Here is one thing that can be filed under the “pointless but somewhat cool” category; phone booths in New York City will soon be receiving “smart screens” in order to gain a higher purpose in life. During the initial pilot program beginning next month, 250 phone booths across the city will have 32 inch touchscreen, internet connected displays installed. Eventually, it is hoped that all 12,800 phone booths will have the vandalism and urine attracting systems installed.
At first information such as nearby attractions, stores and safety alerts will be available in a whole range of languages. In the future services such as Wi-Fi hotspots, Skype and email will be added to the feature list of the smart screens.
A second thought on the hygienic capabilities of the old phone booth, City 24×7, the installer and developer of the system, says that they should be cleaner than the average ATM. Although I can’t see how advertisement revenue will fund the cleaning of well in excess of 10,000 phone booths once or perhaps even twice daily. Once the system has been fully installed New York City will take a 36% share of the advertisement revenue generated.
Kitguru says: I can’t see this being an overwhelming success. It reminds me a lot of those awful touchscreen information hubs you often find in fancy shopping malls.