NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to pick favourite by way of Fb

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

The payphone. Regardless of how related our world has gotten within the final decade or so, nearly all of the eleven,000 payphones in NYC stem from a 1999 contract. Resulting from expire and renew in October 2014, the town’s Division of Info Know-how and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been actively determining how and what sort of recent answer it needs to switch roughly all eleven,000 of them with. You’ve got heard a few small quantity being retrofitted with WiFi hotspots and SmartScreen info portals, however these have primarily been checks.

Final night time at Quirky’s workplaces, the town picked out finalists for 5 classes that would probably assist “Reinvent Payphones” right here within the Huge Apple: “connectivity, creativity, visible design, performance and group impression.” Properly over one hundred twenty entries have been submitted since this design problem kicked off final December on the NY Tech Meetup, with a complete of eleven semifinalists having gotten the prospect to current their concepts final night time for judging. Because it seems, there was a tie for group impression, leaving six finalists general. Higher but, out of these six, the general public can take to Fb from now till March 14th to pick a “fashionable vote” winner. Curious for extra perception? We acquired to talk with the town’s Director of Exterior Affairs on the Division of Info, Nicholas Sbordone, concerning the undertaking and he talked about the way it went down and what it means for the way forward for payphones in NYC.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

In contrast to the Taxi of Tomorrow, there is not precisely a winner coming from this occasion that’ll present a last design. As Mr. Sbordone defined to us, this entire competitors primarily helps the town get perception from these outdoors of the telecommunication business. One such avenue of concepts got here from when the town initially despatched out an RFI (request for information) again in July to coincide with the announcement of retrofitting WiFi hotspots to pick payphones — respondents included the likes of group boards and present franchise house owners. He famous that “as [the] w works to find out the general way forward for the general public pay phone, [it’s] facilitating a lot of pilot packages (at no taxpayer value) which use present payphone infrastructure to gauge public curiosity and suggestions within the providers provided.”

General, the town is making an attempt to get enter from as many avenues as potential. As Sbordone places it, “[the city]’ll take the outcomes of all the continued efforts above, plus the most effective concepts from the Reinvent Payphones Design Problem winners after which bake all of it into the Metropolis’s formal solicitation (referred to as a Request for Proposals, or ‘RFP’) for the way forward for the payphone. We’ll look to concern that RFP later this yr.” The purpose is, all of those collectively is what’ll assist form the rules for what the town needs in its payphone kiosks come October 2014.

Background apart and, getting again to the occasion, every of the eleven semifinalists obtained an opportunity to point out off their conceptual concepts, which served as their key presentation to the town. Sbordone defined to us that these awarded with a certificates for any of the classes mirror what the town sees as probably the most promising concepts, however that it does not essentially imply they will play a much bigger position in shaping the ultimate spec necessities.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

So onto the 5 finalists. The acclaimed people from Frog Design gained the visible design class with Beacon. Considered one of our favorites of the bunch — the 12-foot tall construction would, at road degree, that includes a gesture and voice managed LED display, and a few bodily buttons for the likes of catching a cab or calling emergency providers. Dwelling as much as its identify, the higher portion supplies mild to the sidewalk down under, whereas additionally serving up commercial area. Higher but, a photo voltaic-charged battery backup retains it operating if the facility goes out.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

The connectivity class received snatched up by an idea venture dubbed NYfi. The chrome steel construction would serve up a smartphone-like UI on its touchscreen — like a telephone loaded with info and touring apps. Alongside its sides, replaceable modules would be capable of serve up Metrocards and parking playing cards, whereas an array of programmable LED lights on its prime could possibly be used to show numerous info symbols. As as an added bonus, the bottom of the unit would additionally function a conduit field for the town’s electrical and communications staff.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

NYfi and Beacon appear to be concepts that might match proper on the road as is, however the creativity class went to FXFOWLE’s NYC Loop, because of its barely adaptable and open design strategy. Wanting like a stroll-although phone sales space in stature, the unit might challenge advertisements that bleed onto the sidewalk on one aspect, whereas leaving area for the likes of greenery to be affixed on the opposite aspect with a spot for a seat to prime it off. Standing inside would give customers entry to a touchscreen info / telephone interface, with a constructed-in sound wall for some isolation from the busy streets. The sides of the models would additionally permit pedestrians to plug-in and recharge their units.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

That tie for group impression we spoke about earlier highlights two of of probably the most uncommon approaches of the bunch. NYC I/O’s Responsive Metropolis with a Minority Report-type of interplay and Windchimes’ Arduino-packing payphone / setting monitor had the judges cut up.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

The minimalistic strategy to Windchimes is a pleasant change of tempo to the enormous smartphone-sort designs from most of the demos. Whereas it seems like it will be proper at residence in a treehouse, we cannot be shocked if climate-sensors seem within the metropolis’s future payphones. Plus, we’re digging the nostalgia of the bodily quantity buttons on this world of touchscreens and management gestures.

