Jola Moss, marketing director of NCR, did a demo of NCR’s new kiosk at a recent trade show. This is the kiosk that was developed for Blockbuster to use in its test deployment of kiosks to compete with Redbox, DVDPlay and others.
In addition to the demo, she also discussed the future of possible “digital download” kiosks NCR is developing using newly developed SD cards to get the movies from the kiosk to your home. Now if only everybody had SD cards built-in to their TVs!
Check out the hardware and software specs of the new kiosk, and watch the video after the break.
In its current form, the kiosk is quite ugly with a very retro, ATM-like design. Not nearly as elegant as the Redbox kiosks we are used to, but I assume they may tweak the design when they install it at actual retail locations. The card reader also looks quite susceptible to phishing attacks like we saw early this year at Redbox.
The system uses RFID to track the discs, which means no barcode scanning is necessary. Discs can be inserted either direction and the kiosk can still read it. This should be nice for inventory control and make it less likely a customer will return a disc and still be charged because of bad barcodes.
With RFID, the system should always have an accurate account of exactly which discs are in the machine, as well. As long as the technology holds up, this should be a step forward for the kiosk owners and customers alike.
The DVD return slot is a bit weird, and it appears that the DVDs are stored “naked” in the kiosk, with no case like those used at Redbox. While this could allow for more inventory to be stored in the kiosk, it could cause the discs to be more easily scratched. As Redbox knows, scratched and unplayable discs are a customer service nightmare.
Update: Apparently the DVDs are not stored “naked”, but the machine takes the entire black sleeve back into the machine. Thanks to Steve for clarifying.
The software seems adequate, with title sorting, DVD cover art, etc. I saw no place for entering a promo code in the demo, but something like that is easily added. Software can easily be changed, and Redbox has had a lot of time to improve their software to make it easy to use, so I will give NCR the benefit of the doubt in this area.
Check out the video below and let me know what you think.
Source: Self-service & Kiosk Association