These self service kiosks allow customers to search for a book, check if it is in stock at the store, view the current price, read a detailed description and get a print-out of the particulars of a book or a search.
Working with AdvanceRetail Technology, New Zealand's leading POS software vendor, we developed kiosk software that integrates into the existing the Paper Plus POS system, checking for price and stock status in real time and displaying this information on the kiosk.
The kiosk uses a subset of the Nielsen BookData database and receives overnight updates to the database to keep it current. The search engine uses an open source text search product called Lucene.net which indexes over 990,000 books every day. The search provides instant results as you type, searching the title, author, subject and ISBN number fields, automatically performing word-stemming and widening the search* when necessary. Book details displayed include cover art, jacket notes, edition and publisher.
Text is entered using a visually-responsive on-screen keyboard. The instant feedback the user receives is key to making what could be a complex interface very intuitive - the user understands exactly what the kiosk is doing from the first touch.
A print-out of search results or book details includes the unique barcode for the book - used for placing advance orders for a book that is not in stock.