Technology Takes Over the Great Outdoors

Woman talking on cellphone touching sensitive screen of smart bus stop with city map routes and locations shown on it, female standing front big digital screen with city GPS data

Outdoor Electronic Kiosks


Technology can be found virtually everywhere. We personally rely on it for so many aspects of our lives. And now, places you wouldn’t associate with technology are adopting ways to incorporate it – like zoos and parks. Outdoor technology like digital screens, and kiosks for ordering food, charging your electric car, or paying for parking are showing up everywhere. Touch screen kiosks are used on college campuses, at zoos and in cities to help visitors navigate the grounds.

While some outdoor kiosks like ATMs and parking garage kiosks have partial shelters, most bear the full impact of Mother Nature, making the design, construction and materials of great import. In the southwest, kiosks can be exposed to harsh, dry, desert heat while in the northeast, they deal with bitter winds and freezing temperatures. The extreme climates mean the kiosk needs to be durable, waterproof and sun-proof.

Location Matters


In New York’s five boroughs, you don’t have to go far to find LinkNYC, a communications network looking to replace the pay phone. Each Link provides high speed, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions. The kiosk is also equipped with two 55” high definition digital screens used for public service announcements and advertising. LinkNYC machines are located out on the streets of New York, exposed to humidity, wind, snow, and all of the vehicle and building exhaust smogging up the city.

Drive thru menu board kiosks are constantly exposed to blowing dirt, rain, and snow. Since the digital menu boards are outside on hot days with the sun beating down and vehicle exhaust, keeping the intake air free from harsh debris is essential for the ordering systems to operate reliably. The electronic displays must be clean and cool for optimal customer experience and maximizing restaurant profits.

Aside from the outdoor drive-thru kiosks, quick service restaurants have installed self-service kiosks inside many of their restaurants. While the outdoor kiosks contend with weather and car exhaust, the indoor versions manage the greasy indoor air from the fryers, along with dirt and dust customers bring in through opening doors or track in on their shoes. Keeping the kiosks farther from the kitchen can help with the greasy air, but customers will never stop bringing in dirt, dust, and dander that needs to be managed for the kiosk to function efficiently.

Rental car companies have incorporated self-service kiosks, which can be located inside airports, in a parking garage, or even outside in the rental parking lot. A partially enclosed parking garage will mean the kiosk needs to withstand the weather, but also withstand regular exposure to car exhaust and normal buildup of dirt. Enclosures need to protect inner circuitry from the elements and prevent water from pooling anywhere on the unit.

A slope-side ATM not only needs to keep the snow out of its circuitry, but it needs to withstand the fluctuating temperatures of the mountain.

Universal Air Filter’s OSP filters have been keeping interactive kiosks clean, dry and cool for years. The new OSP Series 2 filters deliver the same superior protection manufacturers have relied on but now delivers improved air flow and pressure drop that performs better than current industry standards. Click here to get more information about solutions for protection complex electronics or to contact an air filtration expert.

Filtration Group and Universal Air Filter are committed to making the world safer, healthier and more productive.

Young woman buying a ticket for public transport at the automatic machine.

Convenient options for buying tickets at the station.

Design Considerations for Touch Screen Kiosks  
  • Software – security, remote access and control
  • Backlighting controls adjust contrast for a clearer image
  • Low power or power saving features like preset schedulers
  • Viewing angles of users
  • Sunlight – reflection, blackening, heat
  • Seals and waterproofing
  • Thermal management
  • Dust and humidity protection
  • Web monitoring
  • Maintenance needs
  • Sanitation
  • ADA accessibility
 
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