As Internet usage becomes less and less a business tool or research outlet
and more and more of a way of human lifestyle, systems are constantly being
developed which let us access the wealth of information that is the Internet and
World Wide Web in ways which are convenient to us. We got a sneak peek at a new
way that our island's residents and visitors will be able to get online while
away from the often-limited confines of their personal computer - making the
internet accessible from just about anywhere.
While Internet kiosks have been big in the states and in major cities worldwide
for years, a new company has decided to bring the technology to Guam, making it
possible for people to browse the Web, check their e-mail or do any number of
online activities while away from the PCs. The Public Internet Company was
formed by John Yang, a 15-year business veteran on the island, who with his
friends to help bring portable, customizable and profitable Internet terminals
for use for local vendors.
As President, Yang said of his company's focus and target markets that, “I’m
seeing the Airport, the
Micronesia Mall and Tumon
exhibitors being the biggest takers. But basically, this service is for the use
of the general public. I’ve been making proposals to companies along the tourist
district, and I think they will be pleased."
The kiosks themselves use a customized version of
Explorer as the default Web browsing application, meaning that sites visited
won't lose functionality or form like they have with similar kiosks. The kiosks
can also display Web pages and payment/usage instructions in one of three
languages: English, Japanese or Korean - further extending their flexibility to
local business looking to add a new interactive feature to their store spaces.
Users navigate through commands and Web sites by utilizing a touchscreen, which
was admittedly one of the better ones I've tested over the years. The screen was
very receptive to the touch, and unlike similar technologies, doesn't compromise
usability for display quality. Pages look great, and you don't have to have a
boxing match with the terminal just to tell it to reload a page.
The payment interface method for the kiosks can be either through a billfold
terminal or by a credit card swiping mechanism, reducing the need for an
attendant to help you get online. You just pay and then start surfing.
Yang added that if you would like to see the new Internet kiosks up close and
personal you are welcome to check out his showroom, 6 days a week. You can reach
the public internet company at 671-632-7218.