Ease of integration and durability were key criteria indecision-making process Zytronic’s projected capacitive technology (PCT™)-based touch sensor, ZYTOUCH®, has been selected by Fiscal Systems, Inc., a specialist company that provides integrated back office and point of sale (POS) systems for convenience retailers, for integration into its outdoor touchscreen payment kiosk. The kiosk enables complete travel center and convenience store (c-store) integration and enhances shop sales. Fiscal Systems’ rugged outdoor payment kiosk offers truck drivers, for example, a fast, efficient, and convenient way to fill up with gas and place orders. When a driver pulls up at a truck stop, the driver touches the screen to start the process and a list of context-sensitive questions is presented. Typically, these questions – which take just a few minutes to answer – include driver ID, truck number, company name, type of fuel and mileage. The driver then answers by simply tapping the keys on the alphanumeric touchscreen. Once the questions have been completed, the POS transmits the answers to the appropriate credit host, which approves the transaction. At the same time, drivers can also use the kiosk to check the balance of and collect loyalty points, request a cash advance, and place orders for goods from the convenience store, which not only include items related to the truck itself such as anti-freeze and oil additives, but also refreshments. Once the payment method has been authorized, these instructions, and the logistical data gathered as a result of answering the questions, are all fed back from the POS to the back office, and orders can be collected shortly after the order has been placed and paid for.
“As our kiosks are designed for outdoor use in unsupervised areas, there were several key criteria that had to be met during the design process,” says Kevin Struthers, executive vice-president, Fiscal Systems, Inc. “We realised from the outset that the input device needed to be extremely user-friendly, cost-effective and able to withstand everyday wear and tear, and so a touchscreen was the logical choice.”
Zytronic’s PCT touch sensor technology is based on an array of microfine sensing capacitors embedded within a multi-layer laminated screen behind a protective front surface, ensuring that the sensing medium is well-protected from accidental and malicious damage. This extremely robust technology offers longer in-service life, ensuring fewer repairs, and can be operated with a gloved and ungloved hand. PCT also offers one of the industry’s highest light transmission characteristics and is drift-free. Performance remains unaffected by extreme weather conditions and the outdoor payment kiosk will continue to operate even in extremely cold, and very warm temperatures.
Struthers continues: “We evaluated several other touchscreen solutions, but found that in each case, we had to make some sort of compromise, either on cost, optical clarity or resistance to accidental and deliberate damage. In addition to this, they all posed difficult integration problems. Because the ZYTOUCH controller is integrated, all we had to do was take the product out of the box, mount it, and plug it in.”
Following a successful beta test of prototype units, over 70 outdoor payment kiosks have been deployed in travel centers and truck stops in various locations across the US already, without a failure. Fiscal Systems, Inc. plans to roll out another 12,000, which will all be fitted with ZYTOUCH touchscreens.