How Much Should an Interactive Touchscreen Cost for Advanced Manufacturers?

4 October 2018

If you are an advanced manufacturing business are you wondering how much you should budget to develop an interactive touchscreen experience for an upcoming event or customer-facing area of your offices?

You probably already know that immersive interactive technologies, such as touchscreens, can be a great way to connect with customers, and really deliver the WOW factor at events. They are also a great way to explain and showcase complex solutions and innovative engineering.

Maybe you have an idea for a great customer experience that’ll blow their socks off, but you just don’t know if it’s going to be financially viable. You may even have come here with a rough idea of your budget, and want to get a better idea of what might be possible before you go any further.

This is the position our customers find themselves in when they first contact us and are thinking about taking the leap.

So, if you’re unsure what to expect, or how much an interactive touchscreen experience may cost, we can be of some help. We are touchscreen specialists after all – and we’re going to explain not only the average costs you can expect to pay but also the factors that affect costs.

The average cost of an interactive touchscreen solution

When it comes to figuring out the cost of an interactive touchscreen experience, the main considerations are split into two separate parts: the hardware and the software. The easiest way to think of them both is like your computer or tablet, where the computer is the hardware and what you see and interact with on screen (such as a website) is the software.

You couldn’t have one without the other, although it’s fairly simple to pick up a computer – there are many out there – whereas to create a professional website, you need to invest a bit of time, money and thought and it needs to be created by someone with experienced hands who knows what they’re doing.

We’re of course able to give you a good breakdown of the overall costs involved, however, most suppliers (including us) should always break down the costs into these two elements.

1. Hardware

You can also break hardware down into two main parts – the screen and then you’ll need a computer to run the experience itself.

The price you pay for hardware will vary based on your project needs. After all, the term ‘hardware’ covers a wide range of options, which could be anything from a basic, 30-inch touchscreen, to a large touch wall or touch table. You may need an exterior, large waterproof touchscreen to be installed in an outdoor public space.

If you were to invest in a high-quality, 32-inch touchscreen, starting costs would be around £600

A lectern-style 42-inch touchscreen, with stand, would cost approx £3,500

A 65-inch 4k touch table will set you back around £9,500.

Computers are a simpler option but still very important, depending on what content you have and how you want people to interact with it will determine how powerful a computer you’ll need, bottom line – always get something more powerful than you think you’ll need. In most cases, a PC rather than a Mac would be better and then you need to decide between a desktop, laptop or mini PC. Which type of depends on where it will sit in relation to the screen, usually space is always tight so a mini PC is a good option, they are significantly smaller than desktops and laptops and just as powerful. We always specify an i7 8th Gen CPU, min 16gig Ram and a decent graphics card if you’re interested!

1. Software

Now we’ve arrived at the most important part of the equation; the experience itself. In other words, the heart of your interactive, which dictates the kind of experience people will have, the content they’ll see, and the way they’ll engage with your brand.

Again, there are various factors that can affect the final price you can expect to pay for an interactive touchscreen experience – and again, they’re based on your individual needs.

However, on average, we’d say that the cost of an interactive touchscreen experience starts at £7,500 and can go up to £20,000 usually. For more complex solutions, it can be more.

A great deal of work goes into creating an experience even if dedicated touchscreen software is used, such as Intuiface.

We won’t go into detail here but these are the steps we go through when developing an experience.

  1. Project scope – Working with the client to scope out their requirements, who are they targetting, what are their goals, what does success look like, how will the project be measured, what are their specific requirements for the interactive, what kind of hardware is needed etc.
  2. Design & UX – What will the experience look like, how will people use the experience, what types of content will go into it? All these elements will affect the actual design and look and feel of the experience as well as the client’s corporate branding
  3. Wireframing – Before developing the final experience we always create interactive wireframes which are grey-scale designs of the experience layout, there is no branding design in these wireframes. These wireframes as shared with the client so they can get a feel for the flow of the interactive, where the navigation takes people and the level of content in the experience.
  4. Development – Once we have a client’s approval on the design look & feel and wireframes we then start the development, actually coding the experience.
  5. Project management – Because of the importance of all the stages we have robust project management processes in place to ensure a smooth and enjoyable process for the client meaning a successful project
  6. Onsite support – Sometimes we’ll need to be involved in the setup of the hardware at a client’s offices or at an event
  7. Ongoing support – We also provide ongoing support if the interactive is going to be used at multiple events or needs to be updated regularly

TIP: For a more detailed look at some of your software options when creating an interactive touchscreen experience, check out our recent blog on the subject.

