Twenty-five interactive kiosks, featuring projected capacitive touchscreens from Zytronic, have gone live in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. This is the first deployment of Citybeacon, which has been designed to make cities smarter.
“Citybeacon was designed to connect the physical and digital worlds; as connectivity and interaction feature in our everyday lives, and the way in which people engage with each other and information, we decided to unify this into one solution,” said Arthur van de Poll, founder and CEO of Citybeacon. “By applying multiple technologies to street furniture, we can create a smarter, safer and healthier environment for everyone. We are especially excited that our first deployment is in such an iconic technology city.”
Eindhoven is the base of Dutch technology giant Philips, and the city’s University of Technology is one of the world’s leading technical universities.
The Citybeacons have been developed in co-operation with OCP Solutions, a developer of public outdoor communication products. “Blending state-of-the-art connectivity with intuitive touchscreens enables visitors and residents to access relevant information about the city and local businesses, and experience their surroundings,” said Marius van Lith, CEO of OCP Solutions.
“We’re enabling cities to become smarter by combining a range of technologies that are scalable for the future in one unit, and the key to interacting with users is through a rugged 32in touchscreen. The user experience is very important, and it was vital that the interface would provide a reliable all-weather, responsive and durable solution that reflected the qualities of Citybeacon. Zytronic’s local partner, Telerex, supported us with the selection of components, and recommended their ZYFILM interactive foil for the touch solution.”
ZYFILM from Zytronic is a flexible, polyester touch film incorporating their patented multitouch technology, and is designed to be laminated to the rear surface of a rigid transparent substrate. Once applied, it is capable of detecting up to 40 simultaneous touch points through an overlay of 10mm thick or more.
After Telerex supplied of the rollable ZYFILM, “the initial design of the 32in ZYFILM was altered slightly to integrate fully with the design, electronics and placement of buttons within the unit, which was possible thanks to Zytronic’s highly flexible manufacturing process,” said Bertram Padmos, account manager at Telerex.
The Citybeacon enables easy access to local information and directions. The system also incorporates NFC, RFID, and Bluetooth-based payment and mobile hand-off technologies, so users can take advantage of local services such as parking and carry information to and from the kiosk. Two double-sided integrated large advertising screens at the top of the unit provide public service announcements and local business promotions. Air quality, UV and audience sensors provide advanced analytic data, while energy-saving smart lighting adjusts to current conditions, and cameras allow public spaces to be monitored. Microphone- and camera-enabled full VOIP communication connects with emergency services, and free Gigabit WiFi and small-cell 4G- and 5G-ready antennas improve coverage and connection for the sharing of information. To round things off, users can also download a free mobile app which allows users to carry the Citybeacon experience with them.