When was the last time you called someone from a phone booth? If it takes you more than five seconds to remember it’s been THAT LONG. Payphones and phone booths are holdovers from a time when mobile phones were not yet widely available (yes, there was such a time, kids). But despite phone booths and payphones being practically obsolete, you still find them in many places all over cities around the world.
The City of New York currently has a plan in place that will address the issue of these phone booths. The current plan is to remove the payphones from these booths and then replace it with 32 inch touchscreens. These touchscreens will provide users with relevant information about the city and the local neighborhood. Long term plans are that these screens will also allow people to make phone calls – see how technology comes full circle?
The information that can be accessed from the touchscreens include details on restaurants, traffic updates, store sales and security alerts, among others. Users can also access 311 to file complaints or get more information. Expect these screens to offer additional features in the future – including, Skype calls, email access and even act as WiFi hotspots.
The city government won’t even spend a cent on installation or maintenance. The screens are both waterproof and dustproof. It can even be hosed down. Third party entities will shoulder the cost of maintenance in exchange for a share in the profits.