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

Lastly, Sensible Sidewalk took house the certificates for performance — and we will not disagree. Serving the simi The svelte kiosk would get positioned on the curb, with the bottom under it serving to deal with and filter runoff water from the road. Two photo voltaic panels present it with power regardless of the place the solar is dealing with. Gesture controls can be included and customers would have the ability to modify the peak of the Home windows Telephone-esque UI on its touchscreen, whereas a braille keyboard can be included under it. As you’d anticipate, the interface would assist you to get native information and maps, browse the online and extra apps would be capable of get added for extra performance. Dwelling as much as its identify, a strip of LEDS can be positioned throughout the sidewalk at its place to offer numerous kinds of location info to anybody strolling by (kind of like these finish zone markers on you see when watching soccer in your TV). The edges would permit for the likes of USB charging, WiFi connectivity and bank card swiping, and appeared to be a norm for most of the demos.

If you wish to forged a vote on your favourite concept, you will have till 5:00PM ET on March 14th to make your digital voice heard at’s Fb web page linked under — that is additionally the place you will get the complete particulars about every of the finalists’ tasks. The winner shall be introduced the subsequent day — and who is aware of, certainly one of these ideas may find yourself being considerably of a actuality in late 2014. For more information on the judges concerned, all eleven semifinalists that introduced and the initiative as some time, take a look at the press releases under.

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March 6, 2013 No. 86


Prime Concepts Will Assist Form Design and Performance of the Payphone of the Future

Renderings of Profitable Prototypes Obtainable at

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chief Info and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Service provider and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot introduced the profitable prototypes from the Reinvent Payphones Design Problem, a contest that engaged a whole lot of city designers, planners, technologists and coverage specialists to create bodily and digital prototypes that think about the way forward for the Metropolis’s roughly eleven,000 public pay telephones. The Metropolis acquired greater than one hundred twenty five submissions aimed toward modernizing payphone infrastructure and optimizing using public area. Competitors judges chosen eleven semi-finalists to demo their prototypes and the highest submissions have been awarded for greatest connectivity, creativity, visible design, performance, and group influence. The Reinvent Payphones Demo Day occurred final night time at Quirky, a social product improvement firm that brings new product concepts to life by way of its on-line collaborative platform. Eleven semi-finalists introduced their prototype concepts to a panel of judges together with Ben Kaufman, founder and CEO of; Andrew McLaughlin, entrepreneur in residence at Betaworks; Majora Carter, founding father of Startup Field; Jason Goodman, CEO and co-founding father of third Ward; Nancy Lublin, CEO of; and former United States Deputy Chief Know-how Officer Beth Noveck.

“New York is probably the most dynamic metropolis on the planet, and whereas know-how has modified throughout us, the town’s payphones have remained principally the identical for many years,” stated Mayor Bloomberg. “That is why our Administration launched interactive touchscreens round Union Sq. and free public Wi-Fi at payphone places throughout the 5 boroughs. The Reinvent Payphones Design Problem has resulted in a number of the most artistic and dynamic concepts thus far – with the potential to rework the aesthetics and performance of New York Metropolis payphones.”

“New York Metropolis’s public pay phone community has unimaginable potential,” stated Chief Info and Innovation Officer Service provider. “By collaborating with the Metropolis’s vibrant know-how group to develop artistic and ahead-considering concepts, this infrastructure might turn into one in every of our most essential technological belongings, serving to outline the twenty first Century streetscape in cities all over the world.”

“The aim of the Reinvent Payphones Design Problem is to collaboratively interact designers, city planners and technologists in imagining an progressive future for the Metropolis’s public communications infrastructure, and we’ve got been humbled by the exceptional expertise and creativity of the initiative’s members,” stated Chief Digital Officer Haot. “With greater than one hundred twenty five excellent submissions, eleven semifinalists, and 6 winners, Reinvent Payphones exceeded our expectations and marks one other step ahead in Mayor Bloomberg’s roadmap to make New York the world’s main digital metropolis. From Wi-Fi hotspots and charging stations to various power sources and group artwork installations, as soon as once more New York Metropolis proves to be fertile floor for launching groundbreaking concepts that set the worldwide commonplace.”

