Verizon is hoping to make our city street corners smarter in the not-too-distant future.
Verizon made a move to expand it's IoT business today, announcing the acquisition of LQD WiFi LLC., a private company based in New York that designed and developed publicly-accessible smart hubs. Branded as Palo, they are street-level kiosk-style structures that offers a range of services such as local community information, wayfinding, public safety announcements, and transit updates via 46-inch touchscreens, as well as providing free public wi-fi, security cameras, and emergency calling. The full terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
LQD Founder and CEO Randy Ramusack explained the value their Palo kiosks are designed to add to communities:
"We designed Palo, from day one, to be part of the community, offering Wi-Fi, public safety features and a unique, interactive community engagement platform. Palo's human-scale touch screen lets users explore and connect with the local community creating multiple ways to engage, through an innovative, purposeful and curated experience."
This latest acquisition represents another huge step towards Verizon's goal of expanding its IoT business into the realm of developing "smart cities". Mike Lanman, senior vice president, Enterprise Products and Internet of Things at Verizon, touched on the value LQD's technology will add to Verizon's portfolio in the release:
"LQD's Palo technology hubs capture Verizon's vision of delivering citizen engagement experiences by connecting people with their communities while providing critical security, transportation and wayfinding solutions as well as Wi-Fi capabilities. This transaction uniquely positions us to utilize our unmatched infrastructure, platforms and network at scale to deploy elegant and engaging community technology hubs that connect, inform, inspire and support people where they live, work and play."
It might be some time before you see these Palo kiosks popping up in your town — unless you happen to live in the city of New Rochelle, New York, where LQD has a contract in place to run a pilot program to test their technology.