Mobile Technology Powered by People: “Meet the Adidas Billboards That Could Probably Outrun You”

Mobile Technology Powered by People: “Meet the Adidas Billboards That Could Probably Outrun You”

Photo: Adidas

“Adidas’ most recent campaign (quite literally) has legs…

To promote its specially-designed sweat-proof, ergonomic, wireless ‘Fwd-02 Sport’ earbuds for runners, developed by Zound Industries, M&C Saatchi Stockholm turned athletes from Stockholm Run Club into moving advertisements.

A series of lightweight billboards were designed by the agency, then donned by a cherry-picked team of elite runners who took to the most popular running routes in the Swedish capital. Each poster featured a QR code on the back that offered fellow runners a 50% discount on the headphones.

The catch? To get the discount, people had to keep up with the elites to get close enough to snap the code…”

— Rebecca Stewart, Adweek

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Robotic Kiosks: “20,000 Pizza Vending Machines Are Coming to North America”

Robotic Kiosks: “20,000 Pizza Vending Machines Are Coming to North America”

Photo: PizzaForno via Thrillist

“For years there’s been buzz about a robot revolution, and it looks like it’s here. PizzaForno Partners Les Tomlin and Will Moyer are leaning into the future and appeasing both the robot overlords and people who like good pizza fast by rolling out fully automated pizza kiosks across North America.

QSR Magazine reported that the pair plans to place 20,000 fully automated PizzaForno kiosks across the country by 2026. That number includes 1,000 kiosks in the United States by the end of 2022, with locations between Southern California, Louisiana, and Florida first.

‘I think North America has been very late to the game on robotic food,’ Tomlin told the outlet. ‘I mean, look at PizzaForna—the technology has been around France for the better part of 10 years. COVID, the labor shortage, people don’t want to spend 10 minutes waiting for anything. All those things add up to super fast, super convenient, super quick serve. That’s where I think everybody’s got to go.’

Customers who step up to a PizzaForno kiosk will be met with a 32-inch touch screen on which they can choose their pizza and how they plan to pay. The machine builds each pizza, and then a robotic arm removes it from the cold section, opens the lid, and puts it into a proprietary convection oven where it bakes. That takes between 90 and 120 seconds. The pizza is then dropped into a slot where customers can reach it. The entire process takes about three minutes. Customers can also take their pizza home cold and cook it themselves…”

— Caitlyn Hitt, Thrillist

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“St. Pete eyes digital kiosks. Some think they’ll be an eyesore.”

“St. Pete eyes digital kiosks. Some think they’ll be an eyesore.”

Photo: City of St Petersburg

“Mayor Rick Kriseman wants to bring digital information kiosks to downtown. But some business owners and council members aren’t sure those digital displays fit the city’s vibe…

The touch-screen kiosks are a hybrid of a mall directory and a giant smartphone. Depending on the brand, the rectangular devices can stand up to 8 feet tall. They display a mix of information, including events, restaurants, transit maps, public safety alerts — and, yes, advertising.

Some business owners wonder if the kiosks will add another layer of signage to downtown that would distract patrons with flashy advertising — or perhaps even change their minds about perusing local businesses.

‘The small businesses have long expressed concern that there could be an advertisement outside their store promoting a competing business,’ said Tami Simms, former president of the St. Petersburg Downtown Business Association…

City staff briefed council members on the idea during Thursday’s meeting of the council’s budget, finance and taxation committee. Council member Gina Driscoll said she’s already heard concerns from constituents who believe the extra signage will be more of a distraction than an asset.

‘There are so many other ways people can get information about the city,’ Driscoll said. ‘(Business owners) would rather be directly engaged than having something else that prevents someone from walking into a store.’

The kiosks would mix local information with paid-advertising, which would cover their cost and spare taxpayers the expense. Deputy mayor Kanika Tomlin said it’s still unclear how much advertising would be displayed. The amount of ads shown varies between the different companies offering kiosks…

Former City Council member Jeff Danner criticized the proposal on social media prior to Thursday’s meeting. He said the positive aspects of the kiosks — informing locals and visitors about events in the city — could be overshadowed by digital advertising. And what if that advertising was being driven by corporate franchises instead of locally-owned St. Petersburg businesses?

‘We do not want or need to open our beautiful pedestrian corridors to corporate advertising,’ Danner wrote. ‘Keep St Pete the special unique place it is.’

Kriseman, who has used the kiosks in Denver and Kansas City, insisted that the kiosks’ digital information would still be focused sending people to local businesses.

‘If anything, I think it will be great for local businesses,’ Kriseman said. ‘The purpose of this is to communicate … the advertising is almost an afterthought.'”

— Caitlin Johnston,Times staff writer

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William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

Photo: Leah Powell
Bill Brinton has spent a lifetime as a protector of unspoiled views. He has successfully battled local, state and national forces bent on visual assault caused by installation of outdoor advertising and other unsightly intrusions.

