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6. Future Directions

Our previous attempts at creating browser-based kiosks with Windows-based PC's were unsatisfactory. The units were unstable, freezing up frequently. The Linux approach has given us a reliable, robust kiosk in a public gallery that has stood up well to visitor usage. Our success with this project has led us to consider other kiosk possibilities.

6.1 Remote Kiosks

One of our future goals is to implement remote kiosks in the greater Toronto area where people can browse some of our site information and, hopefully, be attracted enough by it to visit the ROM in person. These might be deployed at places such as conventions, trade shows, shopping malls or special exhibits. We are also thinking in terms of deploying kiosks in more distant locations, perhaps in public libraries.

For this project we would likely implement modem-based Linux boxes that could ``call home'' to update files on a routine basis and could be dialled into for maintenance and updates.

6.2 Touchscreens

When the technology gets cheaper, we would like to experiment with flat-panel touchscreen displays for kiosks. The combination of flat-panel display and very small PC units would enable us to deploy kiosks with a very small footprint.

6.3 Keyboards

Ultimately we may need to deploy kiosks that utilize keyboards. This will present a new set of challenges in terms of blocking unwanted keystrokes. If anyone would like to contribute information on this, or to any other aspect of the Kiosk-HOWTO, please email me at genew@rom.on.ca or my alternative email address njo@interlog.com.

6.4 Collaboration

I would be very interested in collaborating with other kiosk builders to extend the Kiosk-HOWTO for other situations. Kiosks are a bit like Perl: ``There is more than one way to do it.''


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