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CAMPUS: TAMIU launches outdoor digital kiosks

CAMPUS: TAMIU launches outdoor digital kiosks

By Emily Guerrero
Bridge contributing writer
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2024

In an ongoing effort to improve campus communication, TAMIU installed a pair of outdoor digital kiosks around campus just ahead of the Spring 2024 semester.

The initiative was led by the Office of Information Technology and overseen by Miguel Munoa, associate vice president. However, the Office of Public Relations Marketing and Information Systems is in charge of managing placement and content.

One of the two digital kiosks around campus.
Juan Carlos Puente | Bridge
One of the new digital information boards on campus informs students of a March 6 event titled “The ‘Social’ in AI” by University of Virginia Assistant Professor of data science and media studies Mona Sloane in this photo taken Feb. 7 outside Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall.

Texas A&M International University’s outdoor digital kiosks were installed on Dec. 15, 2023, with one near Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall and the other by the Student Center for an estimated $20,000 each, funded by University resources.

Munoa believes the investment will provide significant profits by minimizing the use of other communication methods, such as traditional means like paper printing and sandwich boards.

“The purpose of these kiosks is to eventually go 100% digital when it comes to marketing and communication on campus and try to get rid of paper and other costly types of marketing,” he said.

Munoa emphasized the importance of these digital billboards, saying they offer a significant advancement toward a faster and smoother way of sharing messages quickly.

“We believe these digital kiosks help get important communication to students in a timely manner,” he said.

Additionally, over the years, these electronic billboards are expected to evolve to meet the campus’s changing needs.

Munoa highlighted the possibility of interactive features in the kiosks, which could allow students to interact directly with the displayed content.

“They can be interactive, so if we ever decide to use interactive navigations, we can activate that down the road,” he said.

When reflecting on TAMIU’s commitment to modernization and innovation, Munoa pointed out that the shift from traditional marketing approaches to digital platforms represents an innovative plan of action.

“I think since the billboards are electronic, it shows that the University is transitioning from older and more traditional methods of marketing and communication to more modern methods of marketing and communication,” he said.

The process leading up to the installation of the kiosks took about a year. It required planning and careful deliberation of location and design. Munoa said it was important to choose popular areas on campus to increase student engagement.

“The placement of the signs was very carefully thought out, so we picked two locations that had high traffic of students going through them,” he said.

In the future, campus officials hope to add more digital kiosks in an effort to go completely digital.

“We are looking for other locations to add more down the road and we do have kind of a master plan,” Munoa said.

He said he’s enthusiastic about the positive reception from students and the possibilities for innovative uses of the digital kiosks.

“Our [Public Relations] department is really looking to take advantage of this very engaging kiosk that we put out there,” Munoa said. “I can tell a lot of the students were pretty excited to see it.”

He also went on to say how students’ initial feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Aside from advertising, the kiosks function as interactive platforms for events, such as the graduation ceremony in Fall 2023, despite being placed barely before commencement.

Sophomore computer engineering major Paul Hurtado said he is interested in the new electronic billboards.

“These new digital kiosks make it so easy to stay updated on campus events and announcements,” Hurtado said. “I no longer have to scroll through old emails to remind myself when an event is taking place.”

Sophomore criminal justice major Arely Chapa said she has similar thoughts to Hurtado.

“I truly enjoy this new addition to campus,” Chapa said. “It helps me remain up-to-date on University events, especially since I’m from out of town.”

Munoa also said he’s excited about this new addition and can’t wait to see other ideas from the PR team.

“That technology is here for a while, and it is capable of a lot more,” Munoa said. “It’s just a matter of time as we get comfortable with exploring new innovative uses.”

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