Up to 250 pay phones across New York will be fitted with 32” touch screen computers in a test project that will decide the fate of pay phones all across the city. These computers will be internet ready and act as wireless hot spots to display information such as nearby restaurants, traffic updates, and landmark information.
The city plans to give free access to these devices dubbed smart screens. Plans to implement free services such as Skype and email access are in the works. Additionally you will be able to use the smart screen as an internet hot spot.
Access to this technology is free, but will be ad supported in the future. The goal is to be able to let people file complaints, find city information easier, display city notices, and other reminders.
Because of the touch screen technology, each smart screen will have a jet hose to sanitize each display. They’re built to be completely water proof and dust proof, which makes sense when dealing with millions of users.
Currently this is a test project, but smart technology might replace all pay phones in the near future. The cities payphone contract expires in late 2014. Currently New York is installing underground kiosks similar to the smart screens in places like subway stations. These kiosks are equipped with video cameras for applications like Skype and are ready for web access.