Archives for the category: Public Phone Booths

March 26, 2013

New York pay phones now redirecting users back to the year 1993


The boothless pay phones of New York currently are serving as time portals--back to the year 1993 in a New Museum exhibit called NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star. FastCompany reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn order to promote the exhibit as a conduit to the recent past, agency Droga5 arranged for 5,000 of the city’s pay phones to be equipped with bits of location-specific history from some of the people who lived it.

By calling 1-855-FOR-1993 from any Manhattan pay phone, users can access recorded messages about the area in which the phone is located from people like the Village Voice’s Michael Musto, chef Mario Batali, actor Chazz Palminteri, and noted scenester James St. James.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:02 AM | permalink

March 7, 2013

New York City Asks Residents To Vote Contestants Pay Phone Design


The City of New York invited students, urban planners, designers, technologists and creators to build physical and virtual prototypes imagining the payphone of the future. Judges selected the top six designs, now you get to decide which design will receive the Popular Choice Award.

Check out the top six designs at CBSNew York.

Image below, an entry called Windchimes: An environmental sensor stations that talk through payphones. They can plug directly into existing technologies and communication infrastructure, making them low cost and immediately deployable. via nycdigital.tumblr


Vote on Facebook before March 15th at

emily | 8:58 AM | permalink

December 14, 2012

‘Magic’ Phone Booth Lets Children Talk With Santa

Brazilian telecom company Oi sets up a phone line to the 'North Pole' for the holidays. PSFK reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn Rio de Janeiro, Oi set up a ‘magic’ pay phone that allows children to call and speak with Santa Claus. As the children were talking, retired actors on the other end of the line could see them on a video monitor, allowing for real-life conversations as opposed to an automated script.

The holiday magic didn’t stop there. While the children were talking with ‘Santa,’ small gifts would appear on the step behind them. It even began to ‘snow’ as the building opposite the pay phone was lit-up into a winter wonderland using projection mapping. For the icing on the cake, there were passing ‘elves’ and children’s choir that would emerge to sing holiday carols.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:30 PM | permalink

June 5, 2012

Giant Brain Phone Booth


This giant brain-shaped phone booth is by Brazilian artist Carla Pires de Carvalho Fernandes. It was installed as part of a phone booth redesign competition in São Paulo, sponsored by telecom company Vivo.

Laughing Squid via Design You Trust & Geyser of Awesome

Image via Design You Trust.

emily | 7:45 AM | permalink

August 26, 2010

Google Voice Telephone Booths Coming to an Airport or College Near You


Spotted on Mashable, a Google Phone booth.

quotemarksright.jpg In order to promote its new, cutting-edge calling technology, Google Voice integration with Gmail, Google is going retro with dozens of phone booths set to sweep the nation’s airports and colleges.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related: - It's official, GMail now makes phone calls

emily | 4:02 PM | permalink

April 9, 2010

Orange reinvents the phone booth

cabine.jpg As of today, reports WirelessWeek:

quotemarksright.jpgOn an experimental basis and for an initial six-month period, Paris is welcoming new phone booths in four touristy areas, including near the Eiffel Tower.

Users will now be able to make a call with perfect quality thanks to VoIP, search for a service near them, check their email and browse the web.

emily | 9:37 AM | permalink

September 20, 2006

Dial H for history

luan.jpg The BBC reports on historic phone directories being put online. A wonderful read.

"The humble phone book, dating back to the Victorians, is providing a rich seam of social history. And as part of the boom in genealogy, back issues of phone directories have been scanned and published online in a venture between BT and a family history website.

Other Excerpts:

-- The honour for appearing first in the very first phone book goes to John Adam & Co, 11 Pudding Lane in the City of London.

-- Other entries making their debut in the early phone books were Alexander Bell - yes, he who invented the phone - and Keith Prowse. Yep, selling tickets.

-- It also shows how quickly the telephone spread. By 1914, the phone book was the largest single printing contract in the country, running off 1.5 million copies.

--Phone books give a snapshot through the following decades of the 20th Century of where people were living.

-- The re-published phone books stop at 1984, before the arrival of mobile phones and the proliferation of numbers and communications.

emily | 3:01 PM | permalink

September 12, 2006

LOST ART Brazilian Pay Phones

LA.jpg LA07.jpg LA10.jpg LA13.jpg LAo2.jpg

LOST ART Brazilian Pay Phones. [via]

Public use phones in Brazil exist since the 1920s, but the payphones known popularly as "orelhões" (literally, "big ears") were created in 1970 by Shanghai-born architect Chu Ming Silveira (1941-1997). Chu Ming was head engineer at CTB (Brasil Telephone Company) and created the first fiberglass design named CHU-1. These classic designs were first presented to the public in Rio and São Paulo in 1972.

Since then the design has remained vastly popular, but some touristic destinations in Brazil have created their own designs, some of which are presented on this page. The phones in this small gallery were photographed in: Porto Seguro (Bahia), Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul), Palmas (Tocantins), Aracaju (Sergipe), Fortaleza (Ceará), and other cities throughout Brazil.

emily | 2:39 PM | permalink

September 4, 2006

Amish and Mennonites build their own phone booths

PH2006090201136.jpg As companies cut back on telephone booths, Amish and Mennonites are building their own, writes The Washington Post, in an insightful article on how these comunities are "cutting deals with new technology".

... "In the past several years, Amish and Mennonites - who still ride horse-drawn buggies - have quietly erected at least 12 hidden, private phone booths, posting them behind barns, in the woods and, in one case, inside a former chicken coop.

Called "community phones," they allow them to conduct business -- crucial to surviving amid the region's development pressures -- while holding on to prohibitions against home phone lines and cellphones.

Called "community phones," they are the latest example of how the groups in Maryland and elsewhere have been cutting deals with technology for the past century.

... The new phones hold advantages. The Amish and Mennonites don't have to carry around fistfuls of quarters or buy costly calling cards. Families divide monthly bills. Because the phones are hidden, locked and -- in the case of a metal chamber booth, which was fashioned out of a tank salvaged from a junkyard -- reinforced, the phones are less likely to attract vandals and drug dealers.

There are rules. Families can't post phones too close to homes, and they can't outfit them with amplified ringers that effectively would make them house phones. Some Amish don't cotton to voice mail, but Old Order Mennonites seem more accepting of the feature. For both groups, the idea is to limit forces they think will distract them from faith and family.

"The telephone, and the use of the telephone, is not something we're opposed to. We just don't want it to be the main part of our lives," said Ethan Brubacher, 31, a nephew of Elmer, who owns Quiet Valley Structures, a shed-building business in Loveville. "

emily | 12:35 PM | permalink

August 31, 2006

The Payphone Project


The Payphone Project collects stories, pictures and phone numbers of pay phones from around the world. [via Street Use]

Picture Above: Payphone on Lake Victoria in Uganda using GSM Technology and Solar Power. Photo sent in by Craig Wheeler, Remkor Technologies South Africa.

emily | 10:13 AM | permalink

February 6, 2006