benefit public and private bodies
Broadening the reach of information services is a common aim for public
and private bodies. Efficiency drives are forcing greater concentration of resources. This
raises questions about how public and private organisations can continue to ensure the
widest possible access to information sources.
The MERCADO project deals with this need by developing kiosks with interactive
information facilities. Information kiosks at local sites such as libraries and
supermarkets provide convenient information sources. Commercially, such kiosks enable
companies to reach a wider consumer base. Socially they have a particular benefit for the
disabled, the elderly and the socially disadvantaged. Politically they help the citizen to
take an active part in local democracy by giving better access to information and surveys.
The MERCADO browser acts as the embedding interface and mediator between a standard web
browser and the kiosk-specific modules. A touch-screen interface allows users to request
information, purchase goods and services and even load a smart card electronic purse.
The touch screen kiosk, on the MERCADO stand, allows visitors to make purchases and
interrogate information provided by the various project partners, which include four
European city administrations as well as several private companies.