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Innovation Oakland update: Electronic kiosk prototype opens to the public

Innovation Oakland, a community-wide infrastructure initiative, will unveil a model of their new state of the art information kiosks for the public to test out on August third, in the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital lobby.

The electronic kiosk was designed by four students at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center, and will utilize sophisticated phone and website applications to help Oakland residents and visitors better navigate the neighborhood's shopping, dining, and cultural options. The kiosk is the prototype for phase II of Innovation Oakland, an initiative created two years ago by the Oakland Task Force, the Oakland Business Improvement District, UPMC, and Oakland's three universities to better connect the public to locations and happenings in Oakland's commercial district through new technologies. Based upon the public's response to the prototype, many more kiosks will be placed in both indoor and outdoor locations around Oakland.

"What really guided this project is that we have over 100,000 people in Oakland, in and out on a daily basis. People come here whether they're studying, living here, or working, and there's so much that they just may not be aware of," says Georgia Petropoulos Muir, Executive Director of OBID. "We wanted to come up with a system that could be managed remotely, in terms of keeping information updated."

The Oakland Task Force found a precedent for Innovation Oakland in Zaragoza, Spain's Digital Mile Program, which uses technology to help people navigate the city's commercial area. After talking to the creators of The Digital Mile, and conducting surveys and meetings with the Oakland public, the members of The Oakland Task Force began working on the kiosk model.

"This is a prototype, so we can always tweak it and grow it," says Muir. "We're going to see how the public likes it, and how they interact with it."

Come try out the new technology for yourself beginning at 9 a.m. in the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital lobby in Oakland on August third.

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Source: Georgia Petropoulos Muir, Executive Director of OBID
Writer: John Farley
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