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Disabling Windows Sleep and Hibernation From Your Kiosk Application

Disabling Windows Sleep and Hibernation From .NET WPF C#In this article I’ll explain how to disable the Windows Sleep and Hibernation Power Options directly from your kiosk application.  Imagine the scenario where your kiosk goes to sleep and potential customers see nothing but a black screen.  Many customers will assume the kiosk is out of order and keep right on walking.  To make matter worse, when the user touches the screen they’ll be greeted by a Windows login prompt and chances are they won’t know the password. Continue reading “Disabling Windows Sleep and Hibernation From Your Kiosk Application”

Blocking Popup Windows on your Kiosk with KioskSimple

Block popup windows on your kioskThe Windows operating system regularly pops up dialog windows which could interrupt your kiosk users or worse compromise the security of your kiosk. KioskSimple enables you to configure which popup windows should be allowed to display (if any) and which should be automatically closed.  By blocking popup windows you eliminate potential distractions to your kiosk users and help ensure that their experience on your kiosk goes smoothly. Continue reading “Blocking Popup Windows on your Kiosk with KioskSimple”

Disabling the Windows Screen Saver From Your Kiosk Application

Disable the screen saver from your kiosk applicationIn this article I’ll explain how to temporarily disable the built in Windows screen saver from your kiosk application.  If you’ve created a native Windows application (i.e. .NET WPF) to run on your self-service kiosk you probably don’t want it to be interrupted by the Windows screen saver.  Sure you could go to the screen saver settings and disable the screen saver completely but then you’d have to do that on ever single kiosk.  It would be more convenient to temporarily disable the screen saver only while your kiosk application is running. Continue reading “Disabling the Windows Screen Saver From Your Kiosk Application”

Blocking Ctrl-Alt-Del and Other Windows Shortcuts on Your Kiosk

Filter ctrl-alt-del on your kiosk applicationPreventing malicious users from tampering with the Windows operating system on your kiosk necessitates that system keystrokes like Ctrl-Alt-Del be blocked.  This can be surprisingly difficult since Windows doesn’t give you a built in method for doing this.  The next logical step would be to have your kiosk application filter out these keystrokes which turns out to be a problem since your kiosk application is running in user move not kernel mode (see user mode vs. kernel mode explanation).

This leaves you with three options:

  1. Create a kernel mode upper filter driver that listens for system keystrokes and discards them before they reach the operating system.
  2. Use a 3rd party kiosk lockdown software that filters keystrokes for you.
  3. Replace the physical keyboard with a touchscreen keyboard that does not include any modifier keys (i.e. Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Windows Key, etc…)

Continue reading “Blocking Ctrl-Alt-Del and Other Windows Shortcuts on Your Kiosk”

6 Reasons to Develop Your Kiosk Application as a Native Windows Application

.NET WPF kiosk application developmentIn a previous article I briefly covered my thoughts on the pros and cons of developing a kiosk application as a website.  In this article I’ll be exploring the pros and cons of developing your kiosk application as a native Windows application (i.e. a .NET WPF kiosk application).  It boils down to a case of client-side vs. server-side and deciding which approach best fits your needs. My goal for this 2-part series is to define the pros and cons of each approach to better help kiosk application developers make an informed decision. Continue reading “6 Reasons to Develop Your Kiosk Application as a Native Windows Application”

Integrating a Webcam Into Your Kiosk Application

Integrate popular webcams into your kiosk application with KioskSimple
Add support for modern webcams to your kiosk application

Adding a webcam to your kiosk application can go a long way to improve the security of your kiosk.  In the case of disputed credit card charges (i.e. chargebacks) it can help to have a picture of the customer swiping the card in question.  One of our main goals with KioskSimple was to make it really easy for kiosk application developers to integrate popular kiosk devices, like webcams, into their kiosks.  The KioskSimple developer API supports integrating a webcam into your website and we have code examples to get you started. Continue reading “Integrating a Webcam Into Your Kiosk Application”

Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 3 Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Payment Kiosks

KS_creditcard_bottom_cornerThis is my third and final article in a series titled “A Beginners Guide to Developing Kiosk Software.”

In this article I’m not even going to attempt to delve into the specifics of developing support for accepting payments because there is a huge variation between payment devices and their interfaces.

What I am going to cover is the decision making process you as a developer or business owner need to carefully step through when you decide to make your kiosk accept payments.

If you have any questions about a specific payment device please shoot me a message on one of my social media channels listed at the end of this article. Continue reading “Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 3 Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Payment Kiosks”

How to Easily Put Your Website on a Kiosk with KioskSimple

Your website on a kioskGetting your website on a self-service kiosk is a simple process with the use of kiosk lockdown software like KioskSimple.  In this article (and accompanying video) I’ll show you just how easy it is to convert your existing website into a self-service kiosk in just a few simple steps.  Don’t worry, no nerd degree is required.

Continue reading “How to Easily Put Your Website on a Kiosk with KioskSimple”

Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 2 Application Security

kiosk softwareWelcome to the second article in my series on kiosk software development.

My goal for this series of articles is to give an overview on the basics of developing kiosk software that’s both a joy for your customers to use and adheres to the guidelines of PCI-Compliance.

This is more of a series of general guidelines and tips based on my 7+ years of experience developing and dealing with other people’s kiosk software not a comprehensive how-to guide. When I use the term “kiosk software” I’m referring to any software running on a kiosk in a self-service (unattended) environment regardless of the technology used.

This second article will focus on the security aspects of “hardening” your kiosk software to ensure that your kiosk is always running smoothly and your customer’s information is safe from malicious users. Continue reading “Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 2 Application Security”

Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 1 the Basics

KioskSimple kiosk softwareMy goal for this series of articles on kiosk software development is to give an overview on the basics of developing kiosk software that’s both a joy for your customers to use and adheres to the guidelines of PCI-Compliance.

This is more of a series of general guidelines and tips based on my 7+ years of experience developing and dealing with other people’s kiosk software not a comprehensive how-to guide.

When I use the term “kiosk software” I’m referring to any software running on a kiosk in a self-service (unattended) environment regardless of the technology used. The kiosks our company commonly deals with are running Microsoft Windows so I’ll use terms like “Web app” or “Windows app” when referring to the kiosk software, but feel free to substitute whatever technology is appropriate for your environment.

This first article in the series will cover the basic considerations you’ll have when getting started on your first kiosk software project and later articles I’ll get into more advanced topics like security, payment processing and more. Continue reading “Getting Started Developing Kiosk Software – Part 1 the Basics”