Smart Cities

What makes “Smart Cities,” Smart?

Smart CitiesIf you asked ten people to define what “smart cities” are, you’d probably get 10 different answers. That’s partially because the idea of a truly intelligent city is still so relatively new.  It’s also because it depends much on who is being asked.  

For example, a smart city, to a city manager, may mean one that is connected and able to collect and transmit data about a variety of different subjects, from real-time reporting of environmental information (pollution) to traffic initiatives (red light cameras, speed zones) to the statuses of trains and buses within the public transportation system.

However, a city resident might define smart cities more simply as those that have deployed interactive kiosks that provide wayfinding and public wifi access. But ask the mayor, and she may consider a smart city to be one that has integrated aspects of e-governance, including enhanced communication with residents and streamlined access to city services.


What factors create a smart city?

Beyond the personal definitions of participants and adopters of smart city technology, there is actually some agreement in the academic community about what makes smart cities, “smart.”  And while it is still fairly broad, it does provide a basic framework from which many urban planners are operating.  According to an article in the Journal of Intelligent Buildings International: From Intelligent Cities to Smart Cities by Deakin & Al Waer, there are four factors that are of particular importance:

  1. The application of a wide range of electronic and digital technologies to communities and cities
  2. The use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to transform life and working environments within the region
  3. The embedding of such ICTs  in government systems
  4. The territorialisation of practices that brings ICTs and people together to enhance the innovation and knowledge that they offer.

In plainer terms: Smart cities integrate technology into government systems to enhance the quality of life of people working and/or living in the region, ultimately helping bring them together so they may more easily share knowledge. 

Interactive kiosks are one way in which many regions are choosing to roll out smart city programs.  

How? Come back soon and find out in our next blog!  And If you’ve already decided interactive kiosks are the solution you’ve been looking for, contact RedyRef today at (800) 628-3603 or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your smart city kiosk deployment meets every one of your unique needs and goals.

RedyRef Kiosk News May 2017

Transit Kiosks Roll Out in NYC & Miami; QSRs Find Tech Success

RedyRef Kiosk News May 2017
Miami Metrorail Rolls out High-Tech Interactive Transit Kiosk

Miami-Dade’s Government Center lobby and second-floor transit station have rolled out the first of what’s planned to be many new high-tech interactive kiosks. The large (nearly 10’ tall!) kiosks offer a range of services, including the ability to charge cell phones, create personalized bus routes, and even take selfies that can be emailed to the user.

Each kiosk features a jumbo, dual-touchscreen monitor configuration. Visitors can choose a destination from the transit station location and calculate the most efficient route using county transportation to get there, including both buses and trains.

But what about that selfie option mentioned previously, you ask? A camera integrated into the kiosk has been configured to take a photo of the user from above, which is then superimposed on a palm tree (natch!) background by the operating system, and sent to them via email. According to Miami-Dade, email addresses are not captured and saved at this time and any such changes in the future to this policy, may they be made, will be clearly communicated.


NYC Subways Rolling Out Real-Time Transportation Information Kiosks

New York City subways are going digital with the deployment of interactive kiosks that provide travelers with real-time train and bus information, including not just arrival times, but also wayfinding maps, travel alerts and local area information. When kiosks are not actively in use, they are able to display digital content, including paid content from advertisers.  

The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYC MTA) has launched the program, named “Time-and-Place,” in 42 stations across the city, and includes a countdown clock to provide live updates to passengers regarding transportation arrival times.


QSRs Find Interactive Kiosk Deployments Improve Customer Experience

A study by research firm Market Force Information states that 55% of today’s Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) consumers have used a tablet at the table or a smartphone app over the past 90 days to place an order. This is an enormous change from the previous time this poll was completed — in fact, it’s a 39% increase over 2015.  Consumers still appreciate the ability to order at the counter from an employee — just under half still prefer this option — but this number also marks a big change from two years ago, when 70% reported they would rather order the old-fashioned way.

With more QSRs adopting this technology in different formats, from mobile apps to delivery services to interactive kiosks, customers are clearly becoming more comfortable with self-service technology with this continued exposure. As consumer acceptance grows, it is likely the foodservice industry will continue the accelerated deployment of these types of technology into the market over the next several years.


Want to learn more about interactive kiosk solutions in QSR or transit environments? RedyRef has you covered. Request a quote today or call (800) 628-3603 for more information, and our experienced team will be there every step of the way to ensure your company’s unique kiosk needs and business goals are met.