Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageNew York City to test 'smart screens' inside 250 old phone booths

By Andrew Moran     Apr 10, 2012 in Technology
New York - Welcome to the future where cities no longer have payphones inside of phone booths, but instead "smart screens." New York City is set to unveil 250 old phone booths with free touch-screen technology that contains an Internet connection.
Payphones are in the news again. Digital Journal reported last month that Bell Canada may raise the cost of a phone call to $1. Meanwhile, a New York Post exclusive is reporting that New York City is about to present its pilot program that replaces payphones with smart screens similar to the iPad.
The city is replacing its old payphones in New York with free smart screen technology. At first, it is testing the initiative at 250 old phone booths next month, but, if successful, it will eventually replace all of its 12,800 outdoor payphones. The franchise contracts expire in two years.
This initiative will feature an iPad-esque screen that will display local neighborhood information, such as nearby restaurants, stores, safety alerts, traffic updates and information about landmarks. It will also have 311 online to make complaints or ask for city information. All of this will also come in different languages.
In the future, smart screens will be equipped with the necessary equipment to make Skype calls, serve as Wi-Fi hotspots and log onto email accounts.
Franchises in charge of the smart screens will be maintaining them and keeping it sanitary. Unfortunately for those who want to use the tablet-like technology for an extended amount of time, the search capabilities will be monitored and controlled.
“The goal is to pilot it and see what the response is,” said Nicholas Sbordone, a spokesperson for the city’s department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. “It will help inform the city’s ongoing reassessment, with public input, of what we want or what we think the future of public pay phones will entail.”
Taxpayers will not pay a dime for the smart screens and eventually the city will receive 36 percent of all advertising revenue generated. New York will not receive revenue during the pilot program, though. Although it is unknown how much revenue the city will receive annually, New York only takes in $18 million per year with payphones.
This is the first step in New York’s technological revolution. A city spokesperson told the news outlet that it is working towards replacing its aging payphone system underground, such as subway stations, with computer kiosks. The 22-inch touch screens will feature cameras, electrical outlets and Internet access.
More about NYC, phone booths, payphones, Touch screens, smart screens
More news from
Latest News
Top News