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Kansas City initiates connected city transformation to drive efficiency, convenience

Kansas city

Kansas City launches kiosks for consumer assistance

Kansas City, MO is teaming up with Sprint to establish deeper relationships with visitors and residents through free Wi-Fi, smart streetlights and interactive kiosks, a push that could provide local businesses with new marketing opportunities. 

In an effort to become a more efficiently run municipality, Kansas City is launching a series of mobile innovations in the hopes of tapping data and connectivity to help solve and prevent problems. The first launch of the initiative will be present along a two-mile Streetcar starter line, including free Wi-Fi provided by Sprint, smart street lighting and kiosks with real-time data updates, while team members of IT developer Cisco continually work on new applications for city connectivity. 

“Kansas City is stepping up its ability to connect with consumers digitally,” said Shuli Lowy, director of customer success, Americas at TVTY. “The step is not only aimed at providing conveniences to local consumers but also as an effort to attract the tech community to the location. 

“The city's efforts to modernize its infrastructure and specifically, open the doors for developers, is a strategic method to build a community of digital innovators,” she said. “The use of big data is particularly interesting. 

“It can allow the city to have a better understanding of real time traffic flows as well as who is where at what time. This can serve as an important step towards allocating community resources.”

Kansas City connectivity 
Kansas City is working to become a more modern township through the use of mobile and technology. Following the recent Wi-Fi rollout, Cisco and Think Big will be working to discover innovative apps for residents and visitors to make their experience in the city more convenient and enjoyable. 

Future apps are likely to help citizens and city employees with lighting, traffic, water, waste and parking management, along with environment and security issues. Sprint is currently providing free Wi-Fi to passersby through sensors on city streetlights, which will be the basis for a large database of connectivity capability. 

Future parking sensors will be able to notify drivers of various parking information through SMS such as when a consumer has passed their paid time for parking. Users will also be able to report issues from around the city such as a burnt out streetlight, through various mobile pushes. 

Current streetlights are saving the city money on energy, through the use of sensors that dim lights when no one is around. 

Local business marketing
The internet of things is providing marketers with the ability to really connect with consumers. 

For instance, GE Appliances cemented its status as a mobile-first appliance manufacturer by rolling out three new channels on the IFTTT app, suggesting its IoT-focused ploy will fuel more consumers to adopt smart home technology (see more). 

Also, MillerCoors created a highly relevant ad campaign that connects with New York's younger demographic by serving localized mobile playlists on the Shazam app (see more). 

“The advancements can also be used as a valuable tool for marketers,” Mrs. Lowy said. “Consumers have been shows to be more willing to extend their digital experiences when they are connected to Wi-Fi rather than using their data plan. 

“For example, if a consumer is walking and decides that they would like to download an app many may think twice about doing so on the spot because it uses up a substantial amount of data,” she said. “When there is widespread Wi-Fi available consumers are more inclined to act right then and complete the action. 

“Thus, widespread Wi-Fi can lead to increased conversion rates particularly those related to app downloads, video views, and image scrolling.”

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Government, mobile marketing, kansas city, connected city, kiosks, free wifi, IoT

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