Airports have Wi-Fi access, but that access is often slow, unpredictable, and relatively terrible all-around. But if you are about to catch a long flight and you want to watch a movie during that flight, you have only two options. The first option is to select one of the offered in-flight movies (this could be good or bad and it certainly means dealing with occasional interruptions). The second option is to download a movie to your device as quickly as possible using that airport Wi-Fi. You might, or might not, download your selection before your flight takes off, this is always a gamble.
Now there’s a third option in some airports. This third option goes by the name of Digiboo (yeah, I’m not so crazy about that title either). Digiboo will arrive at an airport near you in the form of a kiosk. When using the Digiboo kiosks, users can choose a rental movie, insert a USB stick, and download that movie onto the USB. The advantage here is that you don’t have rely on airport Wi-Fi and you can watch what you want quickly – well, that’s the idea behind Digiboo anyway, but there are some shortcomings to this service as well.
Is Digiboo Ready for Market?
The biggest problem that some startups face is bringing a product to market before that product has been fully developed – and by “fully developed” I mean working out all of those kinks. Digiboo seems like an excellent idea on paper, but there are some problems with the USB kiosk idea. The first problem is that (according to The Verge), users will have to verify a USB via Wi-Fi prior to using that USB to rent a Digiboo movie. As mentioned above (and well noted during travels), airport Wi-Fi is slow and unpredictable at best. So, making it necessary for Digiboo users to verify a USB prior to using that USB seems to defeat the entire purpose of the Digiboo system.
The other problem here is that Digiboo only works with Windows. Sorry, Mac users, you won’t be able to download any Digiboo movies any time soon, though Digiboo is reportedly working on this issue. So, to recap, in order to rent a Digiboo movie via Kiosk, you will have to have a USB, select the movie you want (updated weekly), enter your payment method (credit cards), insert your USB, and then verify your USB online through the Digiboo website (one time verification). At that point, you can start watching your movie, but movies do expire after some time.
Cost and Availability
Right now, Digiboo has kiosks in Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis. These airports are interesting choices given that none of them are major hubs – why not New York, Chicago, or L.A? Presumably, the top airports in the U.S. will gain Digiboo kiosks if the test markets go well enough (this will be interesting to see, no doubt). As far as cost per rental goes, there’s no information noted on the Digiboo website. However, I’m going to assume (hope) that the cost of renting a movie from Digiboo is competitive. Then again, these kiosks are placed in airports, so you can expect to pay more for a Digiboo movie than for your average rental.