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Payphones: You Are Now Endangered

City 24/7 has begun replacing payphones throughout New York City with "smart screen" information kiosks, powered with information from local businesses and open data from the city government.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 14:00 EST | 31
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MrHawaii
MrHawaii  
1/18/2013 10:36:33 AM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Excellent Concept
The days of having a couple of dimes in your pocket, finding a 'stand alone' phone booth, closing the door behind you and talking for hours, seems so far away now.  That was fun!  If the conversation was really going well, you could drop down below the Agent 86 line (where the glass met the metal siding) and converse for hours, simply reaching your hand up to the coin slot, and dropping in another dime when the operator requested more cash for time. 

Trying to replace the 18 million dollars of lost revenue shouldn't be too hard, since you really cannot advertise at a phone booth, at least not on the scale that those kiosks will offer.  Wondering how a marketing strategy of placing a pay phone/booth and a touchscreen kiosk side by side would work out.  Old school vs the New kid on the block?  Coins/voice call versus magnetic strip/skype? 

Times have changed.  Love to see some of those out here, even as a demo. 

 

wbalthrop
wbalthrop  
12/31/2012 2:42:46 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Excellent Concept
This is an excellent concept Nicole. I would love to see the ROI calculations for this.

PeterJ
PeterJ  
12/31/2012 2:05:38 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Endangered Space
Yes, Nicole. I remember when the "kiosk" had a real folding door. And wait a minute, we actually would speak on the phone in private! 

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/26/2012 11:42:31 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Update from City 24/7
Hey piratejulie. The CEO of City 24/7 couldn't say when they'd be on their way to the next city -- I think the idea is to try them out in NYC first, finish that roll-out, and then announce where they're going next and when. Hopefully by the time they get to you they'll be all the more improved!

piratejulie
piratejulie  
12/23/2012 7:54:38 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Update from City 24/7
In your vid, you mentioned Los Angeles.  When will the kiosks be LA-bound?

Hazel
Hazel  
12/10/2012 12:28:02 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: kiosks useful for tourists...
Hmm. Well, I wasn't really bothered about germs on touch screens. Fact of the matter is, germs are all around us. Door knobs, faucets, bathroom doors, ATM keypads, our desks, office mugs, etc... Touchscreens are no exception but you have to consider that almost everything else you're touching has also already been 'infected.'

That said, I think the kiosks are a great idea. It's like payphones have evolved to the services that most people use nowadays to communicate, ie. VOIP using Skype, etc. So I'm definitely all for it.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2012 9:27:24 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: kiosks useful for tourists...
How true, Jeremy. Cities are petri dishes. If anything, they show us how many germs are really harmless to most of us.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/8/2012 10:09:29 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: kiosks useful for tourists...
That makes sense to me, tbulone, though my guess is eventually the kiosks will be capable of making Skype calls, which will eliminate the need for people to pay for calls. We're still only in the initial deployment phase, but I think some combination of these free kiosks connected with pay-per-call phones would be ideal for everyone. 

tbulone
tbulone  
12/8/2012 8:21:10 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: kiosks useful for tourists...
I like the kiosks.  However, since the City is making substantial revenue from the pay phones, why can't a pay phone be integrated into the design of the kiosk?  It doesn't seem like it would be that much trouble to do.

Jeremy.Johnson
Jeremy.Johnson  
12/7/2012 6:37:20 PM
User Rank City Slicker
Re: Wifi nodes
More food for thought:

100 Mbps ~ 12.5MBps

That's like... 2-3 mp3s per SECOND right there.

What about something HUGE, like my WoW folder? What is that? like 20.4GB? I'll use that number, it seems pretty big.

My estimates have that 20.4 GB folder (not the installer, I wanted to use something HUGE) transferred to you in about 28 minutes. Let's round up to 60 minutes, because maybe you don't get the max throughput the whole time. $.05 per minute means that you would be paying about for an hour, which is... $3.00 for a 1hr d/l.


Maybe my wifi rates aren't reasonable, but if a Municipality that was fiber connected allowed persistent wifi nodes of this nature, they would be quite competitive, and could add in restrictions like... only 20 users on this node at one time, no one can use the service for more than 30 consecutive minutes, the amount that you acquire must be purchased up front.

I mean... shouldn't the poor be allowed to use the internet for $.25 for 5 minutes? Maybe $.10/minute or something?

Interesting paradigm shift, eh?

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