updated 04:55 am EST, Wed November 21, 2012
First ten SmartScreens offer Wi-Fi access, local information
The rollout by City24/7 of 32-inch touch-screen information kiosks in New York City has begun, offering details on local destinations, news, as well as emergency and government-related alerts. So far, ten payphone sites have been refitted with the SmartScreen displays, with this initial trial set to convert a total of 250 kiosks in the five-borough area over the next few months.
Primarily consisting of a 32-inch multitouch LG screen, the kiosks will offer location-based services that are tied into the city's network. Real-time news, transit updates, and other vital information can be broadcast on the screens, and users can access the Internet through both the SmartScreen directly and the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot at no charge. The Kiosk can also use NFC and Bluetooth to connect with handsets, as well as a specially-created mobile app. In the event of an emergency, the SmartScreen can operate from backup batteries if power is disconnected, while the steel casings and ATM-strength screens will help protect the system from high winds.
When not in use, the displays will show advertisements to generate revenue. The city will receive 36-percent of this, after the initial pilot program has completed, while the company will also be offering a percentage of ad revenue to local non-profit programs. City24/7 will be funding the initial pilot scheme, including the initial rollout and maintenance costs, though it is not clear if the local government will be asked to contribute to expansion plans after the pilot has ended.
If this initial 250-screen trial is seen as a success, Cisco and City24/7 plans to expand the concept to a dozen other cities, both within the US and internationally.