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A look inside San Antonio’s ‘smart cities’ budget for 2017


The city of San Antonio is looking to increase its digital connectivity while dipping its toes into the Internet of Things in the coming year. City leaders are considering a slew of projects — totaling nearly $8 million — for its ‘smart cities’ initiative in 2017.

Here are some highlights of the new technology that may be popping up for contracting bids in the coming year, if approved by the City Council:

Public computer kiosk

A group of stand-alone computer kiosks scattered across the city, called community kiosks, are meant to offer public information about city services, current events, nearby local businesses and entertainment options. Each machine has information tailored to its immediate neighborhood, is a Wi-Fi hotspot and electronic device charging station. About $875,000 is proposed to be budgeted to buy the digital kiosks; they are expected to be procured in the coming year.

In a similar vein, the city already has three stand-alone kiosk stations where residents can attempt to resolve or pay traffic citations inside H-E-B grocery stores. The kiosks also have a video conferencing tool that enables residents to speak with a judge through the computer terminal.

Wi-Fi in parks

A pilot program that would bring free Wi-Fi signals to 10 public parks across the city park system is expected to be approved. The city plans to explore a public-private partnership to bring Wi-Fi service at a discounted rate.

Mobile Apps

The city seeks to tap software developers to build an enhanced 311 city services mobile app that would have a more streamlined user experience and enable citizens to track submissions. There are also plans to create a mobile app from scratch that would include the city’s 10 largest parks with creeks, amenities and a calendar of events.

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