“We have been blown away by the thought and design that went in to those submissions,” stated Ben Kaufman, Founder and CEO of Quirky. “The Reinvent Payphones Design Problem furthers the notion that nice concepts can come from anyplace. Even higher is that these concepts have been developed for New York, however might encourage cities all over the world.”

The Reinvent Payphones prototypes have been judged and awarded on the next standards:

Connectivity: Potential to attach New Yorkers and allow communication, together with for security and emergency functions. Creativity: Originality, innovation, and high quality of concept. Visible Design: Together with visible attraction and consumer expertise Performance: Flexibility, versatility, scalability, accessibility, and sustainability. Group Impression: Help of native residents, companies and cultural establishments.

A sixth prize class, “Common Selection,” can be determined by public vote by means of the Metropolis of New York’s Fb Web page at Voting begins immediately and can run via 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 14, with the winner introduced on Friday, March 15.

Connectivity Award

NYfi, Sage and Coombe Architects

“Reinventing the payphone shouldn’t be solely a few sleeker design or a digital show, it’s about radically reimagining a public amenity; how it is going to be used, and what it can present,” stated the NYfi staff. “In contrast to right now’s payphone, the NYfi will probably be an interactive portal to public info, items, and providers, a hub totally free wi-fi web entry, and an open infrastructure for future purposes. Two variations of the NYfi are proposed: a ten-foot mannequin for business and manufacturing districts, and a smaller mannequin – with restricted performance past Wi-Fi and emergency providers – for residential and historic districts the place new payphones haven’t historically been permitted.”

Creativity Award


“NYC Loop combines a wonderful, modern payphone with a uniquely tailor-made public area that may be chosen to go well with New York’s numerous communities,” stated the NYC LOOP staff. “It offers sound harmonizing know-how in addition to a sensible display for making calls and enhancing private cellular communication. The Loop additionally encompasses a responsive projector that creates an ‘info puddle’ on the sidewalk with which any passerby can work together-a tremendous alternative for native artists or as a way of producing income from promoting area. The long-lasting design of NYC Loop and the connection of its public area models to the town’s neighborhoods will grow to be an integral a part of New York Metropolis’s city id.”

Visible Design Award

Beacon, frog design

“BEACON is New York Metropolis’s subsequent era open communications platform, connecting the town and its providers with our communities, companies, residents, and guests,” stated the Beacon workforce.

Group Impression Award (Tie)

NYC I/O: The Responsive Metropolis, Management Group and Titan

“Our submission, the ‘NYC I/O: Responsive Metropolis,’ updates the payphone with a contemporary array of sensors and shows to create a foundational enter/output system for an open, city-scale computing platform, which might permit New York Metropolis to answer and serve the individuals in a method by no means carried out earlier than,”By way of open entry to actual-time knowledge and a distribution platform for group, civic, arts, and business apps and messaging, we will create a safer, extra environment friendly, and extra pleasurable metropolis.”

Windchimes, NYU ITP, Cooper Union, Parsons

“We’re a gaggle of scholars and up to date grads from Parsons, NYU-ITP and Cooper Union learning artwork, engineering, environmental science, and design,” stated the Windchimes group. “This competitors was a good way to do significant work throughout disciplines that would have a direct impression on the standard of life in NYC and construct towards a sustainable future. With Windchimes, we imagined adapting payphones to create a distributed environmental sensor community in service of New York Metropolis residents and guests. The Metropolis’s Reinvent Payphones Design Problem allowed us to construct a group round this imaginative and prescient and share it with the remainder of the group.”

Performance Award

Sensible Sidewalks, Syracuse College, UC Davis, Parsons, Rama Chorpash Design LLC, Cheng+Snyder

“The Reinvent Payphones Design Problem was a chance to reimagine a bit of outdated metropolis infrastructure within the age of cellular,” stated the Sensible Sidewalks workforce. “In Sensible Sidewalks we thought-about the widest vary of points the payphone may handle from the altering local weather to decreasing the digital divide.”

In 1999, the Metropolis’s Division of Info Know-how and Telecommunications entered into numerous franchise contracts for the set up, upkeep and operation of public payphones on Metropolis sidewalks. These agreements expire on October 15, 2014. The subsequent step in figuring out the way forward for the New York Metropolis payphone is the issuance of a Request for Proposals, which can be knowledgeable by Reinvent Payphone Design Problem winners, public suggestions acquired by means of the Metropolis’s Request for Info issued final summer time and ongoing pilot packages – together with digital promoting on telephone kiosks round Occasions Sq., interactive touchscreens round Union Sq. and free public Wi-Fi at payphone places throughout the town.

