Interactive Video Display Kiosks

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Engagement range


Difficulty level

Medium to Hard (some specialist skills and technical prowess  required)


Medium ($1000 to $10,000)

When you might use

  • To showcase a product, plan, policy

  • To communicate an issue
  • To develop community capacity

Number of people to organise

A team of people may be required (three to 12)

Audience numbers

Large (more than 30)


Medium (six weeks to six months) to long (six to 12 months) 


Sophisticated hardware and software; Expert programmers to set up interactive display and keep updated/ troubleshoot and repair; Technicians to install near ISDN or cable connections; Regular policing to prevent vandalism

Innovation level




Stand alone kiosks that present a large amount of information using a computer and touch screen/mouse for navigation through the information located within the kiosk. Interactive video displays and kiosks are similar to automatic teller machines, offering menus for interaction between a person and a computer. Information is provided through a presentation that invites viewers to ask questions or direct the flow of information. Viewers activate programs by using a touch-screen, keys, a mouse, or a trackball. Software used in interactive video displays and kiosks is highly specialized, storing information on CD-ROM or floppy disks that allow retrieval of specific information based on directions from the viewer. By contrast, hardware requirements are fairly minimal, requiring relatively simple computer equipment



To deliver information via a multimedia presentation. This media is suitable for those not able to read the language, those who prefer visual as well as verbal cues, and is one that appeals to all age groups.


Desired outcome

Provide a multimedia option for finding information about an event, issue or proposal, through a ‘click and find’ process, rather than having to scroll through a great deal of information to find just what is wanted.



  • Can elicit preferences from people who do not otherwise participate.
  • Complement staff availability.
  • Can provide printed messages.
  • Provide information from an agency to the public.
  • Collect information from the public for agency analysis.
  • Offers agencies flexibility in controlling and directing where a message goes.
  • If well sited, can reach people who do not normally attend hearings or meetings.
  • Deliver information to the user.
  • Offers a variety of issues to explore, images to view, and topics to consider.
  • Elicit specific responses, acting as a survey instrument.
  • Enables the user to enter a special request to the sponsoring agency or join a mailing list.
  • Are used in a variety of locations and may be either stationary or mobile.
  • Allows a great deal more information to be made available and can be developed similarly to web pages and navigated in a similar way. Therefore, a lot more information can be made available through kiosks than stand alone displays.

Special considerations/weaknesses

  • Sophisticated information programs make interactive displays expensive.
  • Takes time to set up (one year for planning, fundraising and setting up).
  • After construction and installation, staff commitments are relatively limited.
  • Any new technology involving machines may cause unease.
  • Software purchase is a high up-front cost.
  • Maintenance costs are incurred.
  • Potential vandalism is a factor in site selection.
  • Liability issues may be associated with location of displays.
  • Strategic sighting of interactive programs is imperative. They should be located where large numbers of people frequent.

Step by step guide

  1. Conduct local meetings to determine whether interactive video would be a viable option for your community. The interactive video network might serve a number of community needs, such as teaching shortages in rural communities, and as well build the community’s capacity to participate in decision making in relation to issues of community concern.
  2. Contact communications providers and government agencies for funding and sponsorship for the project (e.g. telecommunications companies may lay fibre optics as part of their community service obligations). Sponsorship is more likely if a number of agencies can present a case for using the systems (e.g. Natural Resources and Education Departments).
  3. In setting up displays on a community issue, present materials in ways that are simple, graphically interesting, and easily understood.
  4. Develop material in similar ways to web pages, so they can be navigated in a similar way.
  5. Seek limited public input through the inclusion of electronic surveys, however manipulation is a possibility and results should be regarded with care.
  6. Specialist software and industrial designers are required.


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