Information Kiosks (shown right) are a good example of a multimedia system aimed at information provision. Information kiosks are often electronic, free standing structures, aimed at providing the public with information about a certain area. For example, an information kiosk in a zoo would provide information on where the different enclosures are located. Information kiosks usually use either a touch screen or a trackball mouse, which ensure that it is more difficult to damage, and easier to use by the public. The information software within the kiosk is heavily user oriented, with designs being simple, large, and easy to read. Audio is unlikely, as the environment will probably be noisy, and numerical data is too complex to be accessed by the majority of people, so the main types of data involved will be text, video and images.
A good example of information kiosks is the ones located within large and busy shopping centres. These kiosks are aimed at providing information on the location of stores to the shoppers. A user can approach a kiosk, and access one of two options, search for store, and list alphabetically. The user then enters a name using a touch keypad, or selects one from the list. The kiosk can then display a map, with animated directions on how to reach that store, from the user’s current location. At all stages in the search, there are back, and home options, that allow a user to backtrack, or to start a new search.
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