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Uber is currently piloting a ride-booking kiosk at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada. The self-service kiosk does not require riders to use their smartphone or even an Uber account to order a ride; they can simply submit their name and phone number. The company’s first-ever kiosk solution is designed to be more accessible for travelers with language or technological barriers, or who have difficulty using smartphones.

No USD 82 billion IPO? No airport presence? No problem. Even if your brand isn’t Uber-sized, there are still lessons from how it approached this kiosk:

Amplify convenience via context. Which consumer doesn’t want the tasks in their life to be more convenient? Especially at airports, which can feel like they’re governed by Murphy’s law. The traveler is exhausted, their flight was delayed, their battery is at 10% with no outlet in sight, and they can’t find a local SIM card…the possibilities are endless! Uber previously demonstrated airport-mastery when it began offering Uber Eats deliveries right to travelers’ gates (also at Toronto Pearson!). Here, Uber set up a kiosk that’s not just convenient, but convenient for the context. At your next innovation session, challenge your team to be radically considerate of context. It may call for a radical new approach.

App-free access. When it comes to ‘digital transformation’, many brands assume that an app is THE way to go. To state the obvious: apps aren’t the best route for every consumer or situation. And while we’ve featured an array of accessible initiatives for consumers with disabilities (such as echolocation systems and carts for shoppers who are visually impaired), accessibility is always limited by a disability. Uber’s physical kiosk, for instance, is ideal for travelers who aren’t technologically fluent or those who’ve arrived without a local SIM! Who has trouble using your current apps, products or services in their current state? Can accessibility be broadened via a new medium?

 
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