• Tim Cosgrove

Smart city interactive kiosks debuted in St Louis

The city aims to put smart technology on the ground to advance equity, safety, discovery and mobility across the economic spectrum.

The kiosks are located in historic Old North St Louis and downtown St Louis, Missouri, has deployed the city’s first group of interactive smart digital kiosks. The eight kiosks have been installed in historic Old North St Louis and downtown. Expansion of the network City authorities anticipate that by the end of this year there will be up to 50 additional kiosks installed in neighbourhoods across the city, with further expansion of the network planned for 2021.

Installing, operating and maintaining the kiosk programme requires no financial investment from the city or taxpayers. The programme is completely funded by partner, IKE Smart City, through advertising and sponsorship opportunities when the kiosks are not in use. IKE (Interactive Kiosk Experience) is a public engagement platform that aims to put smart technology on the ground to advance equity, safety, discovery, and mobility across the economic spectrum.

IKE’s technology can be found in seven other cities, including Denver and Baltimore, with an additional 15 cities in various stages of implementation. The kiosks add lighting to sidewalks, enhance security and include an emergency two-way communication call button that initiates a 911 call to law enforcement and first responders.

“The mission of our smart city initiative is to improve the quality of life for all people.” IKE also serves as a communication outlet for public service and safety announcements, such as an “amber alert” and severe weather watches and warnings. “We’re always looking for ways to better serve the public. The mission of our smart city initiative is to improve the quality of life for all people,” said Dr Robert Gaskill-Clemons, chief technology officer for the city of St Louis.

“The kiosks programme is just one of the ongoing smart city efforts we have in the city and puts new, innovative technology into the hands of our residents and visitors.” Each kiosk allows residents and visitors to discover local businesses, restaurants, hotels, community events and activities.

Inclusion in the listings is free and provides promotional opportunities to local establishments. Wayfinding features on the kiosks facilitate navigation around the city with directions, mapping and real-time public transportation information, including metro buses and light rail. Social and civic resources Additionally, the multilingual and ADA-compliant kiosks serve as a free wi-fi hotspot for members of the public, who can use them to browse listings for social and civic resources like shelters, food banks and job openings.

“We’ve been researching smart city initiatives to determine how we can not only improve the Downtown experience for visitors, workers and residents, but also build infrastructure that will continue to make St. Louis attractive to families, businesses, and more,” added Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown St Louis, Inc. “As one of the first cities to have both smart kiosks and smart streetlights, these tools can work together to make downtown and the city more interactive and beautiful at the same time.”

Source:Sue Weekes: News editor, Smart Cities World

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