A host of organisations including Sun Alliance and Thresher will be taking part in a six-month trial of BT's high street multimedia kiosks. The trial will begin at the end of November and involves 200 Touchpoint kiosks, installed at selected sites in central London, Kingston, Ilford and Croydon.
Facilities offered include information on sport, news, weather and leisure together with an entertainment guide with video clips of current top films. BT has been working with brand names such as British Airways, Thomsons, The Guardian, Halifax and Interflora to add their services to Touchpoint.
Simon Holderness, electronic distribution project manager at Sun Alliance, said the kiosk adds a new dimension to its services. "We?re already on the Internet and we are always interested in finding new ways to allow customers to deal with us," he said. Sun Alliance will offer travel insurance services.
Rupert Gavin, director of multimedia services at BT, said: ?The kiosks represent an important step in bringing advanced multimedia within the reach of a general public environment. With only a fraction of the population currently able to access the Internet, Touchpoint brings multimedia within the public?s reach.? The kiosks will be placed in shopping centres, hotels and colleges.
The kiosks will be supported by ICL servers. The kiosk terminals are multimedia Pentium PCs attached to printers. Netscape?s server and browsers will also be used with the TCP/IP network.
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