By Alysha Bohanon
This week, a movie rental company will debut a dozen vending kiosks at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for the first time anywhere, news sources report.
The company, called Digiboo, is based in Santa Monica, Calif. Bright orange kiosks located throughout the Lindbergh terminal, which look similar to Redbox kiosks, will rent or sell movies by downloading them to a computer flash drive. Customers can watch the movies on a Windows PC, according to the Star Tribune.
Customers can plug in a flash drive and select a movie to buy or rent. The kiosk will download the movie directly on to the flash drive. Kiosk-to-flash-drive downloads take as little as 30 seconds or up to five minutes, depending on the model of the flash drive. Consumers must provide their own flash drive, the Star Tribune reported.
Digiboo offers more than 600 titles from Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures. The titles will be updated weekly, according to the Star Tribune.
Movie rentals are about $3 to $4. Film purchases are about $15, according to Pioneer Press.
Rentals are avaiable on the flash drive for 30 days, but must be finished 48 hours after the initial play. Film purchases are watchable on the thumb drive forever, as long as the device isn't reformatted, the Pioneer Press reported.
Digiboo will initially market itself to air travelers, who often don't have access to Internet streaming, according to the Star Tribune.
"It's a convenience," said Blake Thomas, Digiboo's chief marketing officer, in an interview with the Star Tribune. "A customer doesn't have to plan ahead, or to have ever downloaded one of our movies before. He or she can make the decision at the airport, just like buying M&Ms or magazines."
But the service isn't convenient for everyone. Currently, the flash drive downloads are only compatible with Windows software. The service will soon be extended to work with Android devices, but Apple-device compatibility is farther off, according to the Pioneer Press.
In addition, movies are only available in standard-definition, giving it mediocre video quality compared to the high-definition downloads available from Apple's iTunes and other services. Standard-definition is required for faster downloading to flash drives, according to the Pioneer Press.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is the first airport to receive the Digiboo kiosks. Airports in Seattle and Washington State will follow, and if successful, the kiosks will be installed in many public locations, the Pioneer Press reported