How to Start Your Web Browser in Kiosk Mode with KioskSimple

Web browser kiosk modeBy starting your web browser in “kiosk mode” it effectively converts the web browser into a self-service kiosk application.  The goal of running your web browser in kiosk mode is to “cripple” the web browser so that all of the typical web browser navigation functions are stripped away, giving you complete control over the users experience.

The problem is this still leaves the Windows operating system vulnerable to user tampering since it’s trivial to exit most web browsers by pressing Alt-F4 (and several other methods) and thereby dropping to the Windows desktop.  This is why we created KioskSimple, to not only run your web browser in kiosk mode, but actually secure the Windows operating system.  In many cases you’ll also want to control the web content users will be permitted to access and limit it to that of your organization which is also made possible by KioskSimple. Continue reading “How to Start Your Web Browser in Kiosk Mode with KioskSimple”

How to Disable Internet Explorer Pinch-Zoom on Your Touchscreen Kiosk

Disable pinch-zoom on your Windows web browser kioskIf your Windows touchscreen kiosk is using the Internet Explorer WebBrowser Control you might want to consider disabling the user’s ability to “pinch-zoom” since it can cause readability issues.  Pinch-zoom can be a useful feature, especially when interacting with the web browser, but it can also cause confusion in a touchscreen kiosk environment since not all users are familiar with the pinch-zoom functionality.  Imagine the scenario where one user zooms in on the webpage and walks away, then the next user has no idea how to zoom back out to 100%.  Fortunately it’s easy to disable pinch-zoom in the Internet Explorer WebBrowser Control from the Windows registry and I’ll outline the steps below. Continue reading “How to Disable Internet Explorer Pinch-Zoom on Your Touchscreen Kiosk”

Disabling JavaScript Error Messages on Your Kiosk with KioskSimple

Disable JavaScript Error Messages on your kiosk with KioskSimple
Internet Explorer JavaScript error message

If your kiosk is running a website which utilizes JavaScript then chances are you don’t ever want to display JavaScript error messages to your kiosk users.  Ideally your JavaScript would never encounter an error, but on the off chance that your developers aren’t perfect a JavaScript error can cause the web browser to display a very confusing error message that can distract your kiosk users from their intended purpose. Continue reading “Disabling JavaScript Error Messages on Your Kiosk with KioskSimple”

Blocking Websites on Your Kiosk with KioskSimple

Easily block websites on your kiosk with KioskSimpleIf you’re using a kiosk to display a website(s) then chances are you don’t want your users to be able to browse wherever they please.  You want to keep your website on the kiosk at all times so that you control exactly what your customers see while using your kiosk.  We’ve made this easy with KioskSimple and no coding or nerd degree is required.

KioskSimple uses a hybrid whitelist (websites that are allowed) and blacklist (websites that are blocked) for maximum security and flexibility.  In order for a website to be displayed on your kiosk it must be both included in the whitelist and not include in the blacklist.  I’ll do an example below so you can see just how easy this is. Continue reading “Blocking Websites on Your Kiosk with KioskSimple”

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”

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”

If You’re Not Considering Tablet Kiosks, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

decoration_windows_tablet_chassisTablet kiosks are becoming an increasing popular economic alternative to traditional standing kiosks.  They offer many advantages, chief of which is their affordability, but they also have several limitations which are worth considering.  My goal for this article is to help you decide if a tablet kiosk is a better fit for your kiosk project than a standard kiosk. Continue reading “If You’re Not Considering Tablet Kiosks, You’ll Hate Yourself Later”