This is a chapter from my upcoming book about Smart City use cases.
It’s a good overview of the kiosk and how it is transforming major cities. This interactive kiosk will be the keystone of any smart city because it’s visible to people in the city. They can’t see the fiber or the cell sites or the Wi-Fi hotspots. They can see and interact with. It’s pretty nice how they can appreciate it like the Wi-Fi.
It’s not a kiosk! It’s the keystone to any smart city. A digital, interactive, video kiosk that you may see in a very large mall. It’s something that you think could not be outside, yet they are, and they earn revenue for the city. They are a beautiful piece of street furniture that we all notice and admire.
What can a kiosk do for a smart city? An interactive kiosk placed downtown can do a lot. As I said, it’s the keystone of the smart city. It’s a beacon of what the city has to offer. People walking around the city can see them stand out, they can see ads on them for movies, local restaurants, and local retailers. They can then walk up to it and
touch it to get directions to the nearest business. They can find the nearest bus stop, subway access, and cab stop. They could ask it where to go to eat for a specific type of restaurant. They could interact with it in a quick and convenient way that may not be so easy on their smartphone. It’s really a fun device.
What can it do for the city other than being the beacon of interactive public service to citizens and tourists? It can bring income to the city by adding Wi-Fi, getting paid for advertising, housing small cells, housing fiber hubs, be the smart parking meter interface, be the bike rental interface, and allow locals to download coupons to the nearest businesses.
Let’s not forget the emergency aspects. The kiosk can have sensors for air quality, gun detection, noise detection, and the ever important 911 push button interface with full video and possibly the control for lights around it. Push the 911 button, and the video feed goes live along with all the lights around it so that the 911 operator can see and record everything real-time! Emergency dispatch loves this thing when they are used properly.
In New York City, they deployed 7,500 digital kiosks for 2 reasons, to allow users to access the internet and to deploy Wi-Fi for people on the street. This was no accident. It was something that people can see, touch, and use. It’s something to identify that the city wants to interact with citizens. While it didn’t always have a good reputation, it is a great way to show people how smart your city really is.
London did the same thing with LinkUK kiosks. It’s really a great concept. Both cities replaced their payphones with something very modern and attractive. What a great idea.
Kiosks are gaining popularity because they serve so many functions. They help visitors to find their way around and see what’s happening in that part of the city. They are street furniture that can house not only Wi-Fi but small cells. It can be a fiber hub. It could have wireless backhaul that connects to a fiber center at a building. The possibilities are all there. They also house applications for local businesses to track customers. Cameras and 911 call buttons can be added for public safety. They can be real-time alerts for Amber alerts, weather alerts, or evacuation notices if ever needed. All because it has a connection to a NOC and a big interactive screen for people to see. Don’t forget that it can bring in revenue from advertising.
When thinking of how to spread the news of your smart city, think about the foot traffic and take it from there.
The key to getting these deployed was the partnership between businesses and cities. They worked together. There is a way to make money off of these devices with advertising, nation and local. Also with apps, data analytics, and small cell rental.
The other way to fund digital kiosks is with public safety funds. What a great way to promote them, in the name of public safety for alerts, video surveillance and 911 call buttons. Think about it. One platform can be the e911 NOC’s link to the city.
Funding is always the issue, so the fact these things can generate revenue is amazing and very attractive. You just need to plan ahead. It’s being done today.
Revenue generation can be done several ways. Movie trailers are a big source of revenue where there is a large amount of traffic, larger cities. But let’s not forget the local businesses, they can advertise as well. Can you imagine the local business putting up an add for people walking on the street letting them know of the specials they will have in the next 2 hours? Maybe that happy hour starts in 15 minutes, a digital kiosk can put that out there in real-time so that someone walking by can eat or drink at their fine establishment. Talk about targeted advertising. Let’ not forget about the data the kiosk can capture, the Wi-Fi hotspot it can provide, small cell rental it could house, be a fiber hub, provide apps to the people walking by. Even as a billboard for street traffic or the payment hub for parking meters or bike rental.
It’s going to be a game changer and one that is already rolling out to several cities and universities across the world. Many malls have these in because the maps are very localized. They also offer information for the people looking at it to get apps to their smartphone in real-time, then the kiosk becomes part of the smartphone and more data can be tracked in real-time across town or the mall. That really expands the reach of the kiosk beyond the spot it is planted. That’s why cities are dropping dozens across their cities, like Dallas, Kansas City, NYC, and more.
Learn more here:
Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!
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