Why we make the photo kiosk ourselves

With the elegant photo kiosk made of Swiss oak wood, our customers have an additional channel to procure photos. Why a software company makes a wooden stand and how we implemented the requirements for our photo column, we illuminate in this article.

We took our inspiration for the self-service photo kiosk from the photo booths: Employees should be able to take photos on site without their own equipment and without prior knowledge. Instead of then printing the photos, however, we would feed them directly into the digital photo workflow at Photo Collect . In addition to ease of use, uncomplicated installation, a high-quality camera, data transmission with 4G/5G/Wifi and network-independent operation were important to us.

We quickly found the solution for a reliable and high-quality device platform: We can use the good selfie camera of the iPad Pro and the flawless and fast touch interface for operation. A 5G connection and a stable operating system are on top of the iPad Pro. However, the search for a suitable, high-quality and beautiful iPad stand remained unsuccessful, so we decided to design one ourselves and have it manufactured.

Our requirements were:

  • The photo column should be practically impossible to tip over. We wanted to rule out possible accidents caused by columns falling over in any case. The solution: The column has an extremely low center of gravity and a high weight (30 kilograms) due to solid steel plates that are invisibly embedded in the base.
  • The iPad should not wobble or swing after release. Because of the camera function, high stability is essential. The solution is two solid steel pins that connect the vertical column to the base. They make the column rigid and insensitive to vibrations.
  • The power-saving mode of the Photo Collect Kiosk app allows for up to 27 hours of mains-independent operation, but the iPad should still be able to be charged without any problems. The solution is an internal cable routing to the base; the photo kiosk can thus be connected via USB-C to the mains or a powerbank.
  • It must not be possible to remove the iPad without tools. Since a locked iPad cannot be used or sold, the photo kiosks are not located in public spaces, and no photos are stored on the devices, securing the iPad against theft is not a priority. An unobtrusive maintenance access point can be used to remove the iPad with a tool, but without the proper tool, the iPad will remain locked.

With a first hand planed prototype we could test and adapt our design. For series production, we decided on a CNC-controlled manufacturing in the Zurich area. The solid oak wood for this comes from the canton of Zug and is planed for us and then milled with the CNC machine. After assembly, the column is oiled and is available to our customers.

The photo kiosk is an ideal complement to image retrieval via e-mail or SMS link. The wide-angle camera and uniform illumination produce excellent results. In addition, a photo kiosk increases visibility for on-site photo gathering. You can rent the photo column including iPad Pro for your project. 

Did you know? The Photo Collect license already includes the use of the kiosk app - our customers can also set up and operate their own stands and iPads as kiosks at any time.

The oak tree comes from the canton of Zug.
A production batch is ready for use.
The CNC milling machine works with millimeter precision.
The iPad can be charged or operated 24/7 via the USB-C port.
You can't see the 30 kilos of weight on the column.
Ready for action.

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