With the popularity and prevalence of mobile phones, do you ever wonder who still really uses payphones? Like the iconic red phone booths in the streets of London that stand more vacant than occupied, New York City has realised that more can be done with its under-used payphones. The city has transformed its payphones into something far more useful and appropriate for our technological age with the installation of public smart screen information kiosks.
Launched today, these 32-inch public touch screens provide tourists and locals with a broad variety of information including directions, weather forecasts, emergency broadcasts, public transportation information, tourist attractions and deals that provide coupons for nearby restaurants.
The project aims to have 250 smart screen kiosks installed throughout the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn), completed sometime in the beginning of 2013.
The screens, that underwent testing in a pilot project before launching in the city, are as a result of a partnership between companies Cisco and City 24/7.
City 24/7 CEO Tom Touchet said, “There’s a reason we started with payphones. They’re legacy infrastructure that the city can utilize and revitalize quickly”.
The smart screens are also a much better use of city real estate and whereas before, money was made through the coins slotted into the payphones, revenue will now be generated through advertising.