Hi-tech Citybeacons will give Eindhoven digital lead in street furniture

By Fred Kuhlman • September 9th, 2015

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In the beginning of 2016 in the centre of Eindhoven, a new generation of intelligent street furniture will be installed: Citybeacons. The approximately four-meter high ‘City beacons; connect security, information and communication via an intelligent platform with the residents, visitors and businesses of the city. The Citybeacons will be a replacement of the advertising information display units (mupi’s) that stood in the centre until a few years ago.

With the arrival of 15-25 Citybeacons in the city centre of Eindhoven, residents, visitors and businesses will get access via the digital platform to a number of digital and interactive functionalities.

The idea for Citybeacon comes from the current proliferation in the physical infrastructure of a city. In every city there are cameras, billboards, road signs, antennas, ad space and video screens. The different functions of these facilities are brought together by the placement of the Citybeacons. Citybeacons deliver functionalities in the areas of security, communication and information:

A digital screen at eye level with:

  • Interactive maps with city information and routing
  • City promotion
  • Event info
  • Social media
  • Interaction: through the post and via smartphone
  • Digital note board

Two digital screens (approximately 3 meters):

  • Advertising (exploitation by City Beacon)
  • City marketing (events)
  • Amber Alerts

General features of the Citybeacon:

  • A strong wifi mast
  • Observation cameras:
  • Crowd control
  • CCTV
  • Measurements of passers numbers
  • Environmental measurements (eg air quality)
  • Streetlights

The City Beacon is developed by a new Dutch start-up. The founder of this company, Mr. Arthur van de Poll, took part in the tender of the city of New York for the replacement of 10,000 public telephones (2012). Although Citybeacon did not win, the product is developed and prepared for a major (inter) national introduction. The initiative in the Netherlands for this project came from the city marketing organization Eindhoven365. The manager of Eindhoven365 calls it “a communication asset to the city, a unique opportunity to discover the city in an intelligent way.”

The Citybeacons will be placed (depending on the permits and infrastructure available) from the beginning of 2016 at different locations in Eindhoven city centre.

The Citybeacon platform is also open to external parties. Cities can share relevant city information. Citybeacons generate user data such as air quality, traffic, social media data and for instance visitor numbers. The platform offers social features such as sending (public) messages facilitating a city tour or various game elements that relate to an event.

Citybeacon reports that after Eindhoven several (inter)national cities will follow. Each city can choose which functionalities should be operational. The platform acts as a distribution point for collaboration with content providers and creative community that can respond to the opportunities and possibilities of this city landmark.

 

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