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Touch Screen Phone Booths Come to NYC

LG screens bring disaster communication, hyper local news, Wi-Fi

By Amelia Pang
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 20, 2012 Last Updated: November 29, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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Jennifer Falk (R), Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership; and Jay Kang (L), Marketing Manager for LG Electronics, use the next generation public information system called City24/7 at a phone booth at Union Square in New York City on Nov. 20, 2012. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Jennifer Falk (R), Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership; and Jay Kang (L), Marketing Manager for LG Electronics, use the next generation public information system called City24/7 at a phone booth at Union Square in New York City on Nov. 20, 2012. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK— Phone booths across New York City will soon have interactive LG touch screens that provides free Wi-Fi, hyperlocal news, maps, and entertainment. It also provides a channel for the government to broadcast real-time news and transit updates.

City24/7, together with Cisco, launched phase one in 10 Union Square phone booths Tuesday with plans to install 250 screens throughout the city. Phase two will expand to a dozen U.S. and international cities.

The public/private partnership with the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications involves no cost to taxpayers. City24/7 pays for the maintenance of the 32-inch smart screens.

Post-Hurricane Sandy, the City24/7 network is providing information about volunteer opportunities and projects citywide.

In case of a disaster, City24/7 provides an emergency communication network, land-line connection, and wireless connection.

In the event of a future disaster, City24/7 provides an emergency communication network, land-line connection, and wireless connection. It also monitors conditions remotely through a video camera to advise first responders.

City24/7 is equipped with a microphone, speaker, and battery back ups. The screen can withstand extreme weather conditions such as rain, hail, and heat.

“Our network is built on the idea that you should be able to connect and activate information through any device—anywhere,” said Tom Touchet, president and CEO of City24/7. “We’re excited to help power daily communications to the streets of New York, and to immediately and directly give back to the communities we serve.”

Local Events and Restaurants

City24/7 features content from Zagat, Google Places, Roadify, CityMaps, TheaterMania, and local partners and other content providers. City24/7 will also have an application for smart phones, tablets, and Apple products.

“The City24/7 technology provides neighborhoods with a tremendous resource to reach the public,” said Jennifer Falk, executive director of the Union Square Partnership. “[It] gives visitors everything they need to know about where they are in a convenient, user-friendly format.”

The screens are user-friendly. There is a headphone plug for the hearing impaired, key-fob access for the vision impaired, and the screen can be adjusted for wheelchair accessibility.

The screen can also display multiple languages such as Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.

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