Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Public Broadcasting in Public Places

Public Broadcasting in Public Places brings prime-time national PBS programming to audiences beyond public television. Funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this groundbreaking digital initiative presents a new concept for interactive kiosks designed to provide entertaining and engaging storytelling.

Working closely with Series producers Lyn Goldfarb, Paul Espinosa and Emiko Omori, interactive producer Jed Riffe and interactive designer/programmer Emrah Oral (Jed Riffe Films + Electronic Media) created four custom-designed interactive kiosks using Apple iMac touch-screen computers. Each kiosk features specially edited clips with content from the California and the American Dream Series. We also created an interactive California Trivia Game, a contest where users could win DVDs from the Series, and programmed an on screen keyboard where email addresses could be entered beginning a two-way dialogue.

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Kiosk users at the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA

The kiosks are installed in locations across California including: the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, CA, the California Museum of History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento, CA, the Price Charities Civic Complex in San Diego, CA., Goggle’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, CA, the 2008 International Ecological Farming Conference in Pacific Grove, CA, the Grace Hudson Museum in Mendocino, CA, Santa Cruz County Fair and the Center for Sustainable Agroecology at UC Santa Cruz.

INTERCOM 2007 Best Interactive KioskIn October, 2007, the kiosks won a Golden Plaque for best interactive “Visitor Center’s Presentation” in the Chicago International Film Festival’s INTERCOM Competition. The award followed the national premiere of Public Broadcasting in Public Places at the Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media Opening Plenary at the Council of Foundations Fall Conference for Community Foundations in San Francisco.

Project History

In 2006, Lyn Goldfarb, Paul Espinosa and Jed Riffe, Series Producers of the California and the American Dream television Series approached the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with an innovative idea to an bring high quality public television content to public places outside the traditional PBS audience setting. We called it Public Broadcasting in Public Places.

In January of 2007, we received funding from CPB and contracted with Jed Riffe Films + Electronic Media to produce the interactive program.

Multimedia designer and programmer Emrah Oral and interactive producer Jed Riffe created the design which used an Intuitive Realtime Playback Branching structure featuring nineteen 1-3 minute clips, programmed in Flash, from each of the four documentaries which comprised the California and the American Dream Series.

Emrah, Jed and Drew discussing the basic flowchart

Emrah Oral designed and programmed both the visual graphic interface in Flash and a virtual on-screen keyboard. Oral and Riffe worked closely with Georg Colberg a woodcraftsman artist in West Berkeley who fabricated the body of the kiosk.

Jed and Emrah with the first kiosk body prototype.

The "keyboardless" version had a shorter mid-section.

Troll Touch, a Valencia, California based company was selected to install their TouchSTAR3 touchscreen technology in the iMac Intel 2 Core Duo computers that were to be used in the kiosks.

An onscreen keyboard module was added to the user survey and feedback database module, and provisions for wireless broadband access were built into the system for remote content updates and database retrieval.

The finalization of the kiosk-body design meant that the remaining software modules like the on-screen keyboard could now be programmed.

The unique design allowed for a custom audio setup, which consisted of Altec Lansing amps and speakers.

The doors at the back of the kiosk allow access to the administrator controls and ports, including USB and IEEE1394 for admin access, audio and fan controls, surge protector and AC transformers.

Emrah working on the wiring.

Meanwhile in the programmers' shrine section of Jed Riffe Films + Electronic Media, the first beta-testing sessions began.

First stage of beta-testing in progress. Jocelyn testing media branching.

Once the multimedia Flash modules and user interface were working flawlessly, a California “Trivia” game was designed and programmed. Users could also type in their email address for future updates, to win a prize, and receive information about The Series and the PBIPP program. The incentive allowed the producers to collect users email address to engage users in a two-way conversation as part of The Series Civic Engagement Campaign. In this case, the participant could win a free DVD of one of the four episodes of the California and the American Dream Series.

Two kiosks ready to roll.

After countless hours of rigorous overall beta-testing, the Kiosks were ready. Here we were, ready to install the first kiosks. In less than three and a half months, the project was completed. It was an exciting time for the entire team the day we took our first kiosk to the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California.

Jed brings a big van early in the morning.

Julie saying goodbye to the first kiosk.
Mark is going to Ukiah with Jed and Emrah.

People in front of the museum thought we were carrying a mummy.

The Grace Hudson Museum.

Click here to find out more about the Grace Hudson Museum:

Kiosk booting up. Success!

The first real users of the kiosk. :)

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Kiosk at the Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah, CA

Interactive producer Jed Riffe and Series Producers Paul Espinosa and Lyn Goldfarb successfully negotiated the placement of the four kiosks at different locations for a one year period. These include:

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Kiosk users at the Council of Foundations Conference, San Francisco, CA

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Farmer interacting with kiosk at Santa Cruz County Fair

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Kiosk users at Google's corporate headquarters, Mountain View, CA

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Kiosk at the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA

12 months, 4 kiosks, 10 locations. It was a challenge and it was fun.

Coming up next: Bus Stop Kiosks, Embedded Kiosks and Virtual Kiosks -

Stay tuned...


©  2006 Beyond The Dream LLC