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Demonstrations Introduced on March 5 at HQ in Chelsea

On Tuesday, March 5, the Metropolis of New York reveals eleven semifinalists of the Reinvent Payphones Design Problem, a contest that has rallied city designers, planners, technologists and coverage specialists to create bodily and digital prototypes that think about the way forward for the Metropolis’s public payphones. The competitors has garnered greater than one hundred twenty five submissions that function quite a lot of improvements together with augmented actuality, built-in metropolis providers, voice and gesture managed kiosks and hyper-native sensors. Instantly following the semifinalists’ demonstrations, judges from the civic know-how, startup and maker industries will choose and honor 5 designs based mostly on the standards of connectivity, creativity, visible design, performance and group impression. The profitable concepts could also be used to assist form the Metropolis’s ongoing efforts to evaluate the way forward for the roughly eleven,000 public pay telephones that also exist immediately. Judging takes place at, a New York Metropolis startup that makes invention accessible. Semifinalists (so as of presentation)

An Augmented Actuality: NYC’s Payphone of the Future (Philadelphia College) The proposed pod accommodates WiFi to make NYC wi-fi, a criminal offense alert system to make the town a safer place, bike share to advertise inexperienced transportation and augmented actuality compatibility to view the digital world.

Look Up! (New Faculty) The prototype makes use of the payphone areas to create mini-parks the place individuals can gather themselves and take within the metropolis skyline or, extra virtually, lookup info to attach them to the individuals and locations of New York.

NYfi (Sage and Coombe Architects) Reinventing the payphone shouldn’t be solely a few sleeker design or a digital show. It’s about radically reimagining a public amenity: how it is going to be used and what it’ll present.

5/2: 5 Boroughs, Two Methods to Speak (Rhode Island Faculty of Design) The 5/2 is a photo voltaic-powered public charging station and pay telephone. The 5/2 supplies cellular phone and pay telephone customers with reliable technique of communication.

NYC LOOP (FXFOWLE Architects) The NYC Loop serves as an entry level to the newest know-how whereas concurrently supporting the general public areas that make NYC a singular place through which to stay, go to and do enterprise.

Sensible Sidewalks: Thinfrastructure for the twenty first Century (numerous: Parsons, Syracuse College, UC Davis, Cheng+Synder, Rama Chorpash Design LLC) This proposal is pushed by two competing goals: the will to pack as a lot perform right into a single system as potential and the other urge: to scale back the literal and figurative footprint of the telephone.

MANNY, Metropolitan Software Community of New York (New Faculty) MANNY (Metropolitan Software Community of New York) is a dependable and ubiquitous info system that improves metropolis life by means of purposes reminiscent of primary voice communication, video communication, social media, maps, transit info, group related knowledge and security providers.

NYC The Official Expertise (Virginia Tech) New York Metropolis is a dwelling, respiration museum of city life. Its countless, ever-altering array of exhibitions span 5 boroughs and are on show in neighborhoods as assorted as Purple Hook and the Higher East Aspect.

NYC I/O: The Responsive Metropolis (Management Group) Management Group and Titan have partnered to create NYC I/O. It’s the transformation of the nook payphone right into a digital node working on a fiber community that may usher in a brand new period of the Responsive Metropolis.

Beacon (frog design) Beacon is New York Metropolis’s subsequent era communication and knowledge hub. Its built-in know-how consists of LED matrix screens, sensors, audio system, lighting and photo voltaic cells.

Windchimes (numerous/NYU) Windchimes are web-related environmental sensor stations that speak by way of payphones. They gather close by knowledge about climate, air high quality and noise ranges and make all of it open and accessible to anybody from specialists to youngsters.

A sixth prize class, Fashionable Selection, can be determined by the general public vote via the Metropolis of New York’s Fb Web page at HYPERLINK “” Voting runs till March 14 and can be introduced on March 15.

Judges: Ben Kaufman, founder and CEO of; Andrew McLaughlin, entrepreneur-in-residence at Betaworks; Majora Carter, founding father of Startup Field; Jason Goodman, CEO and co-founding father of third Ward; Nancy Lublin, CEO and Chief Previous Individual of; Beth Noveck, former United States Deputy Chief Know-how Officer Additionally current: Rahul Service provider, Commissioner, Division of Info Know-how and Telecommunications; Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer

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