NYC to swap pay phones for touch-screen kiosks
New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications is preparing to swap out pay phones around town with a public communications system using touch-screen kiosks. The touch screens will offer free information about local sights and transit, reports John Foley at InformationWeek.
New York City still has 12,800 public pay phones, and the trial project, which is set to begin next month, would replace as many as 250 of the phones with kiosks in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. The information, which may include street maps, restaurant suggestions and transportation information, will be available in 10 languages. The technology, made by City 24/7, may also be used for Wi-Fi hotspots.
As Foley notes, the pay phone/smart screen swap is just the most recent effort in a broader technology modernization initiative in the Big Apple. The city's wireless network supports video sent from public cameras, meter reading, emergency call boxes and more.
If the latest pilot project goes well, it may spell doom for the poor old public pay phone. The city's current contract with the pay-phone provider expires in 2014.
- see John Foley's article at InformationWeek
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