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Columbus, Ohio, Deploys First Smart Kiosk, Calls It IKE

The IKE, interactive kiosk experience, gives Columbus a more tourist and citizen friendly feel; users can look up shops, transit info, things to do and other information to help them navigate the city.

(TNS) — Columbus' first interactive kiosk experience — or "IKE" — is now available to the public.

The 8-foot-tall touch-screen electronic tablets provide users information on stores, restaurants, hotels, services, parks, transportation and local events.

IKE Smart City launched the first screen in the Short North on Wednesday outside the UPS Store on North High Street.

"IKE is a tool that connects the city with citizens and visitors and allows them to access public transit information, things to do, places to go," IKE Smart City CEO Pete Scantland said. "It's a portal really to everything that's available in the city."

More than 40 IKE kiosks will be deployed in 2019 in high-traffic areas in the city center between the Brewery District and the University District.

"Those are walkable areas," said Brian Ross, CEO of Experience Columbus.

Experience Columbus launched IKE in collaboration with the City of Columbus, Smart Columbus, Orange Barrel Media and special improvement districts. The kiosks were designed by Orange Barrel Media and installed at no cost to the city or users. The cost is covered by ads that appear on the screens.

The screens are available in multiple languages, are ADA-compliant and emit free Wi-Fi. Users select an app, and can filter results by category, such as searching restaurants by type of food. IKE can also send walkable directions to a smartphone.

"It is essentially like a public information kiosk ... in a modern era," Columbus Partnership's Smart Columbus Director Jordan Davis said. "You have all these different apps like you would on your phone on the kiosk that helps you navigate a bunch of different things you might be curious about exploring."

IKE also has a social services component allowing users to find information about shelters, food banks and treatment centers.

Orange Barrel launched a prototype of IKE in Denver in 2015 and has spent 2018 slowly expanding to other cities. After Denver and San Antonio, Columbus became the third city with the kiosks. Next year, Orange Barrel plans to start rolling out IKE to 16 other cities.

©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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