The City of St. Louis has partnered with IKE (“Interactive Kiosk Experience”) Smart City and the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) to deploy the city’s first group of interactive smart digital kiosks. The eight kiosks have been installed in historic Old North St. Louis and downtown.
IKE (Interactive Kiosk Experience) is a public engagement platform that aims to put smart technology on the street to advance equity, safety, discovery, and mobility. The kiosks enhance security by providing sidewalk lighting and an emergency two-way communication call button that initiates a 911 call. They also serve as communication outlets for public service and safety announcements, such as an “amber alert” and severe weather watches and warnings.
The kiosks are multilingual and ADA-compliant and also serve as free Wi-Fi hot spots. They provide information about local businesses, restaurants, hotels, community events, and activities. Inclusion in the listings is free and provides promotional opportunities to local establishments at no cost. 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.
The installation, operation, and maintenance of the kiosks has required no financial investment from the City or taxpayers. The program is completely funded by IKE Smart City through advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
“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 program 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.”
The city anticipates that by the end of this year there will be up to 50 additional kiosks installed in neighborhoods across the city, with further expansion planned for 2021.