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Public Smart Screens Replace Pay Phones: Will They Work?

A new pilot project aims to find out.

New York City is debuting a number of “smart screen" platforms intended to replace old-style pay phones, Gigaom reports.

The pilot project, based on the increased usage of pay phones in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, seeks to place 250 of the iPad-like devices across all five New York boroughs.

The kiosks have the capability to display maps, offer local coupons, and show local ads.

Cisco’s Jeff Frazier told Gigaom how the screens could function in an emergency, integrating “both the emergency 911 system and New York’s 311 public information services.”

He called them “a powerful fusion of data and communications" that are intended to stay secure and online even during a disaster.  

The screens have been tested for durability and cleanability in high traffic areas such as Penn Station and the streets of Newark, NJ.

The companies involved in the project plan to expand to other world cities in the future.

Would you like to see touchscreen platforms in the area? Are they a good idea? Let us know in the comments.

Derek Hale November 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I'd like to see a picture of them, at least a prototype. The picture in the article is the old antiquated phone booth with phone book hanging from it.
John Davisson November 26, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Hi Derek-- Gigaom has a couple of images of what the new phones look like: http://gigaom.com/2012/11/20/new-york-city-launches-250-touch-screen-phone-booths/ And here's another: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/answers-for-the-tap-tapping-where-a-pay-phone-had-been/ Cheers, John

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