Amiga-powered information booths

Two decades ago, people in Oslo could find their way around the city thanks to an Amiga.

More precisely it was an Amiga inside Martin Joyce Nygaard’s “Info Box”, a metal box housing a powerful computerized information booth that allowed you to find the fasted route to your favorite shops, display the photos and menus of restaurants nearby and a list of public transportation that could take your there.

The “Info Box” came in two flavors: a boxed version, which was powered by a 1 MB Amiga 500 with 40 MB hard disk and a 1081/84 monitor and a store-window version powered by an Amiga 2000 with a 20 MB/40MB disk.

The user could control and interact with the box thanks to 5 keys that were connected to the joystick port. Interaction with the store-window version was done by means of heat and light sensors glued inside the window.

The application itself (the city info guide) was done completely in C.

Next to a series of “Info Box” systems in operation in Oslo, Martin sold his systems to other interested parties as well, with a retail price around 7500 Euro. Quite a hefty sum, but you could make some money by owning such a box, as all the advertising revenue coming primarily from shops, restaurants etc. buying more visibility in the system with for instance more pictures, was split between InfoBox (Martin’s company) and the box owner.

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