Smart City Digital Kiosks New to St Louis

Implemented to drive social equity, increase public safety, and enhance the quality of life for residents

January 24, 2020 | 3 min reading time

This article is 4 years old. It was published on January 24, 2020.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The City of St. Louis today, in partnership with IKE (“Interactive Kiosk Experience”) Smart City and the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC), launched the first in a series of new, interactive digital kiosks.

It is one of many innovative smart city initiatives the City is implementing to drive social equity, increase public safety, and enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors, businesses, and cultural institutions and attractions.

IKE is a breakthrough public engagement platform that puts smart technology on the ground to advance equity, safety, discovery, and mobility across the economic spectrum. From Denver to Baltimore, the technology can currently be found in seven other major U.S. cities, with an additional 15 cities in various stages of implementation.

IKE Smart City was formed to operate the nation’s first interactive touchscreen kiosk platform and to expand that platform to cities nationwide. In 2018, several St. Louis community groups were exploring the deployment of information and emergency kiosks throughout the City.

To support those efforts, the City, through SLDC, in conjunction with multiple community groups, competitively selected IKE as the kiosk provider. The program needed to align with the City’s smart city initiatives and overall goals, including public Wi-Fi, enhancing public safety, promoting tourism, focusing on environmental sustainability, and economic development.

“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. 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,” said Dr. Robert Gaskill-Clemons, Chief Technology Officer for the City of St. Louis.

In addition, it is important to understand that installing, operating, and maintaining the kiosk program requires no financial investment from the City or taxpayers. The program is completely funded by IKE Smart City through advertising and sponsorship opportunities when the kiosks are not in use.

The kiosks add lighting to sidewalks, enhance security, and include an emergency, two-way communication call button that initiates a 9-1-1 call to law enforcement and first responders. IKE also serves as a widespread communication outlet for public service and safety announcements, such as an Amber Alert and severe weather watches and warnings.

Additionally, the multilingual and ADA-compliant kiosks serve as a free Wi-Fi hotspot for members of the public, who can use them to browse listings for social and civic resources like shelters, food banks and job openings. Each kiosk allows residents and visitors to discover 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.

Otis Williams, Executive Director of St. Louis Development Corporation stated, "It's exciting to see St. Louis has invested in smart city technology. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and technology-dependent, this new wave of smart applications will change how we approach everyday activities. Smart cities bring together infrastructure and technology to improve the quality of life of the citizens of St. Louis, and enhance their interactions with our city.”

The first group of kiosks that has been installed can be found in historic Old North St. Louis and Downtown. The City anticipates that by the end of this year there will be up to 50 additional kiosks installed in other neighborhoods, including North St. Louis, Tower Grove, Forest Park, and the Central West End. A further expansion of the network is planned for 2021.

About St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is an umbrella, not-for-profit corporation organized under Chapter 355 of the Missouri State Statutes with the mission of fostering economic development and growth in the City of St. Louis by stimulating the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City.  The mission of the SLDC is to stimulate the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City of St. Louis. If there are questions, please contact John Parker, Director of Corporate Communications and Media at 314-363-1102 or email him at parkerj@stlouis-mo.gov

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