This article is 2 years old. It was published on January 22, 2020.
The City of St. Louis today, in partnership with the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and its Downtown St. Louis partners, officially launched the first in a series of new, interactive digital kiosks from IKE Smart City.
Building on its incredible momentum as a forward-thinking model of government that embraces new and innovative technology, the City is implementing the kiosks to drive social equity, increase public safety, and enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors, businesses, and cultural institutions and attractions.
“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.
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 neighborhoods across the City. A further expansion of the network is planned for 2021.
City business districts and neighborhoods interested in deploying kiosks in their area can reach out to Dr. Gaskill-Clemons directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
IKE (“Interactive Kiosk Experience”) 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.
“We’ve been researching smart city initiatives to determine how we can not only improve the Downtown experience for visitors, workers, and residents, but also build infrastructure that will continue to make St. Louis attractive to families, businesses, and more,” said Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown St. Louis, Inc. “As one of the first cities to have both smart kiosks and smart streetlights, these tools can work together to make Downtown and the City more interactive and beautiful at the same time.”
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.
“We’re proud to support the City of St. Louis’s smart initiatives through the installation of the IKE platform,” said Pete Scantland, CEO of IKE Smart City. “IKE revolutionizes wayfinding, city communication, and navigation, enabling greater geographic and economic mobility for all. We’re thrilled to be a part of the St. Louis landscape and are looking forward to our continued partnership with the City.”
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.
Office of the Mayor
St. Louis Development Corporation
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment
Transportation, Infrastructure, and Utilities