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Imagine standing on one side of a dual-sided screen in downtown Minneapolis and playing a game of Connect 4 or Battleship with an opponent on the other side. Or posing for a whimsical photo and sending it to friends and family members.

Or — more importantly — finding a place to eat or sleep, and directions on how to get there.

It's all possible at the new interactive kiosks slowly popping up along Nicollet Mall and soon throughout downtown. The kiosks are part of an initiative by the Downtown Improvement District (DID) and the Downtown Council to connect and direct downtown residents, workers and visitors to businesses, hotels, restaurants, arts and cultural attractions, parks and even restrooms.

"There has been a need for stronger wayfinding in Minneapolis," said Lisa Middag, senior director of economic development for the Downtown Council and DID.

At the touch of a screen featuring icons such as the Jucy Lucy (food), stars of First Avenue (entertainment) and the Spoonbridge and Cherry (arts and culture), downtown denizens using the multilingual Interactive Kiosk Experience (IKE) can find businesses, hours of operation and reviews.

Kiosks also can show how to get from one place to another via public transportation, bike share, scooter, rideshare and on foot. Users can send information from the kiosk to their phones to have it all in one place, Middag said.

The kiosks will provide "a dynamic experience" with information that is "continually current," she said.

Kiosks will also provide social services information, such as food support, addiction recovery programs and homeless shelters. When necessary, they will broadcast storm warnings, Amber alerts, active shooter alerts and other emergency messages.

Five kiosks so far are operating on Nicollet Mall. As many as 20 will be installed downtown in the coming months.

In the future, the kiosks also will come with a "Skyway Business Badge," to remind people to look above street level because the establishments they seek "are not always on the corner you are standing on," Middag said.

The IKE system is used in several major U.S. cities, and Middag said she's glad the kiosks are finally appearing here.

"It's all about supporting downtown," she said. "They will do a lot of work for downtown Minneapolis."