Google always said that its Chromebooks were “for sharing,” but even though they always had a guest mode, they weren’t necessarily set up to be used as public Internet kiosks. Google is changing that with the launch of the new and imaginatively named “Managed Public Sessions” feature. Google says this new feature, which lets you turn your Chrome OS device into an Internet kiosk, “delivers a highly customizable experience for both customers and employees without requiring a login.”
With this new mode, the Chromebook team believes, Chromebooks and Chromeboxes will become more viable options for stores that want to set up kiosks to allow customers to buy out-of-stock items, give employees the option to update inventory from the manufacturing floor or give hotels another option for their business centers.
By default, all public session data is deleted after a user logs out.
Admins, Google says, will be able to easily manage these devices from the usual web-based Chrome OSmanagement console. Google just recently updated the management console and now gives administrators the option to manage all of the details of a Chrome OS install, including the homepage, which sites to block and other details.
Google has been testing this mode with a number of organizations, including Dillards, the Multnomah County Library in Oregon and the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.