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Kiosk User Guide

If you mainly want to use Wototo to help distribute files from the Android Information Hub / Kiosk app then this guide should get you going. If later you want to make a web app then look at the general user guide.

The Mediahub can package web apps and other downloads (e.g. audio files, PDFs) for distribution using the Kiosk (Information Hub) app. A kiosk is like a digital leaflet stand: it allows a set of files and apps to be browsed and easily downloaded to a smart phone or tablet. The kiosk also provides short-URLs and QRCodes to download media that can be included in flyers and other print media. A kiosk display can be browsed on any modern web browser. Alternatively an Android-based tablet can be used as a dedicated kiosk device. A dedicated kiosk device provides access to a local copy of downloadable content over its own WiFi network even where there is no 3G or other WiFi available.

Authoring Quickstart

The authoring interface is accessed using a web browser through the path mediahub/_design/app/html/editor/index.html. It is normally password-protected.

The main view shows a list of the Content Types supported by that mediahub. You can return to this list at any point by clicking Wototo in the title bar.

For setting up a Kiosk the important "top-level" content types are:

  • Kiosk - a definition for a single kiosk, i.e. a particular set of downloads.
  • File - a file (or link to a file) that can be downloaded from a kiosk, or an image for use in the kiosk.

The list also includes Background Task: these are the mediahub admin tasks such as pubishing a kiosk and importing/exporting content checkpoints.

1. Upload an image

Upload an image for your download...

If you are not at the Content Types list then click on Wototo in the title bar.

Click File to see a list of current files (the File List). Initially this will be empty with just an Add... button at the top. Click Add... and the Add File form will appear. This has two tabs: Overview (which is common to all content types) and File; open the File tab.

Click Choose File and select an image files to upload (ideally choose a PNG or JPEG image that is no more than 2MB). This file should be immediately uploaded to the mediahub. A simple image editor will then appear which you can use to crop, scale or rotate the image if necessary. Make sure you Save edited image if you make any changes in the image editor.

You can now open the Overview tab and check that the title has been set to the uploaded file name. You can change this, or add a description if you wish (but they are not necessary in this case).

You can also add a comment; this is only visible in the editor, but is useful to remember what the file is for or from. It is a good idea to make up a hashtags (#NAME) for each project that you are working on and include this in the comments - this will make it much easier to find related materials later on.

Click Add to add the new file; the view will switch back to the File List view, and the uploaded will be visible. You can Edit or Delete the file from this view. Note that there is no undo!

2. Add an external URL

Add a link to a file to make available for download (e.g. a PDF file)...

If you are not at the Content Types list then click on Wototo in the title bar.

Click File to see a list of current files (File List). Click Add... to open the Add File view, and switch to the File tab.

Paste the public URL into the External URL text box; if you aren't sure what file to use then try http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~cmg/GooglePlay/InformationHub/mobile%20flyer%20layout.pdf.

Switch to the Overview tab, and enter a title (e.g. Test file) and a description that will appear in the kiosk view (e.g. An interesting document that you can download). Optionally add tags/comments to help identify this file in the editor.

Scroll down to the section Image for use by kiosk and click Browse server.... Select the image you uploaded in step 1.

Scroll back to the top and click Add; the view will switch back to the File List view.

3. Create a download kiosk

If you are not at the Content Types list then click on Wototo in the title bar.

Click Kiosk to see a list of current kiosks (the Kiosk List, initially empty). Click Add... and the Add Kiosk form will appear. This has three tabs: Overview, List and Kiosk.

In the Overview tab give the kiosk a title e.g. test kiosk. Put some text in the description - this will be made available as help information in the kiosk interface. For example This is what the tutorial made me do - please don't blame me for it.

In the List tab click Add below... and select your download File from the list (ignore the image file(s)).

Swith to the Kiosk tab and fill in the Author section.

If you are going to distribute content from another web server (e.g. if you are running Wototo on a desktop of laptop computer) then enter the URL that you are going to serve the kiosk content from in the External hosting URL text box. This should be the URL of a new directory on the web server where you will place the published kiosk files (with NO trailing /).

Click Add to create the definition for the Kiosk and return to the Kiosk List view.

4. Publish the kiosk content

In the Kiosk List, on your new Kiosk entry, click Publish.... In the dialog enter a directory name for your published kiosk on the web server. This must be different for every kiosk and app, and a short name without spaces is probably safest, e.g. "tutorialkiosk".

A view for this publishing task appears, initially titled Create Background Task, and sub-titled Publish kiosk to .... Click Run and the view will change to Update Background Task. Shortly a Task status section should appear, which gives you progress information about publishing the kiosk. Hopefully this will change to "Task complete" within 10 seconds or so (longer for a kiosk with more files and/or more complex apps).

This view has three links near the bottom: the "web kiosk view" link is the published kiosk user interface on the mediahub web server; try opening this in another window, or on another device. You should see a browser view with an item for your app, which if you click it has options to Get on this device, i.e. download it on that device, or Send over the Internet, i.e. get a URL and QRCode that can be entered into another phone or tablet to download it.

Note that if you specified an External hosting URL in step 3 then you will need to copy the published files there before you will actually be able to download the content (expect to get a File not found error if you do try clicking on Get on this device).

Well done, you have configured and published your first digital download kiosk using the mediahub.

5. Distributing content on other web servers

The last link in the Publish kiosk to webserver task is an archive file which you can download and unpack on another web server or on a dedicated kiosk device to make those downloads available there.

If you are distributing content from another web server (which you configured as the kiosk External hosting URL) then:

  • download the archive file,
  • upload it to your web server (which will need to serve static files plus some basic PHP but no database),
  • create the External hosting URL directory if it doesn't already exist and
  • unzip the archive in it.

The kiosk view should be the configured External hosting URL plus /index.html.

6. Distributing content using the offline kiosk app

If you want to (also) distribute the content offline using the Information Hub android app then:

  • find an Android smart phone or tablet to use (it should work on Android 2.1 and above);
  • install the Information Hub / Kiosk app from Google Play;
  • download the archive file from Wototo to the android device, e.g. scan the QR code or enter the URL into the browser (see note 1 below);
  • open the download file on the Android device, and if prompted select the option to open with the Information Hub app (depends on what other apps you have installed that work with archive files);
  • the app should give you option to update its cache; click Replace and then Show main UI and reload content.

You should now have a complete copy of the content and the kiosk interface on the Android device, which you can use to distribute content to other devices over local WiFi or via the Internet.

  1. Note that if the editor is running on a laptop or desktop and is not accessible to the Android device then you will need to copy it to a web server first, or plug the device into your computer and copy the file directly onto it. If you copy the file directly onto it then you will need a File Manager app installed on the device in order to find and open it, e.g. OI File Manager.