The way we think about renting movies at the while traveling is about to change thanks to a new vending machine from Canada based FADOW.
Until now, renting movies at airports involved acquiring physical DVDs and DVD players from kiosks or shops and then dropping them off at another airport location. Some airports have tinkered with providing movies for download over their wireless networks, but this practice is slow and limited to a few airports.
All of these rental practices may soon become outdated when the Moviecle fast downloading self service kiosks, which were recently launched for tests at terminal A of the Boston Logan International Airport, go nationwide. By quickly transferring movies and other video content to a flash drive, the Moviecle kiosk allows travelers to easily acquire movies and travel guides at the airport.
Here's how Moviecle works:
1. Find a Moviecle kiosk.
2. Insert your flash drive into the USB slot.
3. The interactive menu is activated when you plug in your flash drive. Select the content that you'd like to download.
4. Wait for the download to complete. Downloading takes 2-3 minutes depending on your drive and the size of the file. Advertisements will be displayed during the download.
5. Connect to the airport wireless connection and pay for your selection. Connecting to internet in order to pay for your movie rental is free.
6. Watch your video any time in the next 48 hours.
I recently tried out one of the Moviecle kiosks, and I was pleased to discover that there were several free videos to download. FADOW also provides several free travel guide videos. The process was easy and two 12-minute videos took just over a minute to download.
To get a better idea of how the kiosks work, I've taken a short video:
The cost to rent a movie from Moviecle is between $3.99 and $5.99, which seems a little high for a 48 hour rental. However, there are the selection and convenience factors to consider. If a movie that I've been dying to see is available via Moviecle, I just might be tempted.
The kiosks that are currently at the Boston airport are prototypes to work the bugs out of the system, and I did notice a few bugs. Of the four machines that I saw, three of them had monitors that were not functioning (each kiosk has 2 interactive monitors). I also noticed a loose USB port when using one machine. I was kicked out of the main menu once, which I'm assuming this had to do with the loose USB port.
Due to the file protection used, movies will only work with Windows XP, sorry Mac users. However, free content is available in Quicktime format which is Mac compatible. System requirements for activating the movies can be found at the FADOW website.
The Moviecle kiosk concept is solid, but there are a few kinks to work out before they catch on in a major way:
The condition of the kiosks was not great. Kiosks need to be able to run without constant hardware problems. Adding new movies should be the most common maintenance done, not repairing monitors and USB ports. Children (and travel bloggers) will be banging on these machines all day long, so they have to stand up to the punishment.
2. Compatibility With Other Devices
While Blackberry support is in the works, the ability to support the iPhone could drastically increase the use of Moviecle kiosks. Many tech savvy people do use Macs, so general Mac support would also be an asset.
3. View Before You Plugin
Currently, you have to plug in your flash drive before you see what content is available. It would be great to be able to see the selection of available movies before you dig out a flash drive.
What does this mean for the current leaders in airport movie rentals, InMotion and Redbox? With its ability to deliver content without handling physical disks or devices and the lack of need for attendants, FADOW can theoretically undercut the competition while maintaining a profit. Personally, if I were at InMotion or Redbox I'd start worrying as Moviecle kiosks just may be the future of the airport movie rental industry.
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