Aurora Demonstrates Electric Kiosks for Community Engagement

The city of Aurora, Illinois has its first demonstration electronic kiosk set up in front of city hall to give residents a preview of the system. Eight kiosks will be installed throughout downtown sometime this summer.

The demonstration kiosk has already been used for workshops about the potential of the kiosks the city held for local businesses. Clayton Muhammad, Aurora’s Chief Information Officer, reported that about 50 businesses attended the workshops to see the potential uses the kiosks can have involving advertising packages and promotions.

New-York based Smart City Media will pay all the upfront costs of installing the kiosks and getting them operational. The contract is for five years with an option for Smart City Media to renew for another five years. The city will receive 25 percent of all advertising revenue – which officials have roughly estimated at about $700,000 over 10 years. It is expected that about 60% of the content on the kiosk screens will be local content, either advertising by local businesses or information provided by the city. The other 40 percent would be from advertising, including national advertising, which would provide the bulk of the revenue for the Smart City.

The kiosks will feature a lot of information about local attractions, wayfinding assistance, and information about the city of Aurora and its local businesses.

“You can find everything from restaurants to museums to garage sales,” Muhammad said. “You can find all the things you’re accustomed to finding through Google.”

The locations chosen for the eight kiosks are considered experimental for the city — they could change some of them after a while, and could also add kiosks to other locations eventually.