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factfile1.6 Digital Media for Information Delivery

a) Information Screens

Many public places now use multimedia screens that can be used to provide information that may be useful to its visitors. Large information screens can display scrolling news headline tickers or financial information such as share prices or exchange rates.

They may also show television pictures such as summaries of breaking news and sports stories. Screens in railway stations and airports may also give security information and reminders about check-in times and unattended baggage. This kind of information is usually linear and the viewer cannot interact with it.


b) Interactive Kiosks

Another form of information delivery is the interactive kiosk. These usually have a touch-screen which the visitor can interact with by touching different areas of the screen. This kind of information can be accessed in a non-linear way, with the visitor deciding which pages they wish to view. These interfaces rely on being simple and user-friendly so that the information is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability.Infoscreen

Some uses for interactive kiosks include:

Travel information – often found in motorway service stations, giving information about traffic jams and other incidents.

Visitor information – often found in shopping malls to give directions to different stores, or in museums to show where different exhibits and facilities are.

Ticket machines – often found in cinemas or railway stations. They allow the customers to find out the times of trains or movies and book tickets, which the machine then prints out.

This is an example of the screen from an information booth at a bus depot in Hampshire. It is connected to the internet so information can be updated in real-time.

Info Screen

From this screen, users can check the bus timetables, access traffic information and view local maps. They can also check the BBC News website and search the internet using Yahoo.

The interface is quite simple with large clear buttons which are clearly labelled with their function.

Take a look at this information sheet which analyses the features of the booth in more detail.

Did you Know? The first interactive kiosk was developed back in 1977 at the University of Illinois. Called The Plato Hotline, it allowed students and visitors to access information such as maps, bus timetables and course information. In its first six weeks over 30,000 people queued up to use the kiosk!

paperclipAnalysis of an Information Booth

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