Why are smart public kiosks at the cutting edge of the smart city?

November 19, 2018—A growing interest in smart public kiosks coincides with rising demand for higher quality city information, public enthusiasm for “direct” city experiences, and the push by city governments to deliver urban services. Through the deployment of innovative hardw are, software, and services, woven together by an integrated solution, smart public kiosk providers have demonstrated that any municipality, large or small, can use technology to create smarter, safer, and more efficient cities.

Consider the deployment of LinkNYC, the largest smart city network in the world. Spanning all five New York City boroughs, with expansion happening in London and Philadelphia, the network is unlike other Out of Home (OOH) advertising formats, insofar as it provides up-to-date interactive public communication hubs. In this case, it is replacing obsolete public payphone booths with street-hardened kiosks, bringing high speed internet to the one in five New Yorkers who currently don’t have broadband connectivity at home.

 linkNYC Kiosk
New start-up companies, some with legacy partners, have unveiled new variation of smart public kiosks. Smart City Media have developed programs in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO. Oath, a division of Verizon, is developing programs in Austin, TX and New Rochelle, NY, among other cities.

The core concept can certainly be developed for other place-based OOH formats, whether inside airports, rail terminals and subways, bus depots, city buildings, and shopping malls. The common objective for all such OOH innovations is to deliver valuable services to citizens and visitors, in multiple formats, that include: wayfinding, Wi-Fi, multimodal transit information, city information (including points of interest and current events), or emergency notifications.  LinkNYC delivers a network that, when fully configured, will provide an interconnected physical and digital platform that allows for the integration of IoT and communications technologies, including some very important ones which are only now emerging. This includes: LTE small cells, IoT gateways, traffic sensors, and environmental sensors.

Creating a seamless canopy of connectivity in a city means working both above ground and below ground.  Connecting a wide range of urban infrastructure is necessary, and not just a kiosk.  The term “kiosk” may be inadequate because it minimizes the utility and the capability of a connected device. Public kiosk providers may just be scratching the surface of the different use cases. Without question, there will be a full range of capabilities made possible by networking connected end points. 

Perhaps the major challenge facing cities hoping to deploy smart public kiosks is funding. Only by developing a workable business model can cities bring this technology onto their streets.  Thereare various revenue models to consider, including advertising. The core concept is to make any system viable insofar as it is economically self-sufficient and financially sustainable.

The excerpt above taken from Understanding Smart Cities and the Potential Role of OOH Advertising is being re-published with permission from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

About the Meeting of the Minds: 

Meeting of the Minds, an international non-profit organization, brings together urban sustainability and technology leaders to share knowledge and build lasting alliances. MotM fosters person-to-person and city-to-city learning by spotlighting projects and practitioners working on urban solutions. We connect people and ideas through digital and in-person events and resources, including the Annual Summit. Each year for more than 13 years, the Summit brings together 400 opinion-shapers, policy-makers, leading thinkers and innovator from around the world for an intensive exchange of thought leadership and cross-sector alliance building. Gathered together for two and a half days, these leaders have a unique opportunity to think critically, ask questions, share tools, identify new best practices, and build lasting partnerships — which make smarter and more sustainable cities possible. The next Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit will be in Sacramento, CA from November 27-29, 2018. Find more information here: http://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2018

  

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Written By Gordon Feller
Advisory Board Chair
CIMCON Lighting 

Co-founder, Board Co-president
Meeting of the Minds