still run without the vendor.

Another consideration is that a cloud-based POS system actually exposes business data to service providers – the hosting service company and the POS vendor which have access to both the application and database. The importance of securing critical business information such as supplier names, top selling items, customer relationship processes cannot be underestimated given that sometimes the few key success factors or trade secrets of a business are actually accessible through the POS system. This security and privacy concern is an ongoing issue in cloud computing.

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Retail Based

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The retail industry is one of the predominant users of POS terminals. A retail point of sale system typically includes a cash register (which in recent times comprises a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner) and the majority of retail POS systems also include a debit/credit card reader. It can also include a conveyor belt, weight scale, integrated credit card processing system, a signature capture device and a customer pin pad device. While the system may include a keyboard and mouse, more and more POS monitors use touch-screen technology for ease of use, and a computer is built into the monitor chassis for what is referred to as an all-in-one unit. All-in-one POS units liberate counter space for the retailer. The POS system software can typically handle a myriad of customer based functions such as sales, returns, exchanges, layaways, gift cards, gift registries, customer loyalty programs, promotions, discounts and much more. POS software can also allow for functions such as pre-planned promotional sales, manufacturer coupon validation, foreign currency handling and multiple payment types.

The POS unit handles the sales to the consumer but it is only one part of the entire POS system used in a retail business. “Back-office” computers typically handle other functions of the POS system such as inventory control, purchasing, receiving and transferring of products to and from other locations. Other typical functions of a POS system are: store sales information for enabling customer returns, reporting purposes, sales trends and cost/price/profit analysis. Customer information may be stored for receivables management, marketing purposes and specific buying analysis. Many retail POS systems include an accounting interface that “feeds” sales and cost of goods information to independent accounting applications.

A multiple point of sale system used by big retailers like supermarkets and department stores has a far more demanding database and software architecture than that of a single station seen in small retail outlets. A supermarket with high traffic cannot afford a systemic failure, hence each point of sale station should not only be very robust both in terms of software, database and hardware specifications but also designed in such a way as to prevent causing a systemic failure – such as may happen through the use of a single central database for operations.

At the same time updating between multiple stations and the back end administrative computer should be capable of being efficiently performed, so that on one hand either at the start of the day or at any time each station will have the latest inventory to process all items for sale, while on the other hand at the end of the day the back end administrative computer can be updated in terms of all sale records.

This gets even more complicated when there is a membership system requiring real-time two-way updating of membership points between sale stations and the back end administrative computer.

Recently new applications have been introduced, enabling POS transactions to be conducted using mobile phones and tablets. According to a recent study, mobile POS (mPOS) terminals are expected to replace the contemporary payment techniques because of various features including mobility, upfront low cost investment and better user experience.

In the mid-2000s, the blind community in the United States engaged in structured negotiations to ensure that retail point of sale devices had tactile keypads. Without keys that can be felt, a blind person cannot independently enter her or his PIN. In the mid-2000s retailers began using “flat screen” or “signature capture” devices that eliminated tactile keypads. Blind people were forced to share their confidential PIN with store clerks in order to use their debit and other PIN-based cards. The blind community reached agreement with Walmart, Target, CVS and eight other retailers that required real keys so blind people could use the devices.

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General Specification

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