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Doubling and Tripling Down on the iPad Kiosk Use Case

FlowVella launched as an ‘iPad first’ application to create, share and present interactive presentations. From day one, the experience viewing ‘flows’ was always ‘app like’ and different than any presentation app before it. FlowVella (or Flowboard our first name) was made for touch and purpose built for the iPad.

Due to various factors, FlowVella quickly gained popularity as an iPad (iOS) kiosk solution for events, retail spaces, information centers, museums and more. Its superior performance stems from being highly responsive, swift, and an entirely native application, outperforming secured web pages on an iPad. FlowVella enhances user experience by downloading and caching all content for offline access, eliminating the wait time for downloading large videos or images. After the initial download, the app does not require any further downloads, ensuring rapid access to content.

Kiosk Users Drive Features Beyond ‘Just’ Kiosk Mode

As we gained more traction as a kiosk, we benefited from the users requesting features that make the app better for the use case. We would have not known to build some of the key features of our ‘kiosk mode’ settings if we didn’t get these requests. We listen to and act and all feedback from our users. Here is a list of features that we’re driven by user requests:

  • Night modeGates Foundation Discovery Center
    • Sets screen to black at specified time. Saves energy, looks better and reduces any risk of burn-in (or after-image)
  • Secure web browser – remove all cache of user input – Stockman Bank
    • When linking to a web page via our inApp browser, the browser removes all user input each session.
  • Ability to remove video controlsOregon Jewish Museum and Holocaust Center
    • Removing video controls forces the user to watch the whole video. After the video plays, it returns to the previous screen. This is for full screen videos and not videos that are set to ‘autoplay’.
  • Inactivity Reset Time Starting at 30 SecondsYale Architecture at Guggenheim Balboa
    • Yale Architecture’s Future Nomad kiosk/presentation had quite short videos, so they wanted to allow the reset to be as short as 30 seconds, the lowest was one minute previously.
  • ?? – Have a suggestion?

Flow Kiosk Built for Kiosk Deployment

We are (were) so committed to the kiosk use case that we built a ‘sister’ (brother) application called Flow Kiosk. Flow Kiosk is 95% the same as FlowVella except it is meant for kiosk deployment. What does that mean? When you launch into the ‘view’ mode in Flow Kiosk, the app does two things.

First, it launches into the ‘kiosk mode’ settings and forces the app to be in ‘kiosk mode’ to proceed. We felt this was important as you should never put an iPad that you want to use as a kiosk NOT in our kiosk mode. First and foremost, ‘our’ kiosk mode ensures that nobody can get out of the viewing experience and do nefarious things to the app, change the presentation or open the app to some unsavory content. How many times have you been to a museum or trade show/convention and there is an iPad kiosk or other kiosk that is essentially broken, on some odd web page or worse?

Second, Flow Kiosk checks to see if the iPad has ‘Guided Access’ turned on AND is activated. Flow Kiosk gives instructions on how to put it in Guided Access. What is Guided Access? Here is quick overview. When you triple tap and ‘activate’ Guided Access, Flow Kiosk will launch into view mode. If the iPad already had Guided Access on AND was active, it would launch straight into the view mode.

Reacting to Fear Around Covid in 2021

For the Covid pandemic, where spreading of germs was feared, we built a novel feature for Flow Kiosk, the QR Code Remote. This is another setting and feature that can be turned on via the kiosk mode settings. The QR Code Remote enables users to manipulate the kiosk in front of them without touching the iPad kiosk. You can the QR Code, hit the link and you see the presentation/kiosk appear on your mobile phone. Below the content are four buttons: ‘home’, ‘play’, ‘left’, and ‘right’. You can hit the arrow buttons to go to the next or previous screen. The home button takes you back to the first screen, and the ‘play’ button triggers the first video or gallery to start playing. Once playing or once a gallery is launched, the ‘play’ button works as a pause button.

Back to ‘Normal’ Business in 2024

After a couple years of cancelled events, closed museums and the shift to remote work, things have finally shifted back to the new normal. Things will likely never be exactly the same, but people have a palpable desire to go back to events, to travel for business and pleasure and to interact with humans IRL (in real life). We have seen a substantial uptick in our kiosk business in the last six months that echos this shift back to normality and we are here to help you make deeper connections with your guests, customers, attendees and however you need to interact with your users leveraging interactive, secure iPad kiosks.


Check out the 2024 Ultimate iPad Kiosk Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Download Flow Kiosk

Download FlowVella for Mac (all FlowVella presentations work in Flow Kiosk)

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