He believes in the power of citizens to take a stand for the irreplaceable resources that matter most. Because of his foresight, you can be part of a mobilized citizenry that ensures our scenic surroundings for generations to come.

Bill chose to mark the 30th anniversary of the successful Jacksonville City Charter Amendment banning new billboards and removing more than 1,400 existing billboards with the creation of the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville.

When fully funded, this endowment will enable Scenic Jacksonville — also celebrating its 30th anniversary — to continue its vital work to preserve the breathtaking views we cherish and provide support for new projects that enhance our much-loved home.

It is Bill’s vision to raise $300,000 for the endowment, which is held at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. His dream is to see it provide perpetual funding for the things he holds most dear: civic engagement, advocacy, and education.

He’s eager to involve the next generation by sponsoring photo and essay contests to instil a love of our natural surroundings in young citizens.

There is so much more we can do together if we rally around Bill’s visionary leadership and ultimate victory over unsightly signage.

For more information about the fund, please contact Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida at(904) 356-4483 or

To contribute to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville, go to and enter Scenic Jacksonville into the Search box.”
Save the Date: May 17 for a Celebration in Jacksonville
Visit the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

–Scenic Jacksonville

Miami-Dade: “Digital ads on tap for Miami-Dade bus stops in swap for ‘smart’ kiosks that offer free Wi-Fi”

Miami-Dade: “Digital ads on tap for Miami-Dade bus stops in swap for ‘smart’ kiosks that offer free Wi-Fi”

Illustration: Civiq, The Miami Herald

“Digital ads could spread across Miami-Dade bus stops under a deal to install high-tech kiosks with Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the county’s transit system.

The company behind New York’s celebrated transformation of old pay phones into high-tech digital way stations has negotiated a 15-year deal with Miami-Dade officials to install up to 300 of the kiosks at bus stops and Metrorail stations across the county.

Civiq also would take over the transit system’s current Wi-Fi network on all of its trains, expanding the service to all buses at no charge. The Massachusetts company pays for the equipment and operating expenses through digital advertising on the kiosks, and sees enough profit potential in Miami-Dade that it has pledged to spend $20 million in the county to get started…

Critics see the Civiq arrangement as a way to circumvent county restrictions on digital ads, which are strictly regulated and the bane of public-space activists. ‘It’s pure visual pollution,’ said Peter Ehrlich, a founder of Scenic Miami, a group that fights digital billboards.

Dusty Melton, a Miami-Dade lobbyist who has urged strict enforcement of the county’s sign ordinance, said Civiq’s digital kiosks could be considered roadside ads if installed at bus stops.

‘This contract appears, quite clearly, to be in blatant violation of the county’s very own sign code,’ Melton said.


Along with a requirement that digital signs be limited to properties larger than 10 acres, Melton noted the current law requires the electronic ads only advertise things available on the property with the sign itself. Bus-stop screens, he said, would seem to violate the rules ‘in hundreds of locations…

Alice Bravo, Miami-Dade’s transportation director, said at a recent committee meeting that county staff did not feel the county’s signage rules applied because the kiosks’ screens are designed for pedestrians.

‘These are small, isolated screens,’ she said. ‘They’re not designed for viewing by vehicular traffic.’

Bravo and other administrators negotiated the no-bid Civiq deal under a provision in county law that allows marketing arrangements to be signed without soliciting other proposals. No Civiq executives registered to lobby county officials during the talks, avoiding a step that can draw public attention to a potential deal…

Civiq is pitching its services to local governments across the country, but a company publicist said the closest example to Miami at the moment is New York.

In its online presentation, an executive with Civiq’s kiosk partner, Intel, described the use of cameras on advertising displays that can track a viewer’s gaze for interest and customize displays to match a passerby’s niche.

‘If a woman is looking at a screen’, Intel’s Karthik Murugan said, ‘you don’t want to show men’s clothing.’

Murugan also said three-dimensional cameras in the devices can help decipher whether an advertiser’s message is connecting. Along with ‘gaze tracking’, new technology allows emotion detection.

‘Are they happy? Are they frustrated with the content that’s being shown?’Murugan said. ‘The 3-D camera will help with that analysis.’

The Massachusetts Company pays for the equipment and operating expenses through digital advertising on the kiosks, and sees enough profit potential in Miami-Dade that it has pledged to spend $20 Million in the county to get started…

But while ads may come to transit’s Wi-Fi offerings, Civiq would also expand the service beyond the roughly 200 buses that have it now to the entire 850-vehicle fleet. And Miami-Dade could stop paying Wi-Fi providers for the current service, since Civiq would pick up the tab…’

–Douglas Hanks, The Miami Herald

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