Kiosk Mats: How Do They Work And How Can They Protect Customers?

How many times have you stood in front of a kiosk and not realised you were standing on a kiosk mat? Probably quite often, considering how ubiquitous kiosk mats are these days. 

But how do they work? And more importantly, why are they there? 

Essentially, the mat alerts the computer in the kiosk when someone is standing in front of it. This is achieved by the mat sending the computer kiosk a set of keystrokes, allowing the kiosk to swing into action.

Another set of keystrokes is sent when the individual moves off the kiosk mat and away from the kiosk interface.

It’s all done via touch-sensitive pressure where the mat placed in front of the kiosk itself is linked to the computer in the kiosk via a USB cable. 

How kiosk mats help with security

The most important point about the kiosk mat though is not to get the kiosk up-and-running in the first place (although, obviously, this is important). 

But, rather, it is to protect the user’s data. In other words, the kiosk mat is all about security. 

In the early days of kiosk use it wasn’t uncommon for a user to walk away from a screen without logging out and for his or her data to still be visible on screen. 

That’s because the kiosk didn’t know the individual was no longer there (since that user hadn’t let the computer know by logging out). 

This obviously led to security implications – especially with bank tellers where another user had immediate access to the previous users account and could withdraw cash from the account. 

Understandably, the kiosk had no way of telling that it wasn’t the same person in front of it.

Today you can also find kiosk security mats which trigger kiosk printers to retract documents if they are not removed within a certain period of time. 

The printed documents are then placed in a disposal box within the kiosk to prevent anyone else seeing them. At the same time, all cookies are cleared as well as the cache and user history when there is no longer any pressure on the mat.

Where you will find kiosk security mats

It’s why today you will find kiosk security mats in banks and even hospitals and hotels – the kind of places where personal and financial data is regularly inputted into a kiosk when withdrawing cash or booking an appointment or room.

Other locations you will find kiosk security mats are at airport security points, local and national government buildings, military checkpoints and even inside shops (such as Boots the Chemist) where customers check and use up loyalty points via a card kiosk.

Meanwhile, as well as kiosk mats working via USB cables, there is talk of next generation wireless versions to help with biometrics, RFID and camera imaging technology. 

Get in touch!

Looking for the extra level of security protection that a kiosk security mat can bring your company? 

Then do get in touch with the team here at Acante today. We would be happy to offer advice and talk through any of our products. Tel: +44 (0)118 988 5522 or send us an email via enquiries@acante.co.uk.