Mitsubishi Electric Ireland has launched its new DPS Kiosk, a new multi-media photographic self service unit. With the growing popularity of digital cameras and camera phones, companies such as Kodak and Fujifilm have already entered this market offering consumers the ability to create prints or burn CDs at self service kiosks.
Mitsubishi Electric, while coming late to this market, has added new features such as internet services to give it a competitive edge.
Speaking at the launch of the DPS Kiosks, David Ross, Mitsubishi sales manager, pointed out that new camera phones offering four megapixel resolution due to be released in the next two years and new digital cameras would drive demand for instant, self-service units. By 2005, he said, over 216,000 self-service kiosks would be installed in Europe, Japan and North America, up from 153,000 in 2003.
Two models of the DPS Kiosks are available: a counter-top model which can be connected to up to four printers; and a ‘totem’ model with up to two printers connected and located in the pedestal. Payment can be collected via credit card – although Mitsubishi Electric Ireland is waiting for chip and pin to be introduced in this country before making that feature available – or by prepaid card.
Users can insert up to seven different types of media card or a CD-ROM into the kiosk’s front panel – which can be upgraded easily as new card formats are launched – or transmit the photos to the kiosk via Bluetooth or infrared. Using a touch screen interface, the user selects the pictures he or she wishes to print, the size – depending on the available printers – and the quantity. The user can also edit the picture by removing red-eye, cropping it or modifying the colour.
In addition to printing, the user can opt to have the pictures burnt to a CD-ROM or stored in an online photo album hosted on the Mitsubishi servers. They can then retrieve the photos at a later date, either via a DPS kiosk or through their PC.
Retailers will be able to fix their own prices for printing, CD-burning and web-hosting, said Ross. In addition, they will be able to generate extra revenue through the sale of ringtones and games for mobile phones which will be delivered via the kiosks. There will also be opportunities to sell advertising.
Ross also announced a deal with Hickey’s Pharmacies – one of Ireland’s fastest growing pharmacy chains with 20 outlets in Leinster – for the supply and maintenance of a number of kiosks for evaluation. If the evaluation is successful it could lead to a full roll-out of the kiosks in Hickey’s Pharmacies outlets.
By David Stewart