Citypost, which has a presence in 30-plus major U.S. cities, collaborates with local firms and uses IoT technology to provide digital displays including transit alert data and hyperlocal content. IoT vendor Smart City Media (SCM) is also working in other regions to perfect a variation of the kiosk which integrates cameras, temperature sensors and artificial intelligence to expand access to public health screenings. SCM expects organizations to begin deploying public health variations of the kiosk within weeks.
Dallas-area “Citypost” kiosks have now been upgraded with touchless mobile activation. This includes all broadcast content currently available at Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus and light rail stations, to address COVID-19 concerns around high-touch surfaces.
DART, SCM, and Landmark Infrastructure Partners unveiled the new kiosk network in February with a broader goal of bridging the digital divide by providing information and digital connectivity at mass transit stops. The kiosks, which are interactive alert stations housing smart city technology, provide transit alert data, route and community billboard information, hyperlocal advertisements, and will soon also offer 5G connectivity as well as public Wi-Fi to riders.
“The process began in March, when SCM began sharing public health information about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other trusted sources,” said Tom Touchet, CEO of Smart City Media. “That said, with COVID-19, one of the biggest public concerns is the transfer of the virus by touch. We wanted to help address that directly without any disruption of the valuable information we’re providing for the community.”
SCM’s work for DART in North Texas is a sampling of its wider initiative to broaden government policy forums, enhance digital broadcasts and create opportunities for collaboration and commerce while adhering to six-foot safety zones.
Commenting on SCM’s network, Bob Bennett, chair of the Cities Today Institute, a city-focused think tank based in London and Kansas City, Mo., said, “A kiosk, when developed correctly, is more than a simple advertising platform or ticketing machine. It is, instead, a communications node that empowers organizations to link behavior, validate medical expertise and analyze critical data to better secure public health.”
Jennifer Sanders, co-founder and executive director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance, also noted, “Dallas-area firms, including DART and SCM, are taking the innovation challenge to keep our residents and visitors safe while continuing to provide world-class service.”