UBI-hotspots are large, public, interactive displays installed in several locations in downtown Oulu.

An indoor hotspot is one-sided, having one 57” Full HD LCD panel. An outdoor hotspot is double-sided with two LCD panels back-to-back. Each LCD panel is equipped with of a touch screen foil, control computer, local hard drive, two cameras, an NCF/RFID reader and a loudspeaker. In addition, a display unit may also contain access points for panOULU WLAN, panOULU BT and panOULU WSN networks

The UBI-hotspots offer a pronounced channel for presenting visual information. Large public displays have been used for commercial and informative communication for a long time now. They have typically been placed in locations where plenty of people move, for example in city centres, shopping centres, airports or roads with heavy traffic. They usually offer a one-way stream of information in the form of one application. In Ubiquitous Oulu, the large public displays are used in a new way; in addition to the traditional broadcast channel, they simultaneously offer also an interactive browsing view. This creates an interesting challenge in both realising the interactivity and dividing the dynamic display between different applications.

The hotspot is either in a passive or an interactive mode. In the passive mode the entire screen is reserved for a digital signage service dubbed UBI-channel. In the interactive mode the screen is divided between the UBI-channel and a touch screen portal called UBI-portal. The interactive mode is triggered either via touching the touch screen display or face detection.

In the first phase in 2009, six indoor hotspots were installed into the public facilities of the city and six outdoor hotspots were installed into the city centre.

Locations of UBI-hotspots on a bigger map