Pilot Project Agreement ( .PDF )
New kiosks planned for various Kansas University on-campus locations will offer interactive campus maps, event calendars and games for students and visitors. The kiosks will also offer advertising space, and will employ software to provide demographic information to advertisers through a visual feed.
The KU Memorial Unions, a non-profit organization that is financially separate from the university that operates the KU unions and dining facilities, has a contract with Lawrence-based Axon Displays for a one-year pilot program to operate the kiosks.
The software can’t recognize individual people, said Bob Terry, president of Axon Displays, LLC, who also owns Star Signs, 801 E. Ninth St. The company isn’t keeping any images generated from the program.
“It doesn’t infringe on anybody’s identity or ability to be anonymous in any way,” Terry said.
The software does, he said, sort users into one of four demographic categories — an adult male, an adult female, a child or a senior citizen. The kiosks can keep track of that information and provide advertisers with information on the kinds of people who are looking at their ads, Terry said.
The company has installed similar kiosks in Newton that feature community information, Terry said, but KU is the first university to try the product.
Mike Reid, director of public affairs, said that the unions would receive 20 percent of all the advertising revenue generated from the kiosks. Three kiosks are planned for the Kansas Union, two for the Underground dining facility at Wescoe Hall and one for a as-yet undetermined location, possibly inside a library, Terry said.
Advertising revenue will pay for their installation, which is set to occur in the next few weeks, Reid said.
Reid said he hoped that the more than six-feet-tall kiosks will serve as a place for students to obtain information. They will provide content from University Relations’ news feeds and social media accounts, he said. Terry said the kiosks may also feature games.
The unions did place a few restrictions on the kinds of advertising that could be used in the kiosks, according to the terms of the contract setting up the program.
Axon Displays will sell the advertising, but can’t feature some kinds of ads, including ones for alcohol, tobacco, unlawful substances or any ads that compete with Coca-Cola, the exclusive beverage provider for the KU campus. Also forbidden are ads for bookstores, other institutions of higher learning, firearms, sexual aids, condoms or other sexually related products.
This article has been updated to reflect the correct title for Mike Reid, director of public affairs for the KU Memorial Unions, and corrects an attribution error.