It may seem like payphones are slowly going extinct (especially in rural areas of the united states), but in their last defying feat Payphones could make a grand comeback.
A company called City24/7 is building Payphones which will display regional information such as bus schedules, local maps, events and more.
Surprisingly the pilot is not being launched in Sillicon Valley, but rather in the West coast. New-York city’s Department of Information technology has approved the deployment of 250 such units.
According to the Department’s spokes person Nicholas Sbordone the upgrade will be performed on booths that have 2 payphones, one of which will be replaced with a touch screen.
New-York city has a history of innovation such as the Open Data project and last month’s experiment that will equip some cabs with iPads. The Smart Payphone project may add to NY’s reputation as a one of the most forward thinking cities in the U.S
The Smart Payphones will be connected to the internet, but will not provide a full internet browsing capability, instead it will give users a well defined access to local information. As per Tom Touchet, the CEO of City24/7, “It’s based on whatever community you happen to be in.”
Mr. Sbordone says the new phones will be deployed in the areas of the city with the highest foot traffic and the department will be closely watching the user feedback.
In October 2014, more than 12,000 New-York payphones will see their franchises expire. This may become the tipping point for all of the Payphones. Question is -will they evolve or go extinct?