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What else can affect the overall cost?

As mentioned above, there are a few other factors that will affect the final price you pay for an interactive touchscreen experience. This is what makes it tricky to give you a more solid price without getting an idea of your individual needs, goals and ideas you have for your interactive.

However, we still want to give you a better idea of some of the factors that will affect costs, so here they are:

  • The amount of content going into the experience
  • The type of interactions and features you want to include
  • Whether or not you want to integrate your solution with back-end systems, e.g., interact with your website
  • Whether you want your solution to be future-proof, so you can keep it updated with content remotely
  • The size of the display
  • How you’re going to display your interactive touchscreen – will it be mounted, or floor standing or need a specialist stand?
  • Do you need analytics data
  • The location – will you need WiFi? A design for the surrounding space?

These are all important considerations when working out your costs – and some of the above aren’t always things you’d necessarily even think about right away, which is why it’s good to talk things through with an experienced specialist.

TIP: A good touchscreen specialist should be happy to advise you or try to find the best solution to suit your budget whilst still creating an engaging and enjoyable experience your customers will love.

What do typical costs include?

Good question – and again, this depends on who’s developing your experience. If you were to ask us, we’d simply tell you ‘everything’. Everything should be included. However, it’s wise to bear in mind that you won’t always get an all-inclusive price when speaking with a touchscreen specialist or supplier.

So, what should be factored into your overall costs? Well, all of your hardware, for a start. This includes everything from your touchscreens and computers, to the wall-mounts (or podiums etc.), installation, set-up and ongoing support and warranties.

There’s also the software side of things. A specialist should include the full cost of developing the experience, including content review and wireframes, storyboarding, design, development and testing. There’s also the project management, meetings and continued support (if required).

If you’re ever in any doubt about whether something is included, always double-check with your supplier. And remember, a hardware provider most likely won’t be able to supply your software/experience (or if they did, we’d be a bit wary – more about that below) and vice versa.

Advice from the touchscreen specialists

Interactive touchscreen displayed in office space

One thing we say to absolutely everybody is that most suppliers either stick to software or hardware when it comes to touchscreens. They very rarely provide both, so bear this in mind when it comes to your costs.

Hardware suppliers who want to provide you with software may seem on paper like an attractive option – mainly due to lower costs – but what you’ll often be presented with is a one-size-fits-all template that won’t do what you need it to. And it certainly won’t be bespoke to your brand.

At worst, you could be left with a lesser experience that your audience will struggle to use or fail to engage with. If they decide to walk away, your entire investment will be a waste of money. That’s why going for a developer who specialises in creating bespoke experiences is absolutely essential.  If you’re in any doubt, ask to see previous examples of their work.

They should be happy to listen to your needs, and ask you all the right questions in order to make the creation and development process as easy and painless as possible – and they should always be transparent with you about costs. No nasty hidden extras or unexpected charges.

TIP: However, we’d also recommend ensuring you have a support contract in place for your hardware (like a guarantee or warranty), just in case anything goes wrong!

In summary

If you’re an advanced manufacturer and need an interactive touchscreen experience to make your product and brand stand out, hopefully, this blog has been helpful. Unfortunately, we’re unable to really narrow down costs without speaking to you and working out your specific needs.

However, if you think an interactive touchscreen experience could be a great option for your business, we’d advise you to speak to a couple of different touchscreen specialists and see if they’re able to provide you with everything you need – that also suits your budget.

Want to find out more on this subject? If you have any questions, please let us know – we promise to reply with something helpful!

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Leander Woodbridge
Marketing Director
 
If you’ve got an idea and want to chat it through then just get in touch. Or give us a call 🤙 on 0117 329 1712.
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