The designers at Control Group--have been hired by New York’s MTA to bring a plan for bringing a networked, touch-screen system to their subways. Starting this year, 90 touch-screen kiosks will make their way to thoroughfares like Grand Central Station and hip stops like Bedford Avenue. Together, they’ll make a beta network for 2 million commuters and tourists a day.
Each kiosk is a 47-inch touch screen, encapsulated in stainless steel, with an operational temperature up to 200 degrees. They’ll be placed, mostly in pairs, outside pay areas, inside mezzanines and even right on train platforms. Control Group has skinned the hardware with a simple front end and an analytics-heavy backend. And the platform will even support third-party apps approved by the MTA.
At launch, the screens will feature all sorts of content, like delays, outages, and, of course, ads (which bring in $100 million in revenue for the MTA each year, but mostly in paper signage). Yet its most powerful interaction for many will likely be its map, which features a one-tap navigation system.
You look at the map, you tap your intended destination, and the map will draw your route, including any transfers along the way. It’s an interface that puts Google Maps to shame.