I read an article recently where the power of Google Now was being used to give people interesting information about the area around them in London (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/techandgadgets/google-smart-screens-installed-at-bus-shelters-in-london-8929177.html) and I couldn’t help but think about how wonderful this is as technology and what it does to educate citizens and tourists alike.
I also couldn’t help but think back to my uni days in the mid 2000s where my love for the city of Brisbane had reached new levels and I wanted to showcase that wonderful city to the world. I had an idea of setting up touch screen kiosks around the city which would help people find their way around easily (an interactive map works a lot better I find) and it would also help guide people to points of interest in the area. Brisbane has excellent weather and we spend so much of our time outdoors (day or night) that these kiosks would suit the very walker-friendly nature of our CBD.
In the mid 2000s we were still grappling with the concept of affordable broadband in Australia and touch screen technology wasn’t what it is today so my ideas didn’t become anything more. Now with huge leaps in technology and with 4G availability and public wifi, the idea that I had back then is not just a reality but is actually being taken to a whole new level with this installation in London.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the first person with the idea but it doesn’t matter – this sort of innovation is wonderful and of great benefit to society no matter who brings it to market.
I’d certainly like the city of Brisbane to adopt something like this and really showcase the wonders of our city to everyone. Our climate is excellent and with plenty of walking areas in the CBD itself, this would be perfect. Considering Brisbane now has a Chief Digital Officer (Kieran O’Hea) and has plans to be a truly digital city, I hope they’re reading! Next step: more public wifi spots!