Winsonic Tech Blog

Embedded System and Kiosk

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An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints.[1][2] It

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is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today.[3] Ninety-eight percent of all microprocessors are manufactured as components of embedded systems.[4]


Examples of properties of typical embedded computers when compared with


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general-purpose counterparts are low power consumption, small size, rugged operating ranges, and low per-unit cost. This comes at the price of limited processing resources, which make them significantly more difficult to program and to interact with. However, by building intelligence mechanisms on top of the hardware, taking advantage of possible existing sensors and the existence of a network of embedded units, one can both optimally manage available resources at the unit and network levels as well as provide augmented functions, well beyond those available.[5] For example, intelligent techniques can be designed to manage power consumption of embedded systems.[6]


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Modern embedded systems are often based on microcontrollers (i.e. CPU's with integrated memory or peripheral interfaces),[7] but ordinary microprocessors (using external chips for memory and peripheral interface circuits) are also common, especially in more-complex systems. In either case, the processor(s) used may be types ranging from general purpose to those specialized in certain class of computations, or even custom designed for the application at hand. A common standard class of dedicated processors is the digital signal processor (DSP).


Since the embedded system is dedicated to specific tasks, design engineers can optimize it to reduce the size and cost of the product and increase the reliability and performance. Some embedded systems are mass-produced, benefiting from economies of scale.


Embedded systems range from portable devices such as digital watches and MP3 players, to large stationary installations like traffic lightsfactory controllers, and largely complex

systems like hybrid vehiclesMRI, and avionics. Complexity varies from low, with a single microcontroller chip, to very high with multiple units, peripherals and networks mounted inside a large chassis or enclosure.

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Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, cooking, industrial, automotive, medical, commercial and military applications.


Telecommunications systems employ numerous embedded systems from telephone switches for the network to cell phonesat the end user. Computer networking uses dedicated routers and network bridges to route data.


Consumer electronics include MP3 players, mobile phones, videogame consoles, digital cameras, GPS receivers, and printers. Household appliances, such as microwave ovens, washing machines and dishwashers, include embedded systems to provide flexibility, efficiency and features. Advanced HVAC systems use

networked thermostats to more accurately and efficiently control temperature that can change by time of day and season. Home automation uses wired- and

wireless-networking that can be used to control lights, climate, security, audio/visual, surveillance, etc., all of which use embedded devices for sensing and controlling.


Transportation systems from flight to automobiles increasingly use embedded systems.


New airplanes contain advanced avionics such as inertial guidance


systems and GPS receivers that also have considerable safety requirements. Various electric motors — brushless DC motors, induction motors and DC motors — use electric/electronic motor controllers. Automobiles, electric vehicles, and hybrid

vehicles increasingly use embedded systems to maximize efficiency and reduce pollution. Other automotive safety systems include anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC/ESP), traction control (TCS) and automatic four-wheel drive.


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Medical equipment uses embedded systems for vital signs monitoring, electronic stethoscopes for amplifying sounds, and various medical imaging (PET, SPECT, CT, and MRI) for non-invasive internal inspections. Embedded systems within medical equipment are often powered by industrial computers.[9]


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Embedded systems are used in transportation, fire safety, safety and security, medical applications and life critical systems, as these systems can be isolated from hacking and thus, be more reliable, unless connected to wired or wireless networks via on-chip 3G cellular or other methods for IoT monitoring and control purposes.[citation needed] For fire safety, the systems can be designed to have greater ability to handle higher temperatures and continue to operate. In dealing with security, the embedded systems can be self-sufficient and be able to deal with cut electrical and communication systems.


A new class of miniature wireless devices called motes are networked wireless sensors. Wireless sensor networking, WSN, makes use of miniaturization made possible by advanced IC design to couple full wireless subsystems to sophisticated sensors, enabling people and companies to measure a myriad of things in the physical world and act on this information through IT monitoring and control systems. These motes are completely

self-contained, and will typically run off a battery source for years before the batteries need to be changed or charged.


