Installation of kiosks to begin in 2021
TAMPA, Fla. – IKE Smart City interactive electronic kiosks will be installed later this spring in the Downtown core that will provide directions and information about businesses, attractions, and public services.
“This is cutting-edge, smart-city technology that will provide immediate information about all of the wonderful opportunities Tampa has to offer, from restaurants and museums to parks and entertainment venues,” said Lynda Remund, President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “The kiosks are easy to use and an excellent way to immediately learn about anything from nearby businesses to museums to public transit information.”
The kiosk program is expected to launch in 2021, but the public can get a sneak peek of an interactive kiosk at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park during the holiday season. Visitors of Winter Village have enjoyed using the technology to look up nearby businesses and even take holiday-themed selfies.
A total of 30 kiosks will be installed throughout the Downtown area. They will be installed in three phases. Plans call for most of the kiosks to be installed in Downtown areas near commercial and cultural destinations. The remaining will be installed in nearby communities.
The kiosks will not require any money from the City of Tampa or from local taxpayers. The program is funded entirely by IKE Smart City of Columbus, Ohio, which uses a self-sustaining business model. The kiosks have been installed in cities such as Baltimore, Denver, Cleveland, and San Antonio.
Like a smartphone, the kiosks have touchscreens that users scroll through to select their content. They can serve as free Wi-Fi hot spots and provide information about social services and job opportunities. There also is an emergency call system and ambient lighting to improve public safety. When not in use, the kiosks display general announcements to promotions from the arts community to commercial messages.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership and IKE are particularly mindful of public safety during the coronavirus pandemic. The touchscreens will be cleaned with disinfectant regularly.
They also are treated with a coating that studies show works with ordinary light to destroy 99.9% of viral and bacterial pathogens.