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How touch screens are opening up new avenues

From checking in for a flight to ordering fast food, interactive touch screens are well-accepted in our daily lives. 

Born Digital founder Brett Hancock sees the space as an exciting area for advertisers to use. “What was five years ago in terms of screen interaction was physically clicking on a menu instead of using a mouse, now technology is moving forward."

He believes the interactive way forward is where people will be able to walk up to a touch screen where, thanks to a camera, relevant ads, based on age or gender will play.   “We love touch screens – it’s one of the more exciting things we work on.”

Hancock says the capacity of touch screens is growing, citing examples such as microphones, for text to speech based interfaces, magnetic card readers, mini scanners - for passports or driver’s licenses, voice recognition, and near field communication and beacons for mobile app integrations and contextual messaging.

Born Digital is currently undertaking a project in Australia relating to waiting areas of busy public places, where touch screens are used for people to check in electronically using a swipe I.D card.

Another recently completed project involved designing the software for a kiosk for a car rental company where clients can book their car by scanning their driver's license. “It’s faster, more efficient, as there can be human errors on both side such as misread details," Hancock says.

However, the touch screen is only the first stop as there will still be employees there to cite the driver's license before a car can be rented. 

As an example of touch screens done well, he cites the McDonalds self-ordering kiosk, with table service. "It gives people control over their order, they can be served immediately or build their own custom burger."

There are downsides to touch screens in Hancock's view, such as when people chose to use supermarket kiosks to avoid human contact and banal conversation but admits there is an efficiency to check out kiosks that are appealing.

"We don't want to skip the human elements, we want to bring human elements to our work, make it less robotic and gentler."

In May Idealog spoke to Hancock about their digital greeter, created with pre-recorded videos featuring a real-life person that could be used for receptions and airport lounges. "There are a number of people interested in it, they want their work to be humanized, it’s nice if it’s just more than a screen.”

A recent project of two touch tables for Vodafone – one for their Smales farm business centre and one at the South Island head office in Christchurch - has a point of difference with several people are able to use it at once.

“It creates and encourages chat between the people around it, a salesperson can engage with their customers. Currently, the app we built is really product focused, using video and animation to explain what can be complicated products.”

The table also has an in-built camera which can detect shapes, meaning if you put a phone on the table it can tell which model it is.

Doing work on both sides of the Tasman Born Digital is keen to grow into Australia market with their touch screens projects.  “It’s an exciting category – we’re glad to be part of it.” 

This story is part of a content partnership with Born Digital.