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Time to add "silver box" to the kiosk rainbow?

Kiosk company Vigix has rolled out its next generation of kiosks, which it is calling the “first true vending kiosk”. Vigix vice president of marketing, Ross Elkin, says that existing kiosks out there, including Redboxes, are really just glorified vending machines.

Vigix’s new machines include video screens for digital signage, a standard 110-volt plug and a greatly reduced footprint—only about two-square-feet. The machines offer hard-wired or cellular-based Internet access. Besides purchasing items directly from the kiosk, customers can also use the kiosk owner’s online store to shop.

The kiosks will offer a wide variety of content, from watches to cellular phones and accessories to digital content. The Vigix kiosks could also sell or rent DVDs and contain enough space to hold 144 discs.

Elkin says that the following three factors make Vigix’s new box “the first true vending kiosk”:

  • The two-square-foot footprint makes it a kiosk in the sense that its profile, appearance and dimensions are similar to what we currently think of as informational or transactional kiosks;
  • Similar to current informational and transactional kiosks, Vigix kiosks are networked and controlled centrally. All user interface content, pricing and upper screen video can be monitored, changed and deployed from a central location using Vigix’s proprietary, Web-based software;
  • Vigix’s dispensing system and cartridge-swap re-supply process (also proprietary, patent-pending technology) are radically different from what’s available currently. Other machines such as Zoom or Redbox are some form of modified vending machine: electro-mechanical devices with belts, screw conveyors, and/or mechanical arms. They are a) large (Zoom has a footprint of about 30 sq. ft.; Redbox needs 9-15 sq. ft.), limiting the number of suitable locations; b) mechanical and thus prone to breakdowns; and c) labor-intensive, requiring a fleet of trucks and service people visiting each machine and restocking items one by one. In contrast, Vigix kiosks are re-stocked via third-party carrier delivering a cartridge that has been packed with product in an operator’s central warehouse.

Is your beloved Redbox kiosk suddenly looking slow and overweight, Insiders? How well do you think these new kiosks are going to perform for Vigix, especially in the DVD rental arena? Leave your opinion in the comments.

(via Self Service World)

10 Responses to “Vigix Launches ‘First True Vending Kiosks’”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    miezu78 [miezu78]

    the size of a Redbox or other vending machines dont bother me, what does is the really slow presses of spiting out a dvd. I hope this new kiosk cuts the time in half.

  2. Member [Join Now]
    miezu78 [miezu78]

    also they need to put three different screens on a Redbox. One dedicated for people returning another dedicated screen for people browsing dvd and a third for people that reserved it online. It bugs me when there is a line of 5 people (and here in Sacrament there almost always is) and I always reserve online but i jest have to wait for a couple that are jest browsing and I see there are a few people in front of me with dvd in hand waiting to return….and we all have to use one screen.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Annie [visitor]

    I agree with miezu78!! At least one for browsing and another for return/reserved.

    I do think that this smaller machine would allow them to be in or at more places.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Firstlawofnature [visitor]

    Redbox still in ship shape. These are DVD dispensing machines not merchandise browsers. The world is littered with failed kiosks and this one sounds like the next one to join the heap. Why the hell would I drive to a store to use the Vigix to shop for crap when the internet is available at home? Duh!

  5. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    As far as changing the current Redbox, I do think it would be nice if they could come up with box that has 2 or 3 screens, by adding them on the sides and buidling a machine that could multi-task. The biggest complaint I have is that once you insert a title it makes you wait several seconds for it to put it in place, why not allow you to browse immediately and just not let you check out til it’s ready (not that most people can find a title that fast).

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Irha [visitor]

    They should go one more step to burn and print the dvds in the kiosk? That way, they can distribute an iso file to each kiosk over network, along with the image that should be printed on it and all that they have to do is to make sure to stock it up with the empty sleeves and blank disks. I know there is home printing technology for disks, but don’t know if it is advanced enough to print color images directly on the disk, but it seems feasible.

    Regarding multiple screens on redbox m/cs to return and rent simultaneously, you would also need multiple dvd slots and that could add confusion. It will also increase the size of the box. I think if they should increase the speed of returning the dvd’s, then that is huge improvement right there.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

    The only thing I think should be changed on Redbox is it’s operating speed. That is the main reason for lines and all that (besides browsing). The software itself is fine it is the hardware system responsible for handling the discs that is slow. I know it has a lot to handle, but I am sure something could be done to make it faster. The Kiosks actually run a diluted form of Windows XP, and they are interfaced with the touchscreen. What you actually see is simply a software program that gives the machine the ability to be connected to the web for reserves and what not, it also has the ability to restart itself should an error occur. It is just the mechanism that handles the disc that is too slow. We are not in simple robotics era anymore people, we can make this thing much faster, especially with a system with the processing power of what it has. (not saying it is amazing processing power, it is just faster than lets say… a mobile GPS for your car)

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    will [visitor]

    I could see this type of box succeeding in slower-volume locations like neighborhood variety stores where the smaller capacity and footprint would make it attractive. I could foresee variety stores banding together to form distribution networks where renters at one Vigix-equipped location could return DVDs to other Vigix-equipped stores. I don’t see it as an alternative to Redbox, though, for the obvious capacity reasons.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Az4me [visitor]

    Oh my, do you commenters realize that you are complaining about waiting at Redbox for mere seconds, ok…possibly even (gasp) minutes???
    What has all this wonderful technology done to our thinking when everything should be expected SO immediately?
    Do you not recall NO internet, NO rental kiosks, NO *immediate gratification*? That is what infants demand.
    I love & appreciate all the technological advances we have made, but we need to get a grip on some realities of life.
    Please stop & think > What you do if faced with a REAL problem?
    Consider that your son was in a horrid vehicle accident, has endured so many surgeries you lost count, now lives in a wheel chair with brain damage & severe vision & memory problems. That’s a problem, is it not?
    Take a moment or two IF you have to wait anywhere…breathe & be thankful that you are ABLE to stand there.
    Please think about what the next second may bring your way. I hope it’s something good.

  10. Member [Join Now]

    I don’t see how this little kiosk could vend items of anything larger than a few inches either way and still have much of an inventory on hand … ???