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NYC Pay Phones Pivot To Become Information Hubs

A plan to transform 250 of New York's city phone booths into touchscreen information hubs begins today, following a succesful pilot. The initiative is a collaboration between New York, Cisco and City 24/7, and will eventually reach all five boroughs in the Big Apple.

As well as offering directions and local information to passersby, the screens can be used in emergencies—imagine how useful they might have been during Hurricane Sandy—as two-way distress devices that pump out emergency updates. Tom Touchet, City 24/7's CEO, admitted that the screens underwent a toughening-up process before being installed, but New Yorkers have been treating them with the respect they deserve.