Dell To Push Chameleon Kiosk

Dell will introduce next month a multi-function kiosk that is designed to change function throughout the day, being used perhaps in the morning to check items in at the loading dock before spending the afternoon as a customer-facing pharmacy information booth.

The as-yet-unnamed 12-inch touchscreen units will likely list for about $1,300 to $1,800 each and will use power-over-Ethernet, said Brian Slaughter, Dell's director of retail.

Slaughter made much of the kiosk's power-over-Ethernet capability, partially because of its environmentally-friendly aspect (the kiosk uses LEDs to keep power needs down) and also because of the lower operating costs and greater flexibility, he said. "The cost of running Ethernet is substantially less then running power" and video and sound can run over Ethernet at much greater distances, allowing for many of the commercials and other videos needed to be stored on a server at the other end of the store.

Wal-Mart and Target have been testing the units, he said.