While Apple and Samsung fight over your heart. New York City is taking another route. The city is reinventing the Payphone. They held a contest for the design that would be used. The new design is a sleeker that not only looks good but changes the way people expect to use a payphone. The winner of the contest was NYFi. The NYFi is more than a payphone it is an interactive portal. You can get directions, pay for parking, buy services. Also as a bonus each NYFi has a built in a hub for free wireless internet access to the public.
There will be two models of the NYFi. One that is the size of a directory in the mall. That one is 10 feet tall and will be used in commercial districts. There will also be a smaller model for districts where payphones usually not permitted. Both models however will feature multiple interfaces that are touch screen. A simple to use touch interactive screen and when not in use, people will see interactive advertising.
The NYFi will use open source software to run. While I think that is a great idea and will foster growth in development of new interactive programs for the payphone. It can also lead to many hacker attacks, since by nature it is open source. That said NYFi promises to take advantage of apps already on the market. NYFi will replace a whole host of kiosks from bus ticket machines, MetroCard machines, bicycle share stations. I am sure it will also do a great job at replacing what it was designed to do in the first place, payphones.