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New York City Asks Residents To Vote On Innovative Pay Phone Design

(credit: Clip Art)

(credit: Clip Art)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City has asked residents to vote on a design for the pay phone of the future.

The city invited students, urban planners, designers and technologists to build both physical and virtual models for the new designs. Six finalists were chosen, and New Yorkers can cast their vote for their favorite design through Facebook through March 15 in the “Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge.”

The winner will be a recipient of a Popular Choice Award.

The designs, each with a specific name, include:

&149; NYC I/O, which turns the pay phone into a “digital node” with sensors and displays for an urban-scale public commuting program with community, civic, arts and messaging apps available for all users.

Beacon, which is controlled by voice and never needs to be touched. The model features LED matrix screens, sensors, speakers, lighting and solar cells.

NYC Loop, a phone booth model in which the booth enclosure can be chosen to suit each community. The phones in the booths feature smart screens for making calls and enhanced mobile communication. They are powered by piezoelectric plates that convert kinetic energy into potential energy.

Windchimes, which turns the city’s 11,000 pay phones into a sensor network that also provides environmental information such as rain levels and pollution.

NYFi, which turns the pay phone into an interactive portal to provide public information, goods, services and Internet access.

Smart Sidewalks, a model that packs as much function into the pay phone as possible while reducing its physical and energy footprint to the lowest possible level. The Smart Sidewalks phone uses a touch screen with a city-supported browser and open-source apps.

The city announced plans for a new network of pay phones last year.

Which design is your favorite? Please leave your comments below…