Tampa set to install digital kiosks, WiFi hotspots downtown

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The Tampa Downtown Partnership has partnered with IKE Smart City of Columbus, Ohio to install 30 digital informational kiosks around the city in 2021, each of which will include information on local businesses and serve as a free wireless hotspot.

Most of the touchscreen kiosks will be placed in and around downtown; a few will go to “underserved communities,” said Shaun Drinkard, the partnership’s senior director of public programming and operations, including potentially East and West Tampa.

Partnership leaders are hoping to install the first kiosks in high-traffic areas before the Super Bowl in February. 

“The intent of these is to have wayfinding and messaging, and they can all be customised immediately,” Drinkard said.

Each IKE — short for Interactive Kiosk Experience — features information about local businesses, attractions and events. Users will be able to have directions and contact information texted from the kiosk directly to their phones. The city can also utilise the signs for things like job opportunities or public announcements.

“We can directly put any kind of emergency information on all 30 kiosks within a matter of minutes,” Drinkard said.

The devices are already in use in cities like San Antonio, Cleveland and Baltimore. The company sells ads for each kiosk.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership will receive revenue through an agreement to manage content about local businesses. Drinkard said that money will be allocated toward upcoming downtown projects.

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