This coming spring the city will begin work on an exciting new pilot project that will introduce a number of ‘digital smart kiosks’ around Kingston. These kiosks will have large touch screens that can provide a broad range of wayfinding, educational and tourism information. The kiosks themselves will also be able to offer free Wi-Fi within a certain range, emergency calling features, and even charging stations for your phone!
The kiosk project itself is just one part of a new partnership between the City and Bell Canada to come up with new ways for cities to use new technology in ways that can provide better services to residents and visitors. There are many ways that new smart technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to make cities run more efficiently, and this new partnership with Bell is about making Kingston into a laboratory to develop and test run these new ideas.
In my view this partnership is exactly the sort of initiative that will put Kingston on the leading edge of innovation in the 21st century. Imagine the potential as our city becomes a hub for developing new city level technologies that will allow us to manage energy use more efficiently, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide more information to residents and visitors in more convenient ways. The fact that Bell has chosen to partner with Kingston is itself a great signal that our city is becoming known as a leader in technology and innovation, and I look forward to welcoming other technology companies to Kingston as we set the standard for what a smart city can be!