A man uses a touchscreen kiosk to retrieve information
By Richard Thompson | August 17, 2020

Kiosks are Becoming a Booming Business. This is How Your Business Can Take Advantage.

Zebra has been partnering with several OEMs to help them quickly design, build and deploy kiosks around the world. Find out how we can help you get off to a strong start, too..

If you’re an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and you’ve never previously ventured into the kiosk marketspace – or if you’re just starting out as an OEM, the kiosk sector holds huge prospects for you. Tillster’s 2019 research predicted the self-service kiosk market would reach $30.8 billion by 2024. It’s likely that most OEMs would be keen to snap up even a small percentage of this global opportunity.

The COVID-19 Effect

It’s important to note that the Tillster research was carried out before COVID-19 changed our lives and the way we interact with others. Pre-virus, many of us were happy to pay for our goods in a supermarket while chatting to the person at the checkout lane. We might not have thought twice about touching the keypad to pay at the point of sale, and we would happily pick up our fast food face-to-face at the counter.

Yet, nowadays we are all more cautious, limiting our interaction with others in retail settings due to social distancing rules. Instead of face-to-face contact, many people now prefer to pay or access store or account information using self-service retail technologies. As a result, the kiosk marketplace is quickly growing and where you need to be investing – and operating – right now. 

Need Kiosk Inspiration?

Do you have any ideas around the types of kiosks you would like to build? Here are a couple of interesting examples to give you food for thought. You’ll see their uses are wide and far-reaching.

Reducing and monitoring jail populations


Across the U.S., jails released inmates in the early days of the pandemic in an effort to mitigate the virus’ rapid spread in densely populated facilities. This caused concern among members of the public. To help alleviate those worries, many jurisdictions turned to technology to increase monitoring of released inmates. More specifically, kiosks were used to record required check-ins from start to finish by:

·  Using biometric fingerprint authentication to confirm identity

·  Capturing photos and video of each check-in

·  Testing for alcohol use

·  Alerting the probation officer when a check-in is missed

Kiosks: King in airports

Kiosks are also increasing in popularity in airports as they have multiple functions that are useful for both travellers and staff. For example, they can help people safely navigate the fastest route to a gate, which is often difficult in huge airports such as London Heathrow or Tokyo Haneda airport. Kiosks are also highly effective tools for feeding security notices out en-masse in emergency situations.


Of course, they can also provide other useful information for travellers through hotel, food and entertainment advertisements, lost and found updates and real-time flight change notifications. Kiosks also connect travellers with all-important promotional services provided by the airport and its vendors, such as rental car companies. In other words, whatever the communication requirement may be, kiosks are a great way to get messaging out to the public quickly – whether in a personalized or widespread manner.

There are plenty of other wild and wonderful kiosk use cases out there too. You can seek inspiration and have some fun by reading this article, which is full of real as well as fake kiosk examples.  Just remember, you don’t need to build wild and wonderful kiosks in order to reap the benefits of their popularity! Often, the simple solutions are the most effective: from frictionless or touch-free payment solutions to contact-free ticketing, there are many ways to build a profitable OEM kiosk business.



Did You Know?

Whether you need wall-mounted, desk-mounted, outdoor or customised kiosks for your customers, Zebra can provide you with the scan engines and solutions to help build your kiosks with speed and ease. We have decades of experience in the design and build of scanning technologies, and our engineering capabilities include optical, mechanical, electrical and regulatory, which we can call upon to help you design and build everything from retail, education or healthcare kiosks to casino and self-ticketing kiosks. The sky’s the limit.

Don’t let resource constraints or fear of the unknown keep you from taking advantage of the opportunity to grow your business. The Zebra team is here to help you – and we can get your products to market faster than if you go it alone. It’s not a case of starting completely from scratch with kiosks because we’re right here for you.

Download our application briefs for OEMs to find out more about how Zebra can assist and inspire you!

I also encourage you to listen to this recent webinar led by my colleague Jelle Baudouin about the current demand (and opportunity for) kiosks right now:

Healthcare, Transportation and Logistics, Retail, Field Operations, Hospitality, Public Sector,
Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson is the Global Director of Sales for the OEM business within Zebra Technologies which in turn is part of Zebra’s Global Sales & Services organisation. Richard is responsible for the sales of key component technologies which Zebra manufactures and sells to a hugely diverse range of customers around the world who build these components into their own final products. 

He has a team of 40 specialist sales and support people around the world. 

Richard has worked in the IT & Telecommunications Industry for almost 30 years and has held sales, management and senior management rolls in a number of global organisations, including Elcom International, Symbol Technologies, Panasonic Computer Products, General Dynamics and Motorola Solutions. Prior to his current role within Zebra he ran the OEM Business with in EMEA and prior to that the Government and Public Sector business and the Mobile Carrier partners business for Zebra in the UK & Ireland. He has also sat on the board of several industry bodies and charities. 


Richard is married with two children aged 16 and 19 and lives in Worcestershire, UK. 

He is a keen advocate of diversity and collaboration in the workplace. 

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