Pay phones are fast becoming a thing of the past. If you do see one on the street, there's a good chance it won't work. If it does work, there's a good chance it doesn't see a lot of use. NYC is helping usher out the old pay phones in favor of newer technology. According to GigaOm, New York City now has over 200 high-tech phone booths with touch screens that offer local information like weather and transit details, as well as emergency broadcasts and even nearby deals.
The touchscreen kiosks are the result of a collaboration between New York City, Cisco and another company called City 24/7. The idea is that while old school pay phones provided a useful and much needed surface (indeed, they were a great help during Hurricane Sandy), that idea can be improved upon and, with a dash of modern technology, offer a whole lot more.
GigaOm writes that 250 of these are now live, and City 24/7 CEO Tom Touchet says they've been tested to withstand the wear and tear such platforms might be subjected to on the streets of NYC.