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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

OnLive Desktop goes legal

Next Story

New iPhone in October, according to Foxconn employee

8 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

this could be great if they could find a way to transfer information from those booths to the smartphones. Imagine a tourist using one of those booths to find information about the surroundings (this booths will have much more update information about it) and then transfer that information to his smartphone to navigate to the places he wants.

Reminds me of the MSN search videophone booth they had in "The Island".

Anyhow, even in the near future, not everybody will have/want a smartphone, and if reasonably priced, these could be a good solution for those people. Plus they might be more useful for downloading content via fiber optic fast, then transferring to your smartphone/tablet.

"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."

I thought you just mentioned in the paragraph before it that it would possibly also offer hotspots and Skype calling!! I'm sure you're aware that they are still a huge number of people that don't have smartphones or just don't even used most features and apps. And they these new payphones would possibly offer better local info to the tourist industry. Oh and don't forget the club goers who tend to lose their brand new (unreleased) iphones after a couple drinks..

Totalaero said,
New York City makes me laugh. I wonder how long will it take for those touch screens to be broken and stolon.
This.
Our ski hill in canada upgraded to electronic gates at chairlifts... they had little LCD screens that said "welcome" whenever you passed thru the gates. Every one was smashed after about 1 week.

Besides being smashed or stolen, then there is also the fact that they just aren't as durable as their mechanical counterparts (i.e. regular phones). Look at the screens in movie theatres... you have to pound on most of them several times before it recognizes your touch any more