KioskCom (held in Vegas once a year) is supposed to be the largest convention relating to the field of kiosks, which to give you a general idea is a machine that is used for pay to use internet, or a point of service device for despencing things like phone cards, gift cards, movie passes or informational services like searching though books.
Over the last 2 years they have added digital signage which is simply displaying digital convent on a video screen. Why digital signage has become so popular in the last 3 years is beyond me. The available markets is minimal and all ready saturated with companies coming out with unreliable products that handle digital content in awful ways. On top of this the market is so small with the biggest possible deployments (airports, hotels) all ready having been taken over by a few large companies.
The only interesting digital signage system I have seen so far this year has been a video over ip system which is still lacking but is by far the most interesting product yet. It is a really great idea but it is still limited to the number of servers you have pushing content which makes little since to me. The idea is you have 1 server displaying the same piece of content over a network. This network connects to video boxes that display video/audio to a display. Its a great idea but you can only display the same content from the same server. You can't for example have 50 screens displaying 5 different videos at the same time (10 displays each displaying 1 video); they all have to be displaying the same video. Which means you now have to manage 10 different servers each displaying different content. Why they would do it this way is beyond me but hopefully this will be changed.
As for kiosk related software and new ideas I have seen very little. It seems like there has been very little innovation in the last year with the previous year being every kiosk company copying my companies ideas and building off them. Last year the only interesting new products where the products our company had released the previous year with a few bells and whistles added.
I guess it should make me feel good that the kiosk industry is waiting for me to come up with the next big thing which I still haven't decided on. Since I'm now being forced to focus on digital signage for the next year they might have to wait a while for this; but at least we will give them something in the digital signage industry to copy in the next few months.