Touchscreens to replace some New York phone booths

In the future, will you get local information via your smartphone, tablet or laptop or will you get that info via a new version of the outside payphone? New York City's government hopes the answer is the latter scenario. According to The New York Post, the city is planning to replace the phones inside 250 old outside phone booths with new 32 inch touch screens sometime in May.

This pilot program will offer users a way to check out information such as nearby restaurants, store sales and other local establishments via these touch screens. If successful, New York City could replace all 12,800 phones in the city's pay phone locations with the touch screens by 2014.

The screens could also offer additional features such as video calls via Skype along with email access and WiFi hotspots access. The city claims that the touch screens won't cost the city's taxpayers anything and will also generate revenues via ads.

Our question: with the proliferation of smartphones, will there be anyone who would use these new versions of pay phones? We have to wonder if these touch screens would in any way replace the kind of information that is readily accessible from Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices.

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