Kiosk Solutions Issue 19 - Page 43

smart cities Smart City projects are growing at a phenomenal rate, driven largely by the introduction of intelligent technologies including self-service kiosks By Peerless-AV – www.peerless-av.com To aid cities and towns in communicating information in an effective and compelling way to their residents and visitors, modern kiosks have been developed and incorporate fully-integrated functionality and aesthetics. These kiosks are not only approachable and ideal for promoting greater public engagement, they are functional, built to endure the rigours of everyday use when unattended, and are also customisable according to individual branding requirements and optional components can be incorporated. These include environmental sensors, video sensors, and LiDAR sensors, based on the city or town’s application. These smart city kiosks provide a range of benefits for the city, its residents, visitors, installers and systems integrators. In using the Kiosks, cities and towns can provide real-time information that can be easily changed and updated remotely. The kiosks can also be used to enhance local safety, sharing contact information for local emergency services on the display or even incorporating a one-button call to report and alert any emergencies. In addition, the city can utilise the kiosk for data collection, assisting in asset management and efficient use of resources. For end-users, when coupled with wayfinding software, the smart city kiosk can serve as a wayfinding solution, providing directions to local attractions, restaurants, events, and much more. The kiosk can also share real-time arrival and departure information for public transportation, as well as offer a way for end-users to contact emergency services when required. With an interactive touchscreen overlay, the smart city kiosk can enable end-users to learn more about the surrounding area, play educational games, and even take selfies. For the installer or integrator, the smart city kiosk provides a unique, easily recognisable, all-weather, rugged solution that is interactive, helping cities connect with residents and tourists. What smart symbolises The smart in smart city kiosk refers to the ability to add WiFi/cellular beacons to the kiosk and utilise cameras, touch interactivity, and other technologies to collect data from any residents walking nearby, devices in the area and assets. This data can then be processed and analysed to monitor and manage a variety of services, including traffic, power plants, water supply, waste management, law enforcement, information systems, schools, libraries and hospitals. The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology, with various physical devices connected to a network (the Internet of things or IoT) to optimise the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to residents. Smart city technology also allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure, and to monitor what’s happening and how the city is evolving. Most installations to date have been at street level in major cities via advertising-funded networks. However, there’s an upward trend in more towns and cities taking control and owning these smart city kiosks to offer digital directories and wayfinding to build an identity and pride amongst the local community. In addition to city streets, there are many similar applications where outdoor smart kiosks can provide benefits. For example, these kiosks would be useful for businesses with large campuses, universities, and airports – all applications that have similar needs and goals for providing time relevant information to visitors, students and employees. Design considerations Outdoor applications for displays and kiosks are ten times harder than indoor applications owing to many environmental and human elements, which can vary day to day. Based on the nature of the setting, a key priority is durability and ruggedness in an unattended 24/7 environment. If part of the kiosk is damaged, it must be quick, easy, and cost effective to replace. Similarly, since these kiosks will be used to display advertisements for local and national businesses, any kiosk downtime means lost revenue and lost ROI. Smart city kiosks featuring all- weather rated, impact resistant outdoor displays will ensure reliable, continuous performance all year round, without the worry of extreme hot or cold temperature waves exposing the LCD to damage. Deployment trends Advertising-based rollouts were the initial impetus for kiosk deployments, which created a global awareness for smart city kiosks and helped pave the way. However, these only work in densely populated cities. For smaller towns, smart city kiosks would be best used for digital wayfinding, directories, local information and services. Like any technology-based solution, the advancements made each year outpace the previous year. The best advice for city and town planners is to determine exactly what they want in terms of a Return on Objective (ROO) for the smart city kiosk. This will help determine the necessary technology to include, and with the flexibility provided by these kiosks, the deployments will be relevant for years to come. n KIOSK solutions 43