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NYC to replace pay phones with Skype-enabled, 32" touch screen kiosks

By Rick · 11 replies
Apr 9, 2012
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  1. New York City intends to pilot a program that will replace the city's pay phones with "smart screens". The touch screen devices will measure 32 inches in size, connect to…

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    Well of course they're not free... they should have said the kiosks should be able to pay for themselves. I'm sure City24x7 isn't donating hardware, installation, setup and support. Not to sound all negative, but if govt was invovled with this decision, then they probably grossly underestimated the costs.
  3. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,434   +459

    Free pay phones would probably draw more revenue with ads. Then coin based ones, way more people would use em.
  4. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    I find it interesting. I wonder how they will hold up to the general population's wear and tear.

    If NYC is not pay for it and there are no political dealings under the table to fund it, I say why not!
  5. viperfl

    viperfl TS Enthusiast Posts: 34   +13

    Has anyone every seen what the current phone booths look like in NYC? The phone booths look like they have been through hell and back a few times. They are spray painted with graffiti, defecated on, peed on, spit on, and who knows what else. Don't know what the cost is for putting one of the new booths in but they won't look pretty after a week.
  6. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,140   +135

    Because regular payphones didn't get vandalized enough, let's replace them with glass touchscreens... Yeah, I think that will work.
  7. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 559   +199

    Phase 1 should have been 50 phone booths max not 500. Oh well, have fun learning your lesson NYC.
  8. I eagerly await their business explanation for why this was a good idea when the maintenance & replacement costs eat away most of their profits.
  9. Seeing that it's NYC, I would imagine Homeland Security is involved. Being Skype enabled means it has a video camera installed. NY's finest would have them tied to a face recognition computer and monitors all calls that get a hit.
  10. Astute observation... If DHS got involved, I wouldn't be the least surprised if they took full advantage of a Skype booth and utilized an always-on camera in tandem with some of the new mass recognition programs hitting the market. Wouldn't be too much of a leap forward from what they do now.
  11. They'll think this is a good idea until masked hoodlums begin to take hammers and spray paint to the screens. What a huge waste of money. How about cutting down on violent crime and police corruption first? Or just give that money back to the taxpayers. They'll appreciate it probably more than the invasion of privacy that will surely come in no small part thanks to always-on cameras and the PATRIOT act.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    Yeah... cause building expensive kiosks that are easily vandalized in order to mount cameras is WAY easier and cheaper than just putting cameras on street light posts. Much better view from the ground too.

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