Start saying goodbye to the New York City pay phones of old, as a project to update some of the city’s 12,800 outdoor public telephones with new “SmartScreens” computers has begun.
New York is being ushered into the digital age, thanks to its public-private partnership with City 24/7, which is installing 250 of these touch screen terminals, also named “City 24/7,” across the five boroughs.
A few of the terminals are already up and running, including one of the corner of the E. 12th Street and Broadway.
“Right now our plan is to have 10 touch screens around Union Square in the coming weeks,” said Tom Touchet, CEO of City 24/7, “adding a few more at a time as we go along.”
Touchet said that Manhattan will take the lion’s share, about 215, of the new touch screens; while the outer boroughs will get the remaining terminals.
Each 32-inch touch screen will provide users with “hyper-local” city information that is specific to that location. The SmartScreens will cover everything from safety alerts and commuter alerts, to daily deals in area stores.
Content for the SmartScreens will be made available in several different languages and can be accessed through mobile hand-held devices.
“We want to provide the what, when and where to the user,” said Touchet, who said that New Yorkers will be able to access 16 apps on the touch screen that will help them navigate their way around the city.