Category Archives: Wayfinding

Smart City RFP Digital Signage

Smart City RFP, Digital Signage RFPs and More

Smart City RFP
Smart City Concept

Smart City RFPs and Digital Signage RFPs go hand-in-hand and lots of cities are looking at new infrastructure.  We track those.  These days that means smart transit, smart transportation, smart lighting, automation, EV vehicles, Self-Driving.  It’s a big basket for sure. Part of IoT trends in self-service.

Craig is a  senior staff writer for Kiosk Industry Group Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He reviews Smart City and Smart RFPs from around the industry.

Smart City News Highlight

  • 11/14/2019 — The city of Las Vegas Mobility Master Plan proposes to purchase 3 new electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and deploy a pilot first phase of demonstration projects throughout the city’s Downtown / Innovation District, including AV/CV/EV testing, electric vehicle charging, smart wayfinding, and other infrastructure supportive of autonomous, connected, and electric vehicles. Estimated Completion Date: 06/30/2020
  • 11/4/2019 – Baltimore IKE Smart City Kiosk. A new Interactive Kiosk Experience (IKE) by IKE Smart City was installed this week.
  • 10/8/2019 – Detroit IKE Project Privacy Concerns

Here are curated Smart RFPs and project plans

Related News

News on the Internet we like

Oct 15 Nokia Demos Smart City in Hanoi – Nokia ran a trial of a smart city management platform in Hanoi to show off its real-time automation and analytics capabilities to Vietnam-based Viettel, a military-run mobile operator.

Oct 15 — Link —  IoT and Smart Agriculture Are Building Our Future Cities Today
The 9.6 billion people expected to live on the planet by 2050, and with 70 percent of them in urban areas, IoT is pushing smart agriculture in smart cities.

Newark to offer Link Smart City Program

4/9/18 — announced last week the city’s plans for LinkNWK, a communications network of sidewalk kiosks that will provide residents and visitors of Newark with free gigabit Wi-Fi, mobile device charging, free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., access to municipal services, maps and directions, and real-time local information on city streets. There will be no cost to taxpayers or users as it is supported through advertising on the Link kiosk displays.

Digital kiosks coming to Harrisburg

City council is mulling a resolution that will allow New York City-based Smart City Media LLC. to install about 25 digital kiosks to provide information to residents and tourists.  These kiosks – called CityPosts — will stand about 8-feet tall and have 55-inch screens on both sides, chief marketing officer Mike Mainthow said in a phone interview today.

LinkNYC Will Show Bus Arrival Time Info — LinkNYC’s 55-inch screens in those Brooklyn neighborhoods will now show arrival info for buses that are a short walk away from a particular kiosk.

Panasonic is building a ‘smart city’ in Colorado with high-tech highways, autonomous vehicles, and free WiFi

The company is now building “smart city” infrastructure near Denver, Colorado, with the goal of turning the area into a “smart city” by 2026. The initiative is part of a larger Panasonic program Panasonic called CityNow. Although the definition of a “smart city” varies depending on who you ask, the term typically describes a metro area that prioritizes the use of technology in its infrastructure.

Who Will Own The Infrastructure In The Smart City?

The smart city was a major theme at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2018), hosted by the Consumer Technology Association.

How to improve community mobility in a smart city through public-private partnerships

Part of the smart cities movement includes managing how people travel and use the transportation network, as well as how cities collect data from vehicles and group travel patterns for better land use and transportation policy decision making.

Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities. | TechCrunch

Oct 14, 2017 – As an urban technologist, I’m often asked to give an example of a compelling smart city application that real people are using. But to be honest, …

The Rise of the Smart City – WSJ

Apr 16, 2017 – Cities have a way to go before they can be considered geniuses. But they’re getting smart pretty fast. In just the past few years, mayors and …

Smart cities | Cities | The Guardian

Interconnected technology is now an inescapable reality – ordering our groceries, monitoring our cities and sucking up vast amounts of data along the way.

IEEE Smart Cities: Home

IEEE Smart Cities is a global, multi-discipline cross-IEEE effort, through which IEEE seeks to help municipalities around the world address urban population …

The Problems With Smart Cities – Forbes…/the-problems-with-smart-citie…

Jun 19, 2017 – When envisioning all the possibilities of smart cities, it’s also important to consider the difficulties that could arise in creating them.

