Posted by Jon Salisbury Tech News

Smart City Kiosk enable the Smart City world.

Edited: June 18, 2018

I will begin this article with the early smart city planning.  I will then take you on a journey to where we have landed today and all the benefits that today’s smart cities with intelligent kiosks that will lead us into the future. Through this journey, I hope to help inform city administrators about the potential pitfalls of moving forward with every project without proper quality assurance processes. We will then look to existing smart cities as examples and finally show an example of a self-sustaining smart city that has points of self-funding throughout.

I personally believe smart city projects do not make as much sense without a strong smart city kiosk solutions, this will be explained later on in the article.  I will also explain why the new modern kiosks are like a large intelligent City Sensors offering a lot more value than known before.

The history of a smart city (City Planning) dates back prior to the Greece and Hippodamus (Known by some as ‘the father of city planning’.

Source: Wikipedia - Map of Piraeus, the port of Athens, showing the grid plan of the city

Traditionally, the Greek philosopher Hippodamus (5th century BC) is regarded as the first town planner and ‘inventor’ of the orthogonal urban layout. Aristotle called him ‘the father of city planning’,[5] and until well into the 20th century, he was indeed regarded as such.

 Modern digitally connected smart cities - definition smart cities

Source Wikipedia:

Today smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but are not limited to, local departments' information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services. The goal of building a smart city is to improve quality of life by using urban informatics and technology to improve the efficiency of services and meet residents’ needs.

Why Smart Cities stall or fail:

Funding: Without a federal grant most cities don’t want to move forward with smart city projects. If they decide to take on the initiative with budget adjustments it is a scary proposition because citizens will be wary of tax increases.  Sponsors are also a potential opportunity for these types of projects.

Action: Most cities have not implemented IoT or smart city strategies before and normally do not have an abundance of expertise on hand. Cities will want to protect themselves and perform a plethora of analysis which can lead to paralysis.  The question becomes where do we begin?

When working on a smart city project the first phase is always described as getting a holistic view of the city.  What resources are currently in place (digital and physical)?  For example public transit, billboard, arenas, and parks.  What are the citizens demanding? Modern parking systems, more transparency, or digital services.  What are the goals and visions of the city and how can they achieve these goals? Let’s walk through the examples below to better illustrate how this can be accomplished.

Smart city projects around the world are launching daily and many have come before. One of the key things to look at is what has happened with some of the early smart city endeavors and what we can learn/improve upon.

Smart City - Munich Germany –


·      Area: 31.071 km²

·      25 districts

·      1,431,624 inhabitants (2012)

·      4,574 inhabitants per km²

·      Planning region Munich: 2,654,726 people

·      Munich Metropolitan Region: 5,303,738 people

·      2 Excellence Universities (LMU + TUM)



·      To identify, develop and deploy replicable, balanced and integrated solutions in the energy, transport, and ICT actions through partnerships between municipalities and industries

·      These will be the lighthouse projects as identified by the Communication on Smart Cities and Communities.

·      Reducing 50% of local CO2 emissions by the year 2030 (reference year 1990) => ten percent every five years. in accordance with the objectives of the Climate Alliance

development and application of specific implementation strategies to achieve this objective



·      EUR 92.32 million from the 2014 budget (34.78 Euros per person in planning region = 38.26 US Dollars)

·      EUR 108.18 million from the 2015 budget (40.75Euros per person in planning region = 44.83 US Dollars)



Like most Smart Cities Munich focused on the applications and not the underlying framework needed to ensure efficiencies. Munich focused on the end rather than the means to the end. They budgeted a substantial amount of money and are moving forward with a tax-funded solution. Unlike a scenario in which the project is self-funded, Munich is delivering IoT and transportation platform improvements which are not necessarily cohesive.  This means the operating expenditure for Munich could fluctuate over time and become hard to predict because of an erratic revenue source and lack of cohesion. Munich is hoping that by uplifting the community with new services it will attract more and new business and residents.

Personal Conclusion:

In my opinion, I believe that the project could potentially be unsustainable as the amount of tools implemented have required a larger than anticipated operational expenditure resulting in an increase of taxes to continue the effort. Although this is a vision that every city should be trying to attain it is also a cycle that every city should try and avoid. Digging financial holes that cannot be climbed out of and possibly require rescue is not good for anyone. If the project was utilizing smart city intelligent kiosks or nodes then the project could be fractionally or totally self-funded and some of the key services could become managed by a smart city managed service provider. The city doesn’t necessarily need to bring on all the staff to run a service when a business can offload the service at a fraction of the cost.   Starting with transportation (or any endpoint application) is incredibly expensive and results in unmeasurable improvements without deploying a canopy and framework on the front end to ensure cohesiveness,


I am now going to walk you through a hypothetical scenario in which we create a fiscally-sustained smart city.

Dream City, USA


·      Area: 31.71 km² (119.90 Mile²)

·      25 districts

·      1,431,624 inhabitants (2012)

·      4,574 inhabitants per km²

·      Planning region Munich: 2,654,726 people

·      Dream City: 5,303,738 people

·      2 higher education facilities (Dream University 1 + Dream University 2)


Scope of Dream City project: To ensure the most transparent, connected, environmentally friendly, easy to navigate, and business as well as a citizen-friendly city.

