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Implementing An Affordable And 'Touchy' Kiosk Solution

NEC recently rolled out an integrated touch-screen solution that will allow VARs to provide more affordiable kiosk solutions and a much shorter lead time.

Kiosk solutions can be a somewhat tenuous market for solution providers to venture into because the majority of kiosks require many variations of ad hoc assembly from numerous hardware and software vendors. This typically results in a longer production lead time and an inflated price for the customer.

NEC recently rolled out an integrated touch-screen solution that will allow VARs to provide kiosk solutions to their customers at a much lower price point and with a much shorter lead time. In delivering touch solutions at a more affordable price, integrators should be able to produce kiosk projects faster and reduce the total cost of the implementation.

NEC&'s AccuSync Touch monitors come in two sizes, 15-inch and 17-inch. They also come in two distinct variations. The first variation is categorized as resistive touch, which is geared toward applications that require fast, reliable and accurate touch performance and is primarily aimed at the retail space. The resistive-enabled AccuSync monitors offer enhanced input flexibility when responding to multiple input stimuli, such as a gloved hand or stylus.

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The resolution of NEC&'s AccuSync Touch&'s display was just as dynamic with black-and-white scales as it was with color and text.

The other version, capacitive touch screen, has the added benefit of increased durability by resisting scratches and abrasions. This type would be more responsive in a factory environment where the screen would be exposed to contaminants such as dirt and liquids.

The 15-inch Resistive Touch AccuSync LCD52V and the 15-inch Capacitive Touch AccuSync LCD52V carry price tags of $594.99 and $739.99, respectively. The prices for the larger displays are $654.99 for the 17-inch Resistive Touch AccuSync LCD72V and $779.99 for the 17-inch Capacitive Touch AccuSync LCD72V.

CRN Test Center engineers were surprised to see such low prices for NEC&'s touch-screen solutions. In speaking with NEC, the vendor explained that with the number of touch solution vendors increasing, and with products becoming more price-competitive, it was imperative to make the cost of the total solution more affordable.

NEC went on to say that its manufacturing efficiencies combined with the overall lower cost of technology in the market have made the vendor&'s touch applications more of an attractive, feasible option for integrators and their end customers. With a low price point, NEC&'s AccuSync Touch products can be stored by integrators as inventory, which can lead to quicker turnaround on products and a greater ability to service end customers more efficiently.

The kiosk is an interactive tool that provides quick access to better service customers&' needs, whether it is in a shopping mall, a bank or an airport.

Deploying a kiosk solution in the retail market can help create a positive customer impression by providing a better brand- or product-navigation experience.

CRN Test Center engineers tested the 15-inch Capacitive Touch AccuSync LCD52V and found the resolution of the screen display to be just as dynamic with black-and-white scales as it was with color scales. But where the screen really earned its merit was the way it showcased text. The clarity and crispness of all text, regardless of color or size, was exceptional—which is highly important when it comes to full kiosk solutions since the information (numbers, letters) customers are seeking can&'t be misconstrued at all. With such a crisp display, solution providers should have no problem incorporating the device into a full kiosk solution for customers.

The design of the device is typical of what one would see in a 15-inch or 17-inch display. The NEC unit is crafted with a small footprint so it can fit into any space-conscious environment. It comes with a black shell and is height-adjustable.

CRN Test Center engineers were impressed with how well the 15-inch LCD52V responded to touch commands. Typically, touch-screen technology users must hone their sharp-shooting and precision skills in order to properly register a specific command. In a place of business, customers can grow frustrated with these unavoidable errors, which could very likely result in the loss of a sale.

In the case of the AccuSync LCD52V, however, it responded with almost 100 percent accuracy to each touch command.

A huge hurdle for integrators when deploying a kiosk solution is they have to bundle the correct applications and hardware in order to gain the full potential of the kiosk solution.

The NEC Solutions Partner Program provides a great network resource for integrators that can bring expertise such as content management, display enclosures, a card-swiper, speaker modules or mounting solutions into a project.

Besides the company&'s partner program, which provides integrators with the knowledge of piecing together a kiosk solution, NEC also has a channel program that consists of one sole level.

Bid pricing and discounted demo units are available for large sales, NEC said. Partners can receive priority technical support, education on third-party products and free sales and marketing tools. Priority technical support is available 24x7.

In addition, partners are given access to NEC&'s dedicated membership Web site and proposal-based market development funds. Solution provider partners must provide sales support, field service and solutions consultation. NEC backs its touch-screen displays with a three-year warranty.


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