The Kiosks Are Coming, The Kiosks Are Coming

Jon Webb is browsing in suburban San Diego's Parkway Plaza Mall when an unfamiliar contraption catches his eye. "Touch my screen," implores the video monitor in the seven-foot structure wedged between a T-shirt cart and a lottery ticket booth. Intrigued, the bearded 34-year-old places his index finger on the glass. Suddenly, California Governor Pete Wilson appears and talks about the many services Info/California, this audio-video computer, offers: job listings, information on HIV testing, an electronic application for a fishing license, and more. Webb selects data on area beaches. "Cool," he says as he tears off a printout.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.