Variations on Project Example

Here is one for public safety circa March 2018 in California.

The City of xxxxxxxxxx (“City”) seeks to partner with
technology providers who are working to improve and
enhance the urban environment through the use of smart city technology. For this Request for Proposals (“RFP”), the City seeks up to four Firms/Teams that can implement and demonstrate how camera, video, motion, and other sensor technology can be an effective tool in addressing public safety. Working in collaboration with the City and the xxxxxx County Sheriff’s Department, these Firms/Teams will demonstrate solutions that can enhance public safety in the City. This pilot project will allow the City and the SD to assess the utility, data management needs, cost effectiveness, and overall success of a smart city public safety program that could be scaled citywide in designated areas of the City. The size and density of the City, along with its large visitor population (especially during special events) provides a great environment for the testing and implementation of cutting-edge public safety technology. Up to four Firms/Teams will be selected.

The selected Firms/Teams will design and implement a
demonstration project for deployment over nine months. At least one location in the City will be assigned to each Firm/Team for implementation. The selected Firms/Teams will be provided a $10,000 stipend, distributed at determined milestones during the nine month duration of the pilot program. Selected Firms/Teams shall be required to comply with the City’s Privacy Guidelines. In addition to public safety applications, the City encourages camera and
sensor applications that can provide insights about how people interact in the City. For example, innovative companies are using cameras and sensors to measure volume and direction of pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle trac. Such programs can inform city planning and other municipal operations as collected data can be used to increase pedestrian and vehicle safety or increase economic activity. In addition, the City welcomes technologies that
protect privacy, such as use of anonymized data and real-time image scrambling.

Wayfinding Digital Signage – Inpixon Acquires Indoor Mapping Leader Jibestream

From GlobalNewsWire July 10, 2019

Interactive Wayfinding Kiosk
Click for full size

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Inpixon (Nasdaq: INPX) (the “Company” or “Inpixon”), a leading indoor positioning and data analytics company, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Jibestream Inc. (“Jibestream”), a premier provider of indoor mapping and location technology.

Jibestream offers a full-featured geospatial platform that integrates business data with high-fidelity indoor maps to create smart indoor spaces. Jibestream states their solution is deployed in hundreds of buildings globally including numerous marque venues such as Mall of America, The Pentagon, Westfield World Trade Center, San Francisco International Airport, several Veteran Affairs hospitals and Mall of the Emirates. Jibestream was selected as a “Cool Vendor” by global research firm Gartner in the 2018 Cool Vendors in Location Services for Wayfinding report, and was named as a Top Geospatial Company in 2019 by Geoawesomeness.

“The addition of Jibestream’s mapping capabilities and technologies is a pivotal and transformative step in our mission to be the global leader for indoor data,” said Nadir Ali, Inpixon CEO. “Our ability to provide a single indoor location platform that now provides mapping with what we believe is the most accurate positioning the market has to offer, comprehensive analytics that provide deep, meaningful insights for our customers, and the SDKs and APIs to fuel a thriving partner ecosystem sets us apart from competitors. Gradually, Inpixon’s indoor location data platform will ingest data from various third party IoT sensors and databases in addition to its own proprietary sensors to deliver information critical to a multitude of industries and disciplines including marketing, customer experience, operations and security. Inpixon’s depiction of indoor data will give each user a unique view of their indoor data, from wayfinding, visitor analytics and marketing campaigns to video camera integration and cybersecurity threat detection. Inpixon’s analytics engine and artificial intelligence will continue to anonymize devices, ensuring privacy and security, as we deliver on our mission to do good with indoor data.”

Full press release on GlobalNewsWire July 10, 2019

Digital Wayfinding – Qwick Media Announces QwickWay

April 10, 2019

QwickWayTM is your leading digital 3D Interactive Wayfinding

digital wayfinding qwickway by qwickmedia
Click for full size image

The most cost effective, versatile, rapid 3D wayfinding
with outstanding details and simplicity.

• Simplistic in design and use
• Easily manageable in real time
• A part of the complete integrated package or a stand
alone product.
• Applicable in endless isle in stores for retail.
The mapping and wayfinding system includes eleva-
tors, escalators, stairways, and walkways between
buildings. Getting directions between floors is easy.

