I.T. Co. has developed and is offering a unique solution for colleges and universities: an integrated coffee vending machine and information booth.Colleges will find that it is much more profitable to use such dual-function installations than standard information booths, since installation and maintenance of these new devices shall be carried out by the vendor (sales company) at its own expense.Colleges will only have to pay for the software — selected information functionalities, needed for students and teacher.
Information booth is a device used to display information during interaction between a remote user and information systems of a university. Students can use the screen of such info-booth, integrated with the university’s web-portal and other information resources, to check their grades, class and workshop schedules, contact details of lecturers, reminders to return books to the library, information about college events, visiting specialists, advertisements, information for enrollees, etc. Depending on the needs of a particular college the functionality of such an info-booth can be narrowed down or expanded: students can use the both to download e-copies of syllabus and to ordering learning materials from the library. Info-booths may be set up to either accept money for services or to offer only free information services.
A coffee vending machine is a popular device for making a wide range of hot beverages.Coffee vending machines are usually installed by vending companies free of charge in office buildings and other crowded establishments, and such installations pay off due to mass sales of inexpensive beverages paid for in cash.
These two devices were integrated to reduce the costs born by colleges for providing access to information for students and teachers. Purchase and installation of standard information booths requires considerable investments from colleges. Perhaps it is the reason why they have not received mass recognition and are currently installed only in few Moscow universities. I.T. Co. has proposed the idea of a device which could perform all functions of an info-booth, at the same time making beverages. Installation and servicing of new ‘coffeeinfobooths’ will be done at the vendors’ expense, whereas colleges will only pay for I.T. Co. software and/or cost of work that I.T. Co. would have to perform to integrate those ‘coffeeinfobooths’ with information systems already available at universities (portals, reference systems, etc.).
Such use of integrated devices will provide students with convenient access to the required information, will reduce costs of information services, and offer additional services to students, employees and visitors of universities. A booth is equipped with a touch screen and its intuitive software interface will be understood even by those who have no computer experience. For additional protection the terminals can be equipped with video surveillance cameras.
An info-booth network may function as a part of the information system called I.T.–University or may be integrated with any other information systems used at a particular university. I.T.–University is a complex information system with a wide selection of multifunctional applications for automating university operations and a capacity to adapt to particular characteristics of each single university’s management and operational processes. I.T.–University system has already been implemented in Russian State Agricultural University (RSAU — Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy), Moscow State Construction University, Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering and the National Economic Academy under the RF Government.