Virtualization for Touchscreen kiosks

Hi all -

We’re a larger church with quite a few touchscreen kiosks. Right now they are all Windows 10 computers with ELO Touchscreens and Zebra label printers.

I’m getting pretty tired of manually building and deploying images for these kiosks; especially lately as I’ve frequently been asked to tweak things while our checkin vendor rolls out upgrades. I’m really interested in virtualization to centralize this process.

My biggest worry, though, is about touchscreen behavior. For this to work, the virtual keyboard on the VM would need to work exactly as it does for a local deployment - automatically popping up when text fields are selected. For whatever reason, I can find virtually no information on touchscreen functionality over RDP or similar tech. Has anyone virtualized a touchscreen kiosk? What was your experience with touchscreen integration?

I could talk a long time on this topic, having support similar things in the past.

Instead I’ll summarize this as best I can:

If your hardware is fairly well standardized, it might be worth looking at an imaging server or service to let you keep your workflow, but only have to make the change once and then push it to all your hardware. This way nothing really changes with what your currently doing, except you’ll only need to do it once.

If you are mostly re-imaging to support an application upgrade, it might be worth exploring if you can run the application inside an RDS server and deliver it as a remote app. If so then you can upgrade the application or make settings changes centrally and all the remote units just pick that up. But they still use local drivers/virtual keyboards/etc.

I wouldn’t, today, recommend doing virtualized desktops for this use case. Nothing wrong with them, but the cost justification isn’t there beyond the two situations I have outlined above.

Long term you might want to see about getting the system to work via a website, iPad app, or similar - so you can get away from this whole topic altogether.

Hope this helps,

Karl P

Hi Karl -

Thanks for your insight.

The current application is just a website (requires Firefox ESR ) but it
depends on standard windows local printer support. The reimage requirements
have been due to the vendor significantly changing their browser and
printer configuration requirements as part of a recent upgrade, or our
staff asking me to tweak the full screen experience.

Other than these kiosks, everything else in our infrastructure is Mac or
Chromebook, so I don’t have the infrastructure for robust AD management.

Really my vision for virtualization was to basically maintain a very
similar workflow, just with the added benefit of convenient snapshotting,
replication, and remote management.