Scranton, Pa., Smart Kiosk Project Advances

Officials approved a five-year agreement to install the interactive digital devices throughout the city.

by Clayton Over, The Times-Tribune / January 8, 2018
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(TNS) — A project that would bring digital information kiosks and free public Wi-Fi to downtown Scranton is progressing, with some work beginning as soon as this spring.

Scranton City Council approved a five-year agreement with Smart City Media LLC in June to install interactive digital screens throughout the city that will display information about transportation, entertainment and public safety, as well as advertisements.

Representatives from Smart City Media LLC met with city officials last month to determine possible spots to place the devices, city Business Administrator Chris Casciano said.

Placement of the screens, which can be mounted to light poles or set up in kiosks, will be determined by factors like foot-traffic volume and proximity to power infrastructure, Smart City Media Chief Marketing Officer Mike Mainthow said. How many of the devices end up in the city will depend on the results of site surveys. Work to add the screens could begin by spring, Mainthow said.

Smart City Media will pay for the placement and maintenance of the screens, Mainthow said. The contract also includes an advertising revenue-sharing plan. Company representatives told city council the city could net about $800,000 over the course of the contract. The screens also will act as Wi-Fi hotspots, bringing free wireless internet to downtown Scranton.

City council unanimously approved the agreement in June. In addition to the financial benefits and the Wi-Fi, the project will help get information out to the public, Councilman Bill Gaughan said.

The agreement also includes the creation of a Scranton app that allows users to see much of the same information disseminated on the screens, Mainthow said. That’s another benefit, Gaughan said.

“I think we can better connect with the whole community,” Gaughan said. “Scrantonians can discover anything that’s going on as they’re walking down the street.”

©2018 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.