Newark Link Kiosks, Amazon Conference Signal Growing Tech Industry

Apr 4, 2018

The initial installment of 45 Link kiosks will be in the busiest parts of the city.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Link London, Link NYC, now Link Newark.  The free Wi-Fi, phone call, device charging kiosks are a quality of life change for residents and visitors says Dan Doctoroff of Intersection, the company that supplies the technology.

“People saving money on their data plans as they go down to the corner and download movies.  While waiting for the bus they download their music.  It’s really saved tens of millions of dollars for people on their data plans,” Doctoroff said.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says Link will be placed in every one of the city’s five wards.

“So that our community can actually engage in these kiosks that will give them the opportunity to have free Wi-Fi, interact and engage with city services, and many other things at the same time.  That’s the true definition to me of what a smart city starts to look like,” Baraka said.

The initial installment of 45 kiosks will be in the busiest parts of the city.

  

Mayor Ras Baraka is pushing to bring longterm technology investments to Newark.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

The city had another big technology related announcement.  The ‘VOICE’ conference is being held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in late July.  Pete Erickson of the software development company Modev says the summit will bring together the brightest minds in voice development technology.

“July 24 through 26, it’s going to be a three-day summit.  It will include a lot of deep dive workshops like hands on how to do things," said Erickson.  "We’re going to have maybe a dozen people from the Amazon team giving courses and classes on how to build Alexa skills, but then a lot of other things around natural language generation.”

The conference is separate from Newark’s bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city, but Aisha Glover of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation says they’ll use is as leverage.

“That recognition of the amazing hub that Newark is for technology," Glover said.  "Then of course the talent piece.  The fact that we are here at NJIT and right across the street from Rutgers definitely speaks to our assets.”

Paid registration is required for the ‘VOICE’ summit.  The first 500 tickets are being offered at a special discounted rate.