Touch-screen kiosks with free access to information and the Internet have been rolled out in Manchester as part of a six-month experiment to help the technologically disadvantaged. Six NEC kiosks have been strategically placed in locations around the city, including Manchester City Library, a community centre in Moss Side, a branch of Asda supermarket and offices of The Big Issue.
Part-funded by EU research cash, the kiosks deliver a mix of community information, news, public service announcements and advice on training, housing and employment to the unemployed, homeless and elderly.
"We realise six isn't a lot so we're looking at ways to cross-fund them through advertising or possibly getting shops to host them," said Vic Sumner of the Sema Group, the Anglo-French computer services group which masterminded the project.
Casual users of the kiosks get a basic service with access to prescheduled Web pages stored in memory. An extended service with email and connections to the wider Internet is available, provided users fill out a registration form. According to Sumner, registration information is used to create profiles which can then be used to deliver targeted services. For instance, employment training information can be "pushed" to a registered jobless plumber as he/she searches "situations vacant".
For more information about the scheme contact Ariane Labadens at Sema on 0171 830 4233 or at ([email protected]).
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago