Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ChMS - Children's Check-In

We have been looking for a mac check-in solution since before we even started the new database search. I believe we have finally found it.

Arena's children's check-in is a windows app, and we were really not relishing the idea of deploying up to 20 windows boxes on our otherwise windows client free campus. Enter the fantastic guys at CCCEV (we refer to them as C-Cubed EV as it's easier to say). Nick and Jason built a check-in application that runs entirely in the browser. Using opera, we can run the browser in kiosk mode and create check-in stations that run on Mac OSX. The server has to interface with the actual printers, so there is some windows involvement but not nearly the support burden we would face by adding a bunch of XP boxes to our network.

With the software hurdle overcome, we sat down with the kids team and showed them the functionality of the check-in system that Nick and Jason wrote. They were quite pleased, and so we then moved on to spec-ing out the hardware. We ordered a mac mini, a Zebra GK420d printer, and an Elo Intellitouch touch screen to make up the hardware package, and then designed a kiosk that our facilities team is building for us.

Today we looked at the prototype kiosk and it is sweet. The base is only 18x20, making it much smaller than most of the commercial products. This is a big deal to us as storage is a very big problem on this campus. We made a few design changes and should have a final prototype by tomorrow or so.

We have wanted children's check-in for over nine years here, so to finally have this underway is awesome. Once again, I am thrilled with the community approach that makes Arena such a great product. Rather than being stuck with a solution we didn't like, we were able to choose from three separate check-in solutions and found the one that was adaptable to the mac. This allows me to support the kiosks with my current team, rather than having to develop windows expertise. Good stuff!

Joel

1 comment:

Thiago daLuz said...

Wow, check-in systems geared specifically towards children. That's a great idea. I'm glad to see it finding some serious uses. Definitely something I'd like to see more widely applied. Thiago | http://www.kidcheck.com