Kiosks & Touch Screen Displays
Kiosk Display Units
We recommend that a flat-screen monitor be used to display Guide to Birds of North America at your visitor center or gift shop. A 19" monitor works very well and is still affordable. The monitor can loop through bird quizzes all day. Your visitors can see beautiful color images of the birds as well as hear the bird songs as they shop!
If visitors have a question about a bird they have seen, a staff member can use the keyboard to take then to the Field Guide page for that specific species. Every employee and volunteer instantly becomes a "birding expert." Many wild bird stores are leaving the keyboard out in the open so shoppers may try the program themselves. Finding information about a specific bird is very easy.
Dell and others now offer flat-screen monitors for just a few hundred dollars. With the purchase of an inexpensive new computer, you can get both for under $499.
A kiosk is a stand-alone display unit that houses a computer screen. Kiosks can be custom built to match your decor. There are many companies that sell stand-alone kiosks and table-top kiosks. [Go to www.google.com and search kiosk or kiosk manufacturer].
The kiosk typically has shelves inside the unit to hold the computer and electrical wires. The keyboard may also be hidden inside the kiosk. Some kiosks stand on the floor while others are designed to be placed on a table.
TOUCH SCREEN DISPLAY
Computer programs typically are operated by moving a cursor on the screen and clicking the mouse button. When you do this, something happens.
An alternative way to navigate around in a software program is to use a touch screen display. These let users physically touch the computer screen to make something happen. A touch screen overlay allows a display to be used as an input device, removing the keyboard or the mouse as the primary input device for intracting with the display's content.
Touch screen displays are really just special monitors with invisible wires that sense when the screen is touched. Signals are instantly sent to the computer and a software program interprets these touch screen commands and "translates" this into an action. This is why a kiosk can display the Guide to Birds of North America using a touch screen display.
Some touch screen programs overlay a thin sheet of plastic on the computer screen. Other more expensive units have this built right into the computer monitor. These may cost anywhere from $350 to $900.
For 95% of the features in Guide to Birds of North America, a keyboard is not necessary. So a touch screen works well when displaying the program.