With the number of people owning smartphones as well as ordinary mobile phones, we do wonder whether there is a need for pay phones – especially in large cities like New York. This has led to a plan that will see the transformation of a quarter of a thousand of New York’s city phone booths into a device that will be more at ease in the 21st century – as a touchscreen information hub. This idea will continue where the successful pilot left off, being an initiative that the city of New York, Cisco and City 24/7 have come together for. These new touchscreen information hubs is tipped to proliferate into all five boroughs in the Big Apple eventually.
Apart from carrying the relevant directions and local information to passersby, these displays can also be used in the event of emergencies, functioning as two-way distress devices that also deliver emergency updates as and when the need arises. Hopefully the vandals will leave these new information hubs alone in the long run.