From the user’s point of view, there’s nothing simpler and faster than using a digital kiosk from which to perform operations quickly, independently and at any time. But if we take on the role of the IT administrator, who has to configure and manage these workstations securely for the entire life cycle, are we really sure that there’s “nothing simpler”? The answer is yes, we’re sure… Just use Praim Agile!

Kiosks for any operation

The diffusion of digital technologies, now consolidated in all sectors and contexts, has meant that the use cases and possible application contexts for digital kiosks are increasingly widespread.

In fact, it’s becoming more and more practical to set up customized workstations dedicated to a specific purpose or function, to make them freely available to the public, whether they’re company personnel or users of a service provided.

Today these “DIY” workstations, perhaps even enriched with code readers and documents or printers, allow any operation: to make purchases, make a reservation or check-in/check-out, send parcels or luggage, find information on products or services, leaving an evaluation or review, as well as (in working contexts) “clocking in” and verifying one’s service information, signaling the loading or unloading of goods, viewing the processing status of various machines… These workstations, in fact, are also increasingly designed and used precisely to provide services to companies’ personnel (for example HR services) or to make the work of operators easier and faster with specialized workstations.

What all these cases of “digital kiosks” have in common is the fact that they’re offered on a digital and interactive device (i.e. equipped with a display and a user interface, whether it’s a keypad, a mouse, a touch screen or a code reader), they’re offered on free or shared workstations (accessible by several people or, i.e., through a company badge), and that they’re protected and specialized for a specific purpose. These last two aspects are obtained by offering a single software service (often via the web, with an interactive browser interface) or a single functionality, and therefore blocking all other unwanted hardware (e.g. use of sockets/peripherals) and software (functionality).

Create web kiosks with Agile in less than a minute

Through the “Browser Mode”, Agile allows you to create a kiosk in less than 1 minute. Just a few clicks and a restart and your browser or internet kiosk is ready. More and more services today are made accessible in the cloud via web access, as well as virtualized desktops (think of Windows 365 and many others). These features can also be used through Agile to create the kiosk that best suits your business needs.

But that’s not all, through the automation offered by Praim Agile, in combination with the ThinMan Advanced centralized console, you’ll be able to “multiply” your kiosks in an even easier way, simply by distributing the Agile configuration. Again thanks to ThinMan you can also automate the configuration of new devices so that they automatically set themselves up to operate as kiosks as soon as they are connected to the network.

Agile is available on Windows devices in Agile4PC version (in particular, all Praim Windows 10 IoT thin clients already include Agile) and it’s also available on Linux image, in Agile4Linux version. Kiosks created with Agile automatically block the interface and unnecessary features of the device, so that the time to set up a new kiosk is truly short!

Even easier and more functional kiosks with the new version of Agile

From version 2.10.3 of Agile, the features made available to easily create digital kiosks are even richer. Let’s see them…

First of all, to create your kiosk, you simply need to know the reference URL (the address to which the web application, the cloud service, or the starting address of the site you want to offer navigation on is made accessible). After entering the URL and activating the “Browser Mode”, you can activate the kiosk and have a preview of it.

Agile Browser Mode activation and web kiosk to Praim website creation

You can then customize it further, choosing with just a few clicks the level of freedom and accessibility offered to the user, for example by enabling the “Control Bar” through which you can offer the typical navigation commands, the ability to search or freely change the URL to visit and also some basic controls on the device (e.g. allow shutdown or restart).

Two further possibilities have been added in the new version:

  • Reset of a new “clean” user session (“Clear Session”) available, to force the elimination of all navigation data. This feature allows you to start a new session from the kiosk homepage, while removing cookies, temporary files and browsing history, in order to prepare the workstation for a new user “forgetting” everything that has been visited or processed by the previous one. An important feature if you want to make a free kiosk available, with which users can access confidential information or perform activities (such as filling in forms, bookings, printouts, etc.) on personal data, ensuring security and privacy in the service offered.

New features for web kiosks in Agile: user session reset and White List

  • Possibility of defining a navigation “White List”, an exclusive list of web addresses to which navigation is permitted. Often, even though the kiosk is set up and configured to access a specific domain or online service, it’s difficult to be able to control all possible navigation flows, some of which may even take the user outside the intended perimeter, with consequent experience problems user (if the “home” or “back” controls were not foreseen) but, above all, potential security problems with unwanted use of the kiosk. To further strengthen it, the “White List” blocks navigation to not allowed websites or URLs, avoiding potential security problems and consolidating the navigation restriction measures already in place. Activating it is simple: just import it from a file (as a list of regular expressions) or edit it directly from the Agile interface in the Browser Mode configuration. Once configured, the White List will be part of the device configuration profile and therefore will be replicable by ThinMan on all kiosks.

A web kiosk to Praim’s website, top control bar with “Clear Session” (left) and device shutdown/reboot control (right)

Speed and efficiency among the benefits

Digital kiosks and shared workstations are becoming increasingly widespread work tools or ways to offer services to the users. They offer many benefits: from autonomy to users’ experience and time optimization, up to costs and organizational efficiency optimization for those who make them available! But that’s not all, many uses of modern digital technologies now fall into this category even without knowing it (think of cash registers, POS stations and more).

Why, therefore, give up using them, perhaps discouraged by the necessary activities to set up or maintain these workstations? Praim, with Agile and ThinMan, offers ever richer and more complete tools for configuring and automating the management of your digital kiosks, which now also allow you to manage the clear user sessions and navigation White Lists.