The self-service kiosk was invented to improve time and cost efficiency. The birth of the vending machine dates as far back as the 1800s. Kiosk manufacturers have come a long way since the first machines hit the market.
The First Vending Machines
Self-service was introduced in the 1880s with the invention of the vending machine. The first renditions were small stands or box-like contraptions that offered small products like postcards, gum, and stamps. The customer would place money into the kiosk and take the product. It was the first time a customer was able to purchase a product without the help of a vendor.
In the 1960s the first kiosks that look like the ones we know today emerged. They allowed users to perform certain financial transactions. These first kiosks didn’t last long due to disinterest and distrust towards the new technology. The first cash machine was installed in London in 1967, but it wasn’t until 1972 that the first automated teller machine (ATM) was put into use.
Airline Ticket Vending Kiosks
In 1970, IBM partnered with American Airlines and American Express to create the world’s first self-service airline ticket vending kiosk.
The First Self-Service Interactive Kiosk
In 1977 the University of Illinois introduced the first interactive kiosk, the “Plato Hotline,” to provide campus information. 30,000 people used the kiosk in the first six weeks.
The First Network of Interactive Kiosks
In 1985, the first network of interactive kiosks was developed by the vice president Florsheim Shoe Company. The network grew to over 600 kiosks and allowed customers to search for shoes in other stores if they weren't in stock at the shoe store they were in. They could even pay for the shoes using the kiosks and their shoes shipped directly to their house.
Kiosks in State Parks
In 2007, Virginia State Parks installed 31 interactive kiosks throughout their parks to provide visitors with maps and information. It was the first expansive, state-wide interactive kiosk program in the US.
The Future of Kiosks
Today you see kiosks and vending machines everywhere. Today, the US is mostly a service economy, and as technology advances and automation increases, it will continue to move in that direction. Kiosks and vending machines are time and labor-saving technology. They free resources to be used in different areas and free humans from doing mundane tasks. The future for kiosks looks bright.
If you're thinking about a kiosk for your business, call us today. We can fully customize and brand a kiosk or set of kiosks for your unique business. (800) 795-8251