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Digital 'totems' point the way

Published Thursday, 10 December 2015

Visitors and residents in Coventry will soon have a new way to navigate their routes around the city centre as a network of new digital “Wayfinding Totems” are set to be introduced.

Digital 'totems' point the way
Cllr Lancaster with the digital totem

Over the last few months, the new wayfinding systems – the first of their kind in Europe – have been strategically installed in 16 locations and will serve as an electronic wayfinding application to help pedestrians find useful information about the city, maps, activities and tourism-rich content to access. 

With the help of large touchscreen displays, users will be able to find specific locations including shops, visitor attractions, restaurants and businesses using either an interactive ‘cloud’ or via a keyboard specific search. Once the location is found, the digital map will show the user the most direct walking route to their required destination.

Cllr Rachel Lancaster, Cabinet Member for Public services said:
“We are all very excited about this project as this innovative wayfinding system has so many benefits for visitors, residents and businesses within the city.

“Over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas and New Year the totems will be turned on, to show users how the system will work and to get a flavour of what they can expect before they go fully ‘live’ early next year. During this time, users will be able to email feedback on what they think about the system, which we’ll use to ensure we have everything people want in place, ready to go in January.

“We’re leading the way as the first city in the whole of Europe to have these totems installed – another proud first for Coventry – and it shows clearly that along with all the changes taking place, we are creating a city that people will want to visit and that residents can be rightly proud of.

“Having a sophisticated, yet simple user friendly navigation system in place for everyone, will help ensure they have a much easier time getting around, as well as adding to the experience with information on events that are taking place, details on what’s on and where and a full listing of all the varied places to visit, eat and shop.”

Richard Westhead, Managing Director of Midlands-based One Digital Solutions, who developed and are currently installing the Elonex technology powered system commented:

"This marks a very exciting landmark in the modern history of Coventry, with the first of the new generation Wayfinding units being installed for trialling in the city. 

"Months of hard work and consultation with Coventry City Council have gone in to developing this technology so that it will exactly meet the needs of Coventry now and in the future, and we're sure it will receive a very warm welcome from residents and visitors to the city alike.

"This really is the next step for all city centres and we're proud to be delivering Wayfinding to Coventry, a city ambitious enough to become the first place in Europe to adopt the technology, and look forward to completing the project over the coming weeks."

The digital wayfinding system is part funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant funding.

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