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Touch-Screen Kiosks Coming to Downtown

Brent Warren Brent Warren Touch-Screen Kiosks Coming to DowntownOne of the new touch-screen kiosks has already been installed in the Short North. Photo by Brent Warren.
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A new style of interactive kiosks that go by the name of “IKE” will be installed Downtown and in a handful of other neighborhoods.

Developed by Columbus-based Orange Barrel Media, the new touch-screen design has been piloted in Denver and is now being rolled out in other cities.

The Downtown Commission this morning heard about the kiosks and signed off on a plan that will see them placed in as many as 35 different locations Downtown.

Experience Columbus, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), Smart Columbus and the Downtown Special Improvement Districts have all been involved in developing and planning for the kiosks.

Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus, described them as a key element in what he called a “strategic focus on enhancing the visitor experience…we want to make sure they have the opportunity to experience the very distinct things that only our community has to offer.”

“The IKEs give us a platform to promote events, shops, restaurants, and other unique things to do in Columbus,” he added. “It also features information on transit, social services…it has a security camera and also offers a free wi-fi hotspot.”

The information offered through the screens was described as “objective,” meaning that businesses can’t pay for premium placement.

The cost of the kiosks will be covered by ads, some of which will appear on the top third of the touch screens, while others will rotate onto the full screen when no one is using it.

A second version of the kiosks – with a larger, static ad space and a smaller, tablet-sized touch screen – will likely be installed in areas with less foot traffic on the periphery of Downtown.

The City of Columbus plans to officially unveil the new technology tomorrow in the Short North, where the first kiosk has already been installed on North High Street, near the corner West Poplar Avenue.

2019 will see a total of 40 kiosks installed, according to the city. Apart from Downtown and the Short North, plans also call for the new devices to be installed in German Village and the University District.

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