New York City manages more than 11,000 telephone booths throughout its five boroughs. As you can imagine, they don't get as much use as they used to.
Because the current payphone vendor agreements are set to expire in 2014, this past winter, the City began soliciting proposals for reinventing payphones. In the last couple weeks, the finalists revealed their proposals, which had to meet the following criteria:
Here are some of the proposed projects:
This proposal would turn each payphone into an environmental sensing station that would record city rain levels, pollution and other environmental conditions. The data could help users plan their bike commutes so the wind would always be at their back; help urban farmers tend to their plots; care for asthmatic children by noting air-quality metrics.
NYC Loop would tailor each payphone to the surrounding community, while also using the energy from the steps of passersby to power the booth, which would also feature a projector that would create an "information puddle" display on the nearby sidewalk that would feature the work of local artists or advertisements.
NYC I/O would turn the payphones into digital nodes that have both sensors to collect information and a display to give users information. The vision is that users could even use the kiosks to pay for their parking spots, notify the community of a missing cat or even be used to call a cab.
via: Reinvent Payphones
photo: NYC I/O
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com