Digital Wayfinding

• Interactive Navigation
• Rerouting for detour
• Directory interface
• ADA compliant
• Content management
• Multilingual
Contact us
• 3D experience interface
• Build-in Wayfinding Algorithm
• Interactive keyboard for search
• Pop-up descriptions
• Analytics

To learn more about QwickWayTM – your leading digital 3D Interactive Wayfinding contact Qwick Media, Inc.

More Information

Qwick Media Inc.
Telephone: 778.370.1715  1.855.370.1715
Address: 8331 Eastlake Drive, Building 2A, Suite 104, Burnaby, B. C. V5A 4W2

Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks to Army’s largest medical institution

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks & Army’s largest medical institution

Interactive Wayfinding Kiosk
Click for full size

With ten separate organizations and more than 350 potential hospital destinations, the team at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) realized they needed an interactive wayfinding kiosk solution that could handle such a colossal undertaking.  More specifically, BAMC wanted a user-friendly touchscreen interaction with easy wheelchair access, and rugged durability to allow for 24/7 unattended operation at each of their main entry points.  The directory needed to provide hospital visitors and staff with dynamically generated maps and turn-by-turn directions, complete with a way for the maps and directions to be accessed on their smart phones.

Based on security requirements and the need for patient privacy, the solution could not depend on outside connectivity or support — it had to be able to integrate into the existing BAMC architecture and government-owned servers.  The software security features needed to allow the kiosks to be configured to prevent countless unauthorized operations.

DynaTouch worked closely with BAMC to develop a solution that met their requirements exactly.  The services provided by DynaTouch included project management, consultation, content development, graphic design, and installation.  The hardware solution consisted of six upright ruggedized kiosks outfitted with 55” portrait displays with infrared touchscreens.  Locked inside the steel enclosures are desktop computers, pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro and a lifetime TIPS Kiosk Management Software license.  TIPS software is a highly secure, 4th generation COTS product developed by DynaTouch, designed specifically to prevent unauthorized operations and allow for unattended use on a public-accessed kiosk.

Using BAMC photographs and logos, DynaTouch created a BAMC-branded interactive environment with welcoming screensavers, an intuitive main menu, and a comprehensive set of wayfinding maps with QR codes to generate mobile versions.  Upon touching the screen, kiosk users can quickly set their desired destination from database-driven selections.  Users can choose to search by A-Z, by category, or by keyword.

Interactive Wayfinding Kiosk

The large portrait display presents easy-to-read selections and allows a standing visitor to touch anywhere on the screen, while a seated visitor can utilize a scrolling selector tool at the bottom of the interface. Once a selection is made, the user is presented with a color-coded 3D map displaying a path from the ‘You Are Here’ location to the selected destination, as well as corresponding written directions.  The kiosk user can opt to scan the QR code for a mobile version of their map, or choose to print their map for pick up at the nearest location within the facility.  To solve BAMCs request for a staff-only view, the maps database was designed to include all destinations, but the standard view was filtered to display only visitor destinations.  For BAMC staff, a secret button was hidden in the display, allowing them to access and view the unfiltered, full list of destinations.

The DynaTouch solution also included a lifetime license to the TIPS Content Editing Software, which was loaded onto a designated BAMC server.  This software allows for seamless editing of all kiosk content by non-technical BAMC personnel.  Authorized personnel can access the editor via multiple security levels, and administrators can grant or restrict user access as needed.  CAC certificates can also be used to gain access, rather than usernames and passwords.  Upon successfully logging in, a BAMC-specific dashboard is displayed, providing access to the Screen Savers Editor, the Building Directory Editor, and the Users Editor.

The Screen Saver Editor allows BAMC personnel to upload new images, modify/control the display order, and enable/disable them on specific kiosks.  The Building Directory Editor allows BAMC personnel to add/delete destinations, select/change base maps, draw/modify paths with a few simple clicks, and add/revise written directions.  In addition, authorized personnel can copy data/routes from other records, modify line colors/thicknesses/icons, and push published changes to the companion website hosting the URLs for the QR Code-generated maps.

With this comprehensive solution, the team at BAMC has set the standard for visitor wayfinding.  The BAMC Interactive Directory Kiosk system is truly state of the art in helping people find their way across such an immense institution.

