Using Your Own Computer…

2 February 2021
By Ed Notley

I really like your kiosks but I want to put my own computer in it 

It's a request we get reasonably often – so what's the answer? 

Firstly: We want our customers to have a great experience with K4B systems and kiosks such that they can fit them and know they will keep working for many years without much intervention. 

For K4B kiosks it is not really possible to fit third party computers as our kiosks are designed as a whole system rather than a set of bought in modules that can stand alone.

Most kiosk manufacturers build their kiosks from 3rd party monitors, third party computers housed in their own metalwork along with a multitude of power blocks powering each module . They work, but it constrains the styling, shape and size you can design kiosks in to. The K4B way is to design all the parts ourselves to fit the style brief and size of kiosks we make. Our kiosks do not have 3rd party monitors for screens or third party computers as it allows us to design in real reliability, performance and unique shapes and sizes and electronics to suit.

Our kiosk performance is designed and judged as a complete system FAQ…… Tile: I really like your kiosks but I want to put my own computer in it Date: Feb 2021

The likely situation of trying to fit a 3rd party computer to a K4B kiosk is that you will not be able to fit it in space wise. The likelihood is that it will also not have enough USB sockets, it will not have 12VDCout to power our various peripherals (on most K4B kiosks the only power supply is in the computer and it supplies everything else.) The 2.4/5.8 GHz Mimo antennas in our kiosks will only have one antenna point to connect to on a 3rd party computer and will miss out on the 5.8GHz wifi frequency as well. The Wifi in our computers is now Wifi 6 – the latest standard. The connecting cables will also be the wrong length as 3rd part computers have connectors for things in very odd places compared with a K4B computer. There will also be no method of securing the 3rd party computer into a K4B kiosk as the shape and size will be different. K4B computers also feature a remote reset switch facility where the “on-computer " reset switch can be remotely extended to a hidden reset switch available to be pressed from outside the kiosk if required. A 3rd party computer does not feature a connection point for this external switch. 

Often the reason given for wanting to use “own computer " is support. We worry about the level of support others have to give their kiosks and computers. We want our customers to just use our kiosks and not have problems to need support on. In our experience the level of support we need to give to our ION3 computers is extremely small after the kiosks have been built and commissioned by us. The computer boards we use are industrial in nature and rarely give any problem. The other likely support topic required is the operating system where standard win10Pro (the OS that most use for kiosks) throws off support issues due to the endless updates it does. With our ION3 computers we use another version of Win 10 which is more aligned to kiosks and does not perform endless updates creating incompatibilities at regular intervals. K4B ION3 computers and the O/Swe use mean that we rarely receive support calls and the ones we do receive, most of them can be solved with a remote connection. 

The above is the summary of most of the tech reasons why we insist on using our own computers for all our kiosks. But primarily we are designing, building and delivering complete solutions, tested, working and QA'd when we deliver to our customers. We pride ourselves in having support available but rarely needing it, such is the reliability of our solutions. Its the same reason why all car manufacturers will only supply complete cars as complete solutions, not part cars for the customer to add his own engine (say). 

And Lastly: We want our customers to have a great experience with K4Bsystems and kiosks such that they can fit them and know they will keep working for many yearswithout much intervention.