The future is here, in NYC:
New York’s futuristic, high-tech pay phones — which are embedded with touchscreen tablets — are finally going live on Thursday. The name “pay phone” doesn’t quite do it justice, of course. Yes, the city’s LinkNYC terminals will allow you to make domestic phone calls. But they’ll also let you surf the Web, pull up online maps and connect to city services like 311 and 911. And all of it will be free, thanks to built-in advertising.
Powering these features is a series of Android tablets that are built into each of the LinkNYC terminals that are now in use. More terminals will be switched on this summer across the city, making a total of 510 LinkNYC spots. Over the next eight years, as many as 7,500 stations will be built to replace New York’s pay phone network.
One of the LinkNYC system’s most attractive features is an ultrafast, gigabit WiFi hotspot. Currently in beta testing, the WiFi feature has shown download speeds of more than 250 Mbps — way faster than what you probably get at home.