  • Phase 1 - Implement a top-down approach which starts with foundational understanding and implementation.
  •  Fiber optic mapping
  •  Wireless distribution
  •  Ensure project is funded and gather loads of real-time statistics off of the intelligent Smart City Kiosks (The Smart City Engine)
  •  Ensure canopy standard is selected (may have multiple)
  •  Ensure framework is selected
  •  Ensure data analytics engine is selected
  • Choose devices and applications that work within your requirements shown above (Fiber, Wireless, Canopy, Framework, Analytics) If the selected devices or applications do not work within this framework then you will need to account for this in development costs and ongoing operational expenditure development unless the vendor can be convinced to enhance its application for the city based on long-term opportunity.  (I use the argument if you are solving this issue for one city then it will help another so you will have to upgrade eventually)

Results of Phase 1 (with suggested selections):

Smart City Kiosks (Intelligent NODES)

You do not pay for these. We pay you to install them. 


Touch Screen Tablet – Secure Human interface

Multi-Lingual Touchscreen tablet for calling, first aid, internet browsing (HIGHLY filtered), local bus routes, wayfinding and more.

City Analytics:

Gather a tremendous amount of statistics for the city and advertiser. (We don’t record personally identifiable information on our Camera Sensors) the city can utilize this system to implement a wholly owned camera system.


Revenue Generation to the City based on profits (*Estimate)

For a DREAM CITY, we will install 400 smart City Kiosks meaning we would be adding $360,000.00 per month in revenue to the city! Revenue generation for the City is one of the main factors the smart city project will achieve fiscal sustainability. You can now roll out multiple IoT projects with secured funding and not worry about increases taxes or waiting on a grant.

This Smart City Kiosk enables you to take action

Ingenu Canopy

This service will have a cost per usage fee but is sometimes more than 10 x cheaper than a cellular alternative. Ingenu is a multi-tenant secure LPWAN platform which provides incredible coverage.

Framework – Visualization Platform

Our smart city approach takes a “single pane of glass” approach. See all your devices without opening 20 different applications. This can be deployed later in the project but the standard needs to be defined on the front end. Like any great structure, the foundation is always extremely important.

Data Analytics

General Electric (GE) has changed the game with IoT before it has fully arrived because they have created IoT analytics as a service. They have built a secure multi-tenant data analytics platform which will ingest data from a wide range of IoT products. Proper integration at the onset allows you to analyze your data across all your applications. We at Nexigen and with our partners at Cincinnati Bell are currently mapping all solutions back to GE Predix ( This is a game changer in that it will allow you to make smart decisions on demand across all your smart cities applications.


Phase 2

  • Environmental Monitoring with precision:
  • Weather monitoring and air quality applications can be carried out thanks to humidity and temperature sensors and pollution detectors including CO2, NO2, CO, and O3.
  • More important than implementing city-wide changes is the ability to track the outcome from those changes. When implementing changes to transportation or route planning utilize this data to ensure you are seeing the positive results expected. Look to reduce carbon emission every year according to national standards.
  • High impact low-cost
  • Parking
  • Ensure if you have people coming to your city they have a complete understanding of the parking situation and availability.
  • Metered parking improvement with smart parking applications.
  • Virtual spot tracking and non-metered parking integrated into the smart parking system
  • High impact and low-cost
  • Citizen Safety
  • Gunshot triangulation
  • City camera System for law enforcement
  • Pre-crime applications on social platforms – integrates with law enforcement.

Additional Options

  • Waste Management
  • Change your waste bins for residents to smart bins with a sonic sensor which will allow your waste management company to move to an on-demand service, saving money and reducing the carbon footprint from the trucks.
  • High Cost with high impact and requires negotiation and education.
  • Smart Grid
  • We recommend GE smart grid tech integrated with Ingenu. Field labor operations for meter reads is dramatically reduced. This means higher efficiency for your energy company reducing carbon footprint and we hope the electric bill.
  • Higher Cost with high impact and requires negotiation and education
  • Smart Lighting
  • This will be one of the most transformative projects in the future. We put this later because of all the innovation taking place including built-in wireless mesh and small cell capabilities. We look to GE to keep the innovation coming so we can recommend the new solutions coming to market in the coming years!

Overall this smart city project we have described has the following budget to implement.

Budget – We have not factored any transportation adds which are extremely expensive but believe with other improvements you will see a huge impact on overall transportation efficiency with smart parking and reduce of routes by trucks.


  • Year 1 - Phase 1 – 0 in the bank but start Earnings off of 300 Smart City Kiosks (NODES) $1,500,000.00 - 
  • The Smart City Kiosks will take time to deploy and then ramp up ad revenue.
  • You already now have wayfinding, analytics, a canopy, a visualization platform, gunshot triangulation and some city cameras.
  • Year 2 - Phase 1- 1,500,000.00 in the bank and moving to 400 nodes – End of year 2 – $5,280,000.00
  • Now we begin application rollout
  • Smart Parking can vary in cost but I will assume 1.5 million
  • Year 3 Phase 2 – $8,100,000 in the bank and we have smart parking throughout the city and smart nodes feeding us income. It's time to start negotiations with waste, transportation, grid, and lighting.

Each one of these services will have varying costs but with over 4 million in revenue coming in each year it makes the decisions easier to make with less risk. We can run pilots and provide a ton of analytical data to make the decisions easier.

Personal Conclusion:

If you are wanting to explore smart city I feel that we have a compelling solution. We break ground in Newport Kentucky on December 1st with our first Smart City Kiosks (NODE).  This will be displayed in a high traffic area right in front of Newport on the Levee Galleria entrance. We currently have over 12 cities interested in starting this process and are looking for more. We have manufactured our own Smart City Kiosks and installed leading technology inside the systems. They are both rugged for the environment and sleek in design. We are the only Smart City Kiosk vendor who is using Carbon fiber in place of plastic injection molds. This means in the cold or heat our Smart City Kiosks will hold up better!

This article is sourced from smartLINK the leader in Smart City Technology -  The Smart City Kiosk Solution Company

For additional information about Smart City Kiosks see Cincinnati based smartLINK:

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