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Replace PCs in Theme Park Kiosks

A theme park with locations worldwide has multiple ticketing location kiosks, including the general park admission areas and at many of the more popular rides. Because of their outdoor locations, these kiosks were originally designed around high temperature tolerant industrial PCs. Each PC is required to exist in highly variable climate and must process approximately 5,000 transactions per day flawlessly.

Despite the cost and supposed ruggedness of these PCs, failures still occurred frequently. The cost of failure in this high volume application can truly be disastrous, with hundreds or thousands of eager visitors unable to use their tickets to enter the park or to ride the rides without experiencing very long lines and very long delays. The theme park needed to find another solution that would operate in a wide variety of climates, interface to the peripheral devices inside the ticketing kiosks, and simply never break.

The theme park replaced the industrial PC inside each ticketing kiosk and admission gate with the ConnectPort Display M22, a zero-client solution with serial, USB and video ports. The ConnectPort Display:

  • Connects a USB magnetic stripe reader for reading tickets, an LCD display, a USB touch screen, a serial fingerprint reader and a serial printer inside each kiosk
  • Connects over the park's internal LAN to data center servers that process the transactions from each kiosk
  • Works with the park data center servers' VMware ESX Server virtualization software and Windows XP Pro
  • Contains no moving parts, making it ideal for rugged or volatile environments

This change took place in approximately 50 kiosks at the most popular rides and 20 admission gates at each of its four theme parks. The combination of VMware virtualization and ConnectPort Display, plus Digi's ability to work with the touch screen vendor and VMware to adapt to the touch screen's unique characteristics, allowed complete replacement of all of the industrial PCs originally deployed.

The solution's reliability is now nearly 100%. Total cost of ownership is dramatically reduced, as frequent expensive service calls and equipment replacement are eliminated. Project implementation caused no lines or delays to the theme park's customers, freeing up more time for them to spend money on concessions and other attractions in the parks.

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Replacing rugged PCs in outdoor theme park ticketing kiosks with reliable zero-clients

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Replace support-intensive, unreliable "rugged" PCs with VMware-compatible zero-clients to connect display, serial and USB devices to a LAN or IP network

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