When Google announced the previously rumored phone call feature for Google Voice inside Gmail, we all got excited for a Skype-challenging VoIP service that’s already embedded in our email. But the most charming element of the announcement was yet to come.
Instead of a boring old ad campaign of TV commercials, YouTube videos, billboards, and what have you, Google decided to do something a little bit more fun. The company is constructing several old-style British phone booths that will be using the new Google Voice feature–all for free. The phone booths, modeled on a 1957 vintage example, will be installed in high-traffic areas, like college campuses.
The Google Voice phone booths seem to be completely free–there’s no way to contribute money, for one thing–so I suspect the calls will be limited to the States and Canada. There’ll also be a 20-minute limit on phone calls to discourage unscrupulous youngsters from yapping away on the phone for hours like they do in old-timey sitcoms from the ’90s.
Even better, at least part of the booth is solar-powered. There’s a big light inside the otherwise-spartan booth which is powered by a solar panel on the outside. It’s not clear if the phone itself is powered by solar energy or not.
Google hasn’t released information regarding the specific number of booths or the locations in which they’ll be installed. But keep an eye open–you might see a free, adorable phone booth on a college campus near you.
[Image credit: Mashable]