New York pay phones to get touchy feely makeover

Apr 09, 2012
A boy walks by empty public pay phone booths inside Grand Central Station in New York. A handful of grimy New York pay phones will be reincarnated as touch-screen pads with online access to neighborhood information.

A handful of grimy New York pay phones will be reincarnated as touch-screen pads with online access to neighborhood information, the mayor's office said Monday.

A pilot program starts next month that will see 250 phone booths converted to house 32-inch (81 cm) screens, instead of phones, across the city.

The will be operable in several languages and aimed at and residents seeking information on local restaurants, sales, or entertainment attractions, Nicholas Sbordone, a spokesman for city technology issues, said.

There will also be a direct line to the 311 number, which deals with non-emergency complaints and questions to city authorities.

For now, the experiment will see the information screens, which will not have browsing capability, put alongside old-fashioned pay phones in double booths.

But if the gets off the ground the change will spread through the system of 12,800 pay phones, expanding to allow ability to consult email and make Skype phone calls.

"We are in the process of assessing what we want the future pay phones to be in New York City overall, and this is one pilot," Sbordone said.

A decision on the phone of the future probably might not come until the end of 2014, he said.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5

Feb 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, Microsoft officially revealed the new Windows phones featuring new user-friendly software and services. The next generation of Windows phones ...

Cellphone alert system announced in NYC

May 10, 2011

(AP) -- An emergency alert system that will send messages to cellphones during disasters could have been used to warn New Yorkers of the tornadoes that hit the city last year, city officials said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

just added

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

10 minutes ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

29 minutes ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

that_guy
not rated yet Apr 09, 2012
Definitely a great idea to put this in a pilot program first.

Because it would be stupid to put all that money into those phones, and find out that people still don't need them.

Actually, it's pretty dumb to upgrade that many of them in the pilot program.

Just about the only places where pay phones or smart payphones are useful at are airports, international ports of entry, and the middle of nowhere where you can't get a signal.

But New York? Waste of money. Only people using them will be Drug dealers.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.