- Solar-powered digital information boards are being installed in downtown Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and others. The signs are part of a partnership with Massachusetts-based Soofa and will be located at the city's seven stops along the Downtown Loop, a free shuttle service that launched last summer.
- The kiosks provide transit information, like when the next bus will arrive, along with other information about the city.
- The signs are part of a six-month pilot program. If successful, the program could be scaled to include other parts of the city by the end of the year.
Las Vegas has invested more than $500 million in smart infrastructure during a short period of time, with the goal of becoming a full-fledged smart city by 2025. The city's Innovation District receives a lot of attention because that's where much of the IoT technologies are tested before being integrated throughout the city.
Much of the focus has been on creating intelligent transportation systems. Las Vegas has more than a dozen connected traffic signals, with plans to install two dozen more to create a "connected corridor." This area provides a solid testing ground for autonomous vehicles, such as the city's driverless shuttle that began service in the fall.
Several other cities — including New York and Miami — are adding or exploring the option of digital kiosks to provide transit and city information. In addition to providing residents and visitors with useful information about city services, they often provide Wi-Fi or other amenities.
Las Vegas takes the kiosk concept to the next level with solar technology. Powering the signs in this way allows them to operate off-grid. It also complements the city's other energy-saving initiatives — such as sensors that dim streetlights when nobody is nearby — and contributes to the ultimate goal of running all city facilities on renewable energy.