Embedded Wi-Fi modules provide a simple means of wirelessly enabling any device that communicates via a serial port.


Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kiosk


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An interactive kiosk is a computer terminal featuring specialized hardware and software that provides access to information and applications for communication, commerce, entertainment, or education.


Early interactive kiosks sometimes resembled telephone booths, but have been embraced by retail, food service and hospitality to improve customer service. Interactive kiosks are typically placed in high foot traffic settings such as shops, hotel lobbies or airports.


Integration of technology allows kiosks to perform a wide range of functions, evolving into self-service kiosks. For example, kiosks may enable users to order from a shop's catalogue when items are not in stock, check out a library book, look up information about products, issue a hotel key card, enter a public utility bill account number in order to perform an online transaction, or collect cash in exchange for merchandise. Customised components such as coin hoppers, bill acceptors, card readers and thermal

printers enable kiosks to meet the owner's specialised needs.


Types of kiosks


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Telekiosk[edit]


The tele kiosk can be considered the technical successor to the telephone booth, a publicly accessible set of devices that are used for communication. These can

include email, fax, SMS, as well as standard telephone service. The Telekiosk is rarely seen anymore.


Telekiosks gradually appeared around the United Kingdom in the first years of the 21st century. Some are situated in shopping centres and transport terminals, with the intention of providing detailed local information. Others are in public places, including motorway service areas and airports.


The International Telecommunications Union is promoting the use of the telekiosk in Africa and parts of Asia where local people do not have access to communications technology. In part this work addresses the "digital divide" between rich and poor nations.

There are, however, great practical benefits. The scheme in Bhutan aims to provide


an E-Post system, whereby messages are relayed by telephone, then delivered by hand to rural areas, easing the problems of transporting letters across the countryside. Health, agricultural and educational information is also available.

Financial services kiosk[edit]


The financial services kiosk can provide the ability for customers to perform transactions that may normally require a bank teller and may be more complex and longer to perform than desired at an ATM. These are sometimes to referred to as "bank-in-a-box" and the first prime example would be the Vcom units deployed in 7-11 in U.S.


These units are generally referred to 'multi-function financial service kiosks' and the first iteration was back in late 1990s with the VCOM product deployed in Southland (7-Eleven) convenience stores. Check-cashing, bill-payment and even dispensing cashcards. New multi-function machines have been deployed in "c-store" markets supported by Speedway and others.


By 2010 the largest bill pay kiosk network is AT&T for the phone customers which allows them customers to pay their phone bill. Verizon and Sprint have similar units for their customers

Photo kiosk[edit]


An interactive kiosk which allows users to print pictures from their digital images. The marquee example began with Kodak who had at one point had over 100,000 units up and running in the U.S. Many of these units were customized PC's with an LCD which would then print to central printer in Customer service. Two major classes of photo kiosks exist:


Digital Order Stations -- This type of photo kiosk exists within retail locations and allows users to place orders for prints and photographic products. Products typically get produced in-store by a digital minilab, or at another location to be shipped directly to the

consumer, or back to the store to be picked up at a later time. Digital Order Stations may or may not support instant printing, and typically do not handle payments.


Instant Print Stations - This type of photo kiosk uses internal printers to instantly create photographic prints for a self serve paying customer. Often located in public locations (hotels, schools, airports), Instant Print Stations handle payments. Often such systems will only print 4x6 inch prints, although popular dye sublimation photo printers as of 2008 allow for 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 8x12. It's more a matter of resupply labor economics and chassis size.

Internet kiosk[edit]


An Internet kiosk is a terminal that provides public Internet access. Internet kiosks sometimes resemble telephone booths, and are typically placed in settings such as hotel lobbies, long-term care facilities, medical waiting rooms, apartment complex offices, or airports for fast access to e-mail or web pages. Internet kiosks sometimes have a bill acceptor or a credit card swipe, and nearly always have a computer keyboard, a mouse (or a fixed trackball which is more robust), and a monitor.


