Verizon SmartCities

Staying connected to the community in an ever-changing world

Verizon SmartCities approached DEPT® to create VDK powered by AWS Mircoservices. A digital kiosk designed to rejuvenate communities across the United States by fostering connections, discoveries, and celebrations within cities.

Every city has a unique story

The Verizon Digital Kiosk is built on a singular belief: every city has a unique story to tell. VDK was designed to bring communities together so they can connect, discover, and celebrate the places, people, and stories that make each city special.

The challenge was to create a digital kiosk that would transform the way people perceive their local communities, offering a multitude of services such as store recommendations, local news updates, and even real-time bus schedules.

Our goal was for VDK to empower citizens—to help them understand what’s happening in their neighbourhood and reconnect to their cities. We envisioned VDK as a utility tailored to each individual city, designed to provide a seamless, informative, and engaging experience. 

Our strategy involved building an intuitive platform using Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure with features like Wi-Fi, phone calls, community resources, and access to local emergency services. The custom content management system (CMS) was at the core, allowing cities to tailor VDK to their unique needs, offerings, and attractions.

A flexible system that adapts to a community’s changing needs

Alongside our partners at LQD Wifi, we built the original VDK software in three months. As the project progressed, LQD Wifi was acquired by Verizon and grew into a $60 million project. We worked from the acquisition through the installation of the first VDK units in the Spring of 2018. 

With the arrival of Covid-19 in 2020, the idea of keeping communities connected took on greater significance. VDK kiosks were updated to provide information regarding government guidelines and local regulations. We’ve seen that the system is more than capable of keeping pace in dynamic, real-world environments—and helping people along the way. 

From strategy to design and code, we meticulously brought VDK to life. Experience, visual, and user interface design teams crafted VDK’s personality, translating complex features into a purposeful and visually striking experience. We streamlined processes and team structures, delivering production-ready features every two weeks. This established an authentic connection between our creative and engineering teams to support the app’s rapid delivery.

Connecting communities

VDK has become a vital tool for keeping communities connected, especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. The kiosk empowers citizens to rediscover their cities, stay informed, and engage with their neighbourhoods. It’s a flexible system that can adapt to changing community needs, providing a unique and delightful user experience.


SVP of Growth APAC & Head of Australia

Evan Davey

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