Contact DynaTouch for more information.


Hours:Mon-Fri, 7:00am-7:00pm Central

Address:9901 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78217

This project was featured in a video published on the BAMC YouTube channel. Click here to watch the video.

Kiosk Manufacturer and Software Developer Announces Interactive Building Directory Solution

Meridian, the Customer Experience Leader in self-service solutions, announced the launch of MzeroDirectMe, an interactive building directory solution.


DirectMe enhances visitor experience through self-service wayfinding and can be tailored to meet company specifications. The user-friendly building directory was created for high-density areas including corporate offices, hospitals and government buildings. “It’s extremely customizable but also very easy to use. The interactivity and expandability allow the directory solution to be as simple or complex as needed,” said Jeff MacDonald, Director of Software Integration at Meridian.


Meridian, the Customer Experience Leader in self-service solutions, announced the launch of MzeroDirectMe building directory software application. The new software solution from Meridian offers visitors an interactive, easy-to-use directory solution. “DirectMe is intuitive and interactive, making it easier than ever for visitors to reach their destination,” said Chris Gilder, CEO of Meridian.

DirectMe enhances visitor experience through self-service wayfinding and can be tailored to meet company specifications. The user-friendly building directory was created for high-density areas including corporate offices, hospitals and government buildings. “It’s extremely customizable but also very easy to use. The interactivity and expandability allow the directory solution to be as simple or complex as needed,” said Jeff MacDonald, Director of Software Integration at Meridian.

DirectMe allows users to search for information, send the information to their mobile device and print a physical copy of the directory information. “We wanted to create a self-service solution for high-density business buildings and geographically spread campuses,” said Paul Burden, Director of Software at Meridian.

DirectMe is built on MzeroPlatform, Meridian’s industry-leading software solution, which provides system performance management, system security and a wide range of component support. The self-service software can support a number of devices and features including printers, VoIP and SMS. “Because it’s an extension of our MzeroInterAct digital signage platform, all of the digital signage features are still available,” said MacDonald. DirectMe offers multi-language support, interactive map guidance and remote monitoring with MzeroManage.

Meridian will be adding emergency messaging to DirectMe in the new year. Emergency messaging capabilities will allow for building and campus-wide alerts.

DirectMe is available as a stand-alone software package on existing hardware, or available on ready-to-ship Meridian kiosk models. Learn more about MzeroDirectMe by visiting


Click for full size - Express Image did software and Star Exhibits did the kiosk enclosures
Click for full size


St. Paul, MN – November 30, 2016 Express Image, a St. Paul, MN based print and digital solutions provider, has deployed six new interactive wayfinding kiosks at Mall of America®, the nation’s largest retail and entertainment destination.

Click for full size
Click for full size

Just in time for the busy holiday season, the recently installed dynamic interactive kiosks are more than just a directory, for the 40 million guests that visit the mall annually, they are a true interactive engagement hub that connects information and communication into an intuitive, efficient and delightful user experience. When a guest approaches the interactive wayfinding kiosks they are greeted with a vibrant, eye-catching tool that allows them to receive the customized assistance they need within as little as 10-20 seconds.

wayfinding kiosk
Click for full size

The 2-D wayfinding provides an eagle view with stacked multi-floor destination, travel times and route directions. The directory provides the power to instantly share and visualize the data on your smart phone through the text to phone feature which further engages customers and allows them to interact with mall guest services. “We are driven by a passion to make business and consumer information live, visually interesting and easy to use and understand through our digital solutions.

The dynamic interactive wayfinding solution, custom built for Mall of America turns the spotlight on our sales, creative and technology team” said Jeff Sarenpa, President of Express Image. “It is a true honor to work with the mall and create a customized solution to fit their specific needs from creative design, animation, custom content management system, hardware integration, and software development.”

The slick modern design, search function, step by step directions, dynamic pop-ups, text to phone features right down to the functionality that informs the guest as to which direction to go to start their journey, is sure to impress mall guests during the holiday season and throughout the year.

About Express Image

Express Image is an all-inclusive interactive digital solutions and print provider located in St. Paul, MN. Express Image delivers immersive experiences through digital and print place-based media solutions to worldwide brands through a variety of industries, such as entertainment, retail, travel, financial services, healthcare, technology, education and automotive. Our client service, creative, development, digital and print teams collaborate with our clients from visualization, deployment to delight through our Express Image Proven Process. To learn more visit

Contact: Ann Marie Keene

Press Release – Simon Expands Network Of Interactive Digital Directories

Newly enhanced directories create seamless digital experience for shoppers

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, is rolling out new, interactive digital directories to nine centers in time for the busy Holiday season with a broader roll out planned for next year.

digital directory
New interactive digital directories are currently in use at King of Prussia. (PRNewsFoto/Simon). Click for full size.

These enhanced, innovative digital directories incorporate the latest in digital wayfinding and interactive capabilities and are designed to provide shoppers with convenient access to what’s going on at their favorite mall through an engaging new user interface.

“Simon is a leader in this space with an unmatched network of over 175 screens deployed across the country,” said Mikael Thygesen, Simon’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s an important customer amenity that our shoppers interact with quite regularly.  We felt it was time to develop the next generation of this technology and elevate the consumer experience even further.  Judging from the strong positive feedback received from shoppers already, I think we’ve achieved our goal.”

These next generation units use 65″, LCD, full HD touchscreens and are strategically located in high-traffic areas, coming to life when a shopper walks within a few feet of the screen. The digital interactive maps highlight the location of shops and services and display the fastest route for shoppers to take.  Shoppers also have the option to send those directions to their mobile device through a variety of digital communication channels (beacons, NFC, SMS, etc.). A universal search option allows for a quick search of stores, dining options and services.  Information on the latest offers and deals available from retailers and restaurants equips shoppers with all the information they need to make their shopping trip productive and enjoyable.  In addition, the digital directories utilize the latest location-based marketing technology to allow brands to connect directly with their customers with real-time, relevant information.

The new units were unveiled as part of King of Prussia’s grand reopening festivities in August and are also installed at Clarksburg Premium Outlets (Clarksburg, MD); Copley Place (Boston, MA); Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Arlington, VA); Florida Mall (Orlando, FL); Forum Shops at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV); The Galleria (Houston, TX); The Westchester (White Plains, NY); Stanford Shopping Center (Palo Alto, CA) and Del Amo Fashion Center (Torrance, CA). Installations to expand the network will continue on a rolling basis.

Next Gen Wayfinding Kiosk

These next generation units were created in partnership with Gable, an award-winning provider of digital displays that helps businesses connect and engage people through effective visual communications, and Acquire Digital, whose digital signage, wayfinding and interactive development tools are being used by Blue Chip brand names around the world.

About Simon
Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit

Photo –
Logo –


Related Links

From Acquire Digital®

Acquire Digital® navigating across the USA,

with its new Wayfinding kiosk solution.

Acquire Digital® are very excited in the release of its new interactive Wayfinder kiosk solution, rolling out across America in Simon℠Shopping malls. Navigating large locations such as shopping malls can be difficult and time consuming, with traditional printed static maps often adding to the confusion. Digital Directories reduce the time taken by shoppers to find their destination by displaying the most efficiently and useful route for shoppers to take.
The Acquire Wayfinder has been developed over a number of years to produce a simple and fun interactive experience that can be installed in Shopping Malls, Airports, Exhibition spaces, City Centres and anywhere visitors need to find where to go. Over the years, it has evolved from a simple routing / mapping system to something that makes the shopping experience enjoyable and intelligent so that users can be guided not only to their destination, but also receive supplementary information related to their destination or along a route.
For Simon, Acquire Digital have used their highly configurable UI/UX system and customized their wayfinder to match the branding and requirements of Simon, whilst integrating with the Simon data to avoid duplicate entry of store details through the normal Wayfinder CMS. This also allows for more than just Wayfinding, but advertising opportunities and information about offers and events to engage with the shoppers.
The new units were unveiled as part of King of Prussia’s grand reopening festivities in August and are also installed at Clarksburg Premium Outlets (Clarksburg, MD); Copley Place (Boston, MA); Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Arlington, VA); Florida Mall (Orlando, FL); Forum Shops at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV); The Galleria (Houston, TX); The Westchester (White Plains, NY); Stanford Shopping Center (Palo Alto, CA) and Del Amo Fashion Center (Torrance, CA). Installations to expand the network will continue on a rolling basis.
The Acquire Wayfinder consists of a fully interactive, live 3D map, with multi-touch pinch & zoom, and a number of different methods to choose the destination. Even the map itself is interactive as it allows users to touch any store and find relevant information about their destination, and an animation and turn-by-turn directions of the best route(s) to their destination.
Shoppers have the option to send their chosen route to their mobile device by scanning a QR code, activating a built-in NFC tag or sending an SMS message to take their directions with them on the go.
Acquire Digital® have incorporated Beacon technology for onward routing, cameras for user recognition and audience measurement, and many other modern technologies which means the technology is always similar or better than the experiences users expect nowadays.
This project has been a huge accomplishment for the Acquire team, in collaboration with Baltimore based partners Gable.
About Acquire
Acquire Digital® has been developing digital signage and interactive solutions since 1997. With a range of products including Digital Signage, Wayfinding and interactive development tools, plus their ability to customize their offerings, Acquire has been working with many Blue Chip brands over the years in countries across the globe. From their headquarters in Leicester (UK) and offices in Boston (USA) and Macau (Asia) they provide a complete software solution from design to install and operation, whilst partnering with best of breed companies to fulfil amazing technologies across most vertical markets.
About Simon
Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our industry-leading retail
properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales.
For more information, visit
For further information regarding this project or details about Acquire Wayfinder contact the sales team:, or visit

Wayfinding, Travel & Tourism Kiosks

Wayfinding kiosk for travel and tourism expand the offerings of a destination or improve the experience of getting there, a win for both travelers and the places they visit.


wayfinding kiosk travel and tourismMeridian update on wayfinding kiosk for travel and tourism.


Wayfinding Kiosk Benefits & ROI

  • Improve service by increasing the productivity of front-line staff
  • Increase revenue and visitor numbers
  • Educate visitors about area attractions by providing virtual tour guides
  • Offer way-finding maps, directions and advice for visitors
  • Allow visitors to purchase tickets for attractions or transportation tokens
  • Increase revenue through advertising sales
  • 24/7 Service


Our line-up of travel and tourism kiosks will allow you to expand your reach without adding staff or facilities. In fact, you can create a virtual visitor’s bureau location anywhere. Whether it is the airport, rest stop, convention center or a local park, meridian’s self-service solutions can help you create exciting interactive tools for your visitor’s use.

Our kiosks can streamline the check-in process and significantly reduce long lines at airports, train stations or car hire outlets. Allow our self-service solutions to take the strain, and enable your front-line staff to meet the ever-increasing demands upon them.

Mzero Software can integrate mobile devices through QR codes, offer way finding services, display and distribute coupons for local attractions, incorporate VoIP phones for visitors to contact advertisers and provide ADA compliant features such as interactive text-to-voice response.

KIosks vs Kiosks

A very nice article on usability and design by Digital Wellbeing Labs. This is earlier review of earlier iterations of the “cool unit” that was just deployed at JFK.


Why do some kiosks appeal, whilst others are frankly just repulsive? I have this weird relationship with kiosks in public places. As a classically trained interaction designer I am compulsively attracted and start poking them to see how they react to my avances. Some kiosk types such as ticket dispensers and ATMs are utilitarian and are aimed to speed up purely functional transactions. Other types aim to guide the public to their destinations or attract passerby’s to engage with one or another dynamic brand.
It’s incredible what kind of mess there is out there. Sometimes to the point of being hilariously tragic. Many kiosk variations are present in public spaces. After more than two decades of various types of displays one would expect that engaging and usable versions are commonplace. Take for example the ticket kiosks for the Heathrow express and how many iterations and changes of language it took to achieve a reasonably usable system … and it’s still not quite there. Quite often it is not about the overall idea of placing a kiosk in a particular environment, but it comes down to small details in the implementation and the successive management of the set-up that determines acceptance and success.

It’s about time we create a Michelin-Star type rating for public services with a special section dedicated to kiosks and websites.

Mind you these systems are rather expensive to implement. In the professional press and in marketing blurbs most of these systems are praised as the ultimate in customer service and brand representation. But, if you look underneath the hood it is consistently a ragbag of off-the-shelf components, clumsily assembled and arranged according to limited space into a custom made shell. So why is it, that quite often the implementation of the interaction is left to someone who has been playing around in Powerpoint, or these days, an intern in his second term using Flash? I am regularly baffled by the logic of navigating the menu on most kiosks. It seems that few ever applied serious user testing. And with user testing I don’t mean just being able to perform a given task, but actually taking into account the whole environment, the role it fulfills in the complete user experience, in which the kiosk is placed. I will get back to this with various examples in future posts. I will also discuss in another post how things go seriously wrong when the UI on kiosks is laid out in such a way, that value added services are pushed to the top and the actual purpose of the kiosk is hardly to discover.

An excellent recent example of the good and the bad are the information kiosks placed at the new international train terminal of the Eurostar at St Pancras in London and the kiosks found spread around the new Westfield Shopping Mall in White City, West London.

Both fulfill similar functions; find a store or service around you, locate the toilets, highlight any events and push some advertisements etc. Both are located in very dense, high footfall environments.

I’ve spent some time observing the use by the public of these kiosks and one thing is immediately evident. Whilst the kiosks in St Pancras attract the occasional passerby, the kiosks at Westfield are in constant use.

So here is my thinking, purely empirical and subjective:

  • Placement of the kiosks


St Pancras – Nowhere near any main entrances and always just out of the way of high footfall areas like escalators. One actually has to almost search for them even when they are highly visible standing throughout the environment. On the other hand, there is little incentive to use them as most of the few shops and services are located along a linear path from the various entrances to the platforms and you will eventually bump into what you may or may not be looking for.


Westfield – The kiosks are exactly where you expect them, at dominant locations in the center of entrance areas and on major crossways. One reason for the popularity of the way finding kiosks may be that design specifications of the rest of the environment did not allow to easily find shops whilst scanning the alleys. There are no signs protruding into the corridors, so one needs to stand almost in front of the stores before being able to identify them.

  • Physical design


St Pancras – The kiosk totems reflect an early nineties design sensibility. Large vertical units trying to fullfil multiple way-finding and information tasks. There are two screens mounted above each other. On top, a general information streaming display, with time, weather and departure info, arranged in portrait format. Below, a touch screen in landscape format, suggesting some kind of relationship between the two screens where there is none. On multiple visits I noticed that some of the displays were out of order. In case you are not aware where you are, the designers ensured to splash the St Pancras name/logo in a prominent position on the totem, instead of using this space for meaningful labels to identify, for example, different meeting location throughout the station.


Westfield – This is seriously clever design. The light, almost fragile modern look. The two sides of the kiosk at different angles and slightly different heights to accomodate different user requirements. The table-like setting allows the users to maintain awareness of the environment without having their views blocked. The angle of the displays actually invites to linger and try different options. I am not sure about glare and reflections on the screen but it didn’t seem to bother users too much. I believe the units have been supplied by the BF group but I can’t figure out who designed the units or who actually provided the user interface other than that the original signage for the mall was designed by the Portland Group. The materials used in the Kiosks seems to be the Corian-like LG Hi-Macs which is used all-over the mall. Unfortunately we’ve spotted on some repeat visits some tension chipping around the displays on a few kiosks.

  • User interface design


St Pancras – Why do designers always try to re-invent the world just when about everyone has got used to one or another interface navigation standard? The main navigation menu button is situated at the bottom right, at about hip-hight, nicely out of sight for most users. More annoyingly each time you press the menu on the touch display a short animation shows a set of button choices stumbling to arrange themselves into a list. If I am in a hurry to reach my train and I have to wait again and again for a 3 second transition to pass by whilst I am navigating the menu, I will soon abandon the kiosk. And what does this animation say about the St Pancras terminal brand? Apart from the placement of the Menu button did the designers actually consider it to be good practice to hide the most common menu options from view, so that the users have no clue what options are available at a glance at any time during interaction with the kiosks. I fully support simple looking interfaces but in this case, out of sight is out of mind .It seems that the content and some of the navigation is provided by completely different agencies not working to the same style spec.


Westfield – Even if the touch displays seem not to be as responsive as they used to be shortly after opening, you generally get what you are looking for. Not that it will be any easier to find the actual physical location afterwards. The interface to send a way-finding message to your mobile is probably one of the best implementations I’ve seen so far. Sure one can disagree with the level of menu options in the menu bar at the top that includes of al things “jobs”, or the wording of the bread crumbs underneath the menu, but overall this is a very decent job. I still don’t know who designed the UI but whilst browsing I came across terabyte from New Zealand who did an at least great looking UI for Westfield kiosks in NZ.

There can much more be said on a heuristic level of these two similar, but yet again very different kiosk experiences, but this sums up some of the key issues with current kiosks or info-pods, or whatever you want to name these in public spaces.

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  1. Wired Orbit

    The touchscreen UI’s for the Westfield Development were designed and built by Instant Business Ltd (


  2. mind avatar

    Here’s a few more things to consider in the Kiosk Theory 😉

    Theme: maintain a flirting relationship in the human-kiosk-interaction (HKI)

    1. Kiosks placement directed near gathering/rest points – such as snack spaces, not just near main entrance or centre of floor/mall.
    2. Kiosk-to-Kiosk spatial relationship that exuberates artistic impresssions – create a Kiosk genre…
    3. Include e.g. Google search-like, mappable-like feature in it, and allow mashup features on Kiosks (including real-time feeds on news, weather, etc…)
    4. Have colourful meaningful facade amongst Kiosk community (yep, that’s right a Kiosk is a community member of space-time and lifestyle). Try color changing Kiosk triggered by ambient temp, pressure, or sound.
    5. On point 5: A zebra wavy black-white Kiosk in a Zoo, may be more meaningful, than a milky white zonky Kiosk.
    6. I agree that Kiosk doesnt have to be represented as boxy or rectangular protrusion.
    7. Be a trigger (if not a representation)of human emotions – a flower shaped Kiosk, a “Thomas the tank engine” Kiosk in PINK, … a tourist attraction at par to the Eiffel Tower, et al. A blackberry or an iPod (contemporary icons) looking Kiosk, could possible get the associated manufacturer involved in sponsoring Kiosks.
    8. Acknowledge that Kiosk has feelings too – let the entity be the centre of overflowing attraction, for goodness sake.
    9. On point 8: In addition, Kiosk can be slightly off the ground, and red-carpeted, named and knighted… Sir Kiosk of Westfield.
    10. BTW, don’t try making love with Kiosk… flirting with the entity should be enuf 🙁

    The mind wonders…

  3. Excellent article, I agree that for public facing interactive displays, it is so important to make the solution a welcoming experience and then once engaged, deliver what the customer needs in the shortest time possible.
    Satisfying this requirement really comes down to the following areas:

    • Reliable touch technology that does not restrict the kiosk design, even better, pick one that can enhance the design and is completely resistant to the unrelenting demands of public areas
    • Fast response when selecting content
    • Keeping the content simple relevant to the point and up to date!
    • Easy and intuitive navigation, for example large navigation buttons in your face and close to the centre of the display, you can lose your customer in an instant if navigation is just too hard!
    • Please please no tiny A to Z directories
    • Never have the terms “KISS” and “less is more” been more relevant than when large interactive displays are deployed for public facing applications like kiosks, through retail windows, bus shelters, wayfinders etc

    We have all experienced very bad examples which can very quickly disappoint an impatient customer, however it is also good to see that some very fine examples appearing that engage and do the job they were designed to do.
    Thanks for reading


Digital Wayfinding – Cool Project

Cool project.
2016 JFK Digital Wayfinding project by OpenEye Global and Ikoniq.


Ikoniq has a relationship with Westfield and has done a few projects together starting with something called the Wall Shop in Newark Airport.  It is a retail store to help local businesses get access to the airport facility.  Giving back to the community, per se.   It was an interesting project because it is 20’ long, but had to be delivered through the small elevator in the concourse.  Lots of interesting lighting and glass, when it’s open nothing disturbs the retail space, when it’s closed, the glass doors secure the unit and it gives the appearance of as museum case.

The next project Ikoniq did was for JFK and it is the directories you see in the video.  It is actually a design that Westfield used in Europe, the programming was done by Openeye Global and 22 Mile.

Ikoniq just delivered another project to LA, for gate info and way finding.  The programming on that one was done by Westfield Labs.

Westfield from OpenEye Global on Vimeo.

Ikoniq is full service Remote Merchandising Unit provider based in New York.  Greg Swistak is the CEO and is a member of the Kiosk Hall of Fame.

Kiosk Greg Swistak


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