|HOUSTON – In partnership with IKE Smart City, the City of Houston unveiled the first in a series of digital interactive, wayfinding kiosks called IKE (Interactive Kiosk Experience) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, February 7, 2022, adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center on the corner of Walker Street and Avenida De Las Americas. With Mayor Sylvester Turner, Councilmembers, and many other City stakeholders in attendance, the event marks the launch of a City-wide initiative to build smart city infrastructure that enhances the pedestrian experience for residents and visitors, while adding vibrancy to Houston’s urban landscape.
The City of Houston released an RFP (Request For Proposal) for Interactive Digital Kiosks in March of 2020 and selected IKE Smart City as the vendor in March of 2021, which was later approved by City Council in May. Post approval, IKE Smart City worked collaboratively with the City of Houston, Houston First, neighborhood groups, and adjacent property owners on location selection, kiosk branding, and on-screen content. Installation will occur in phases of 25 kiosks throughout several neighborhoods including Downtown, Uptown, Midtown, Montrose, Museum District, Texas Medical Center, Greater Third Ward, EaDo, Upper Kirby, and more. Further, at least 10% of all IKE kiosks will be located in underserved neighborhoods, as defined by the City, including Gulfton, Sunnyside and others.
IKE puts innovative technology in commercial, pedestrian-oriented areas to offer advanced wayfinding capabilities through smart city technology. Each kiosk serves as a free Wi-Fi hotspot up to 75’ and is geo-located, displaying informational listings based on what’s in the immediate proximity to the kiosk. The kiosks have dual-sided digital touchscreens and are fully ADA-compliant, complete with an engaging suite of interactive applications that drive discovery of area businesses and other local points of interest, promote diverse mobility solutions, and improve equity with 24/7 access to resources. IKE is multilingual and includes detailed content listings of local area restaurants, shops, businesses, cultural institutions, events, jobs, and civic resources. Additionally, the kiosks provide access to social services information such as homeless shelters, addiction recovery programs, and food support.
«The City of Houston has so much to offer, and the IKE digital kiosks will be an exciting new amenity to help guide people in various directions to enjoy events, restaurants, and much more,» said Mayor Turner. «These kiosks are one of the many ways Houston is moving forward with creating more walkable spaces that make for a safer and more pleasant experience.»
WATCH: View the mayor’s remarks at today’s ribbon cutting celebration.