In the age of smart phones and the “there’s an app for that” mentality, one tends to forget about the pay phones that are scattered around the city. The rather large, silver booths with those bright yellow phones with cords attached have become a faded means of communication. This may have been the motivation behind a company called Smart City 24×7 — to turn a faded entity into a reinvented product of the 21st century.
The main feature on these new and improved payphones are the “smart screens.” They will be able to locate “nearby restaurants, store sales in the area, traffic updates, landmark information and safety alerts,” much like any iPhone or Android phone can do. The system will also offer different languages to accommodate this melting pot of a city. In time, features will include Skype, and activating Wifi hot spots. However, internet browsing is limited so changing your Facebook status will have to be done from your phone.
The company has signed a contract allowing them to install two hundred and fifty smart screens throughout all the boroughs. If the trial run is a success, the city’s department of Technology & Telecommunications will end up replacing all 12,800 outdated and unsanitary payphones with their new smart screen technology. And to be as sanitary as possible, the smart screens will be able to uphold a cleaning with a hose.
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