Some Internet kiosks are based on a payment model similar to vending


machines or Internet café, while others are free. A common arrangement with pay-for-use kiosks has the owner of the Internet kiosk enter into a partnership with the owner of its location, paying either a flat rate for rental of the floor space or a percentage of the monthly revenue generated by the machine.


Internet kiosks have been the subject of hacker activity. Hackers will download spyware and catch user activity via keystroke logging. Other hackers have installed hardware keystroke logging devices that capture user activity.


Businesses that provide Internet kiosks are encouraged to use special Internet kiosk software and management procedures to reduce exposure to liability.

Ticketing kiosk[edit]

See also: Ticket machine


Many amusement parks such as Disney have unattended outdoor ticketing kiosks. Amtrak has automated self-service ticketing kiosks. Busch Gardens uses kiosks for amusement parks. Cruise ships use ticketing kiosks for passengers. Check-in Kiosks for auto rental companies such as Alamo and National have had national deployments. The ticket

halls of train stations and metro stations have ticketing kiosks that sell transit passes, train tickets, transit tickets, and train passes.

Movie ticket kiosk[edit]

Many movie theater chains have specialized ticket machines that allow their customers to purchase tickets and/or pick up tickets that were purchased online. Radiant and Fujitsu have been involved in this segment.

Restaurant kiosk[edit]


A new way to order in-cafe from tablet kiosks. Kiosks are available in addition to cashier stations so that wait time is reduced for all guests. The kiosk is highly visual and includes a product builder to assist with order accuracy and customization.

DVD vending kiosk[edit]


An example of a vending kiosk is that of the DVD rental kiosks manufactured by several manufacturers, where a user can rent a DVD, secured by credit card for $1 per day.


One of the larger DVD Vending Kiosks companies is Outerwall, Inc who owns and operates the Redbox kiosks throughout North America. They also operate Coinstar kiosks as well.

Visitor management and security kiosk[edit]


A visitor management and security kiosk can facilitate the visitor check in process at businesses, schools, and other controlled access environments. These systems can check against blacklists, run criminal background checks, and print access badges for visitors. School security concerns in the United States have led to an increase in these types of kiosks to screen and track visitors.

Building directory and wayfinding kiosk[edit]


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Many shopping malls, hospitals,[6] airports and other large public buildings use interactive kiosks to allow visitors to navigate in buildings. Harris County Hospital District, Baptist Hospital of Miami, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Cayuga Medical Center are but a few medical centers utilizing interactive touch screen kiosks with a building directory and wayfinding solution.

Hospital and medical clinic registration and check-in kiosks[edit]


Hospitals and medical clinics are looking to kiosks to allow patients to perform routine activities. Kiosks that allow patients to check in for their scheduled appointments and update their personal demographics reduce the need to line up and interact with a registration clerk. In areas where patients must make a co-pay, kiosks will also collect payment. As the requirements for documentation, waivers and consent increase, kiosks with integrated signature capture devices are able to present the documentation to the patient and collect their signature. A business case for registration and check-in kiosks is built around:

  1. workload reduction,


  2. data quality improvements,


  3. consistency of registration process, and


  4. patient experience improvement.


A large community hospital has been able to reduce their registration staff by 30%, improve data quality, and shorten lineups.

Information kiosk[edit]


Museums, historical sites, national parks and other tourist/visitor attractions often engage kiosks as a method for conveying information about a particular exhibit or site. Kiosks allows guests to read about - or view video of - particular artifacts or areas at their own pace and in an interactive manner, learning more about those areas that interest them most. The Rockwell Museum in New York City uses touchscreen tablets to provide visitors with accessible and relevant labels for a particular exhibit. The Penn State All sports museum employs interactive kiosks to display up to date information about past and current Penn State athletes and sports teams. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration now boasts a citizen test available for visitors to take online via an informational kiosk. Additional kiosk displays include a "Threads of Migration" interactive exhibition featuring three touch-screen kiosks as part of "The Journey: New Eras of Immigration" section, which covers immigration since 1954.


Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia