ST LOUIS, MO (STL.News) The City of St. Louis, in partnership with IKE Smart City, launched the next round of IKE interactive kiosks beginning with a new installation near the Wohl Recreation Center inside the historic Sherman Park. IKE kiosks are just one of the many innovative smart city initiatives the City is implementing to drive social equity, increase public safety, support businesses, cultural institutions, and attractions, and enhance quality of life for residents and visitors throughout St. Louis.
Dr. Robert Gaskill-Clemons, Chief Technology Officer for the city of St. Louis, explained “Ensuring equitable access to technology is at the heart of our ’smart city’ initiative as is finding innovative ways to use technology to support the community. I believe this effort is a significant step forward as well as an example of how technology providers, the City and the community can work together to find innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for the residents and businesses here in St. Louis.”
Built in 1965, the Wohl Recreation Center, located at the corner of North Kingshighway and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, welcomes residents of all ages. The Center offers an array of programming, including; swimming, weightlifting, boxing, basketball, youth football, volleyball, aerobics, arts and crafts, and so much more.
While public programming at the Wohl Center is currently unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IKE is fully functional, broadcasting critical health and safety information and providing the community with access to essential services.
Dr. Robert Gaskill-Clemons and Ward 26 Alderwoman Shameem C. Hubbard worked together to ensure the kiosk makes vital resources available to all residents. PrepareSTL, a collaborative campaign powered by the Missouri Foundation for Health in partnership with the City of St. Louis, Saint Louis MHB, St. Louis County Department of Public Health and other community health organizations, is leveraging the IKE platform to help residents cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Content includes details on how to stop the spread of the virus, and how to survive the pandemic physically, emotionally, and economically.
Alderwoman Shameem C. Hubbard commented, “I cannot think of a better time to launch IKE, than during this current pandemic. IKE is a source of accurate information and available resources for a community that is being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”
Additional organizations like The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, are using the kiosk to promote virtual learning experiences that spark imagination, pique curiosity, enhance creativity, and develop problem-solving skills. Their “Magic at Home” series offers hands-on, engaging experiences, inspired by their museum, to encourage kids to use their creativity during this unprecedented time.
“Our mission is to utilize smart city technology to improve lives in cities, and we look forward to continuing the deployment of IKE kiosks throughout St. Louis in order to maximize public benefit for all communities,” said Pete Scantland, CEO of IKE Smart City.
IKE Smart City puts smart technology on the ground to drive discovery, mobility, and equity across the economic spectrum. The digital kiosks connect residents and visitors to local businesses, entertainment, and resources, and also facilitate navigation around the City with directions, mapping, and real-time transit information for both mass and micro transit modalities.
The multi-lingual and ADA-compliant kiosks include free Wi-Fi, security cameras for increased neighborhood safety, and listings for social and civic resources such as shelters, food banks, and job opportunities. IKE also helps streamline communication between the City and its citizens, serving as a platform for public service announcements and emergency messages.
IKE is supported through sponsorships and advertising and is installed and operated at no cost to the City or taxpayers.