Smart Product Enables Industry-Leading Research on Intelligent Kiosks
May 18, 2006 10:51 AM
announces its participation in cutting-edge research being conducted at the FedEx Institute of Technology
at the University of Memphis in Tennessee for the interactive kiosk and digital signage markets. The Memphis Intelligent Kiosk Initiative (MIKI) is a research project designed to investigate the preferred and most efficient forms of human interaction with information kiosks. The Actalyst interactive overlay, from Smart, fastens securely over a large flat-panel display to create a durable, touch-enabled kiosk. Using the recordings from this kiosk, researchers are studying how visitors to the FedEx Institute access information. The three-year project is the first of its kind for the institute and will help to define objective benchmarks for the emerging interactive kiosk market.
The intelligent kiosk allows visitors to find the location of more than 80 rooms within the institute as well as information on events at the institute, the history of the university, the MIKI project, and the institute’s various research groups. Researchers are attempting to determine if people prefer interacting with an animated onscreen character or just a computer-generated voice. They are also examining what methods of providing directions are most effective. The kiosk uses a camera to identify when people approach the kiosk and a speech-recognition system then begins to interact with them. These features allow people to find information by touching the digital display with a finger or speaking to the kiosk. Once a topic of interest has been identified, the kiosk can reply in a variety of ways, including verbally or with 3D animations, video presentations, images, or additional sound signals and music. The entire interaction is recorded so researchers can collect this valuable data and determine how it may be applied for the emerging interactive kiosk and digital signage markets.
“With the addition of the Actalyst interactive overlay and the unstructured speech interaction, MIKI has become more than a fancy display. It has become a personality with which visitors enjoy interacting and treat as they would a human receptionist,” says Lee McCauley, assistant professor, department of computer science, University of Memphis. “In numerous places where a static display or no assistance has been available before, an intelligent kiosk application, like MIKI, can be installed to enhance both marketing initiatives and efficiency. For retail locations in particular, an intelligent kiosk would be like a Google for ‘bricks-and-mortar,’ providing the information people want and creating targeted marketing for the retailer.”
“Smart is taking a leading role in the emerging interactive kiosk market by participating in this kind of research project,” says Nancy Knowlton, Smart’s president and co-CEO. “The Memphis Interactive Kiosk Initiative will provide facility designers, building planners, retailers, and numerous others with concrete evidence of why they should consider interactive digital signage over more traditional static displays.”
For more information about Actalyst interactive digital signage, visit www.smarttech.com.