To the end-user The
Point! appears as a small notebook or a normal Personal Digital Assistant
(PDA) depending on the selected form factor. The device can present full
color graphical images and large legible text, not unlike a standard,
high quality web page.
Each machine supports
multiple surveys, and is limited only by the amount of memory on the specific
device. Groups of surveys are loaded on to the device via a link with
a standard PC either by serial cable or by IR port. Potential wireless
technologies, capable of enhancing user experience and increasing available
bandwidth, are under exploration. Surveys or forms range in detail from
extremely simple to highly complex.
complex surveys can contain multiple languages (generally starting with
a “Select your language” form) as well as supporting 2 styles of branching,
or form skipping information.
Branching is determined
as an assigned object attribute, or via a brand-sequencing wizard within
The Point! Maker. Simple branching means that respondents are guided through
different screens based upon different responses. Complex branching takes
into account all touches since beginning the user session, and scans touches
from any number of form screens to determine the next screen to produce.
This provides much more than a simple decision tree, and can lead to greater
understanding of user information. The ability to manage a highly sophisticated
survey design is a significant step forward in automated data collection.
The compact size of The Point!, and anticipated 10 to 12 hour battery
power enable mobile data collection where previously none was possible.
|The Point! in Action|
Edge Strategeze Inc. has a well-established history in the development of
kiosking technology. With our base business centered in marketing research,
we have long held the ambition to optimize our methods of data collection.
From our inception, our fundamental data collection methods have been scanning
and faxing of forms that incorporate intelligent mark-sense, bar-code, and
printed character recognition. For this reason, The Edge’s first effort
in kiosking (which we called A.R.K.@the_edge for Automated Response Kiosk)
integrated Teleform’s form scanning software with a touchscreen and camera.
It would be fair to describe the A.R.K. as “very cool”, but big, awkward
and unreliable - and a bit ahead of its time. From there we turned to an
electronic clipboard technique using the CrossPad and forms that as they
were filled out on paper recorded an “electronic ink” version in the background.
When the integration of the electronic data with our forms software failed
to reach fruition we pretty much resigned ourselves to reliance on pencil
Finally however, we reached The Point! Our creative process was stimulated by seeing a hard-coded form operating in a standard PDA. At this juncture, we realized that if a software packaged were developed within the Window CE environment to create touchscreen activated questionnaires, complete automation of data gathering and portability would be our reward.
Hence The Point! System: a higher point than we had anticipated.
Because The Point! System was developed initially for Windows CE, it is inherently capable of running on any and all Windows platforms — from the smallest and most portable PDA to the largest permanent kiosk display. Each day we continue to be intrigued by its potential. It may be hard to imagine data collection that is completely portable, wirelessly connected to the Internet, interfaced with scanners, printers, cameras, and voice recording — yet cost effective and easy to use, but we hope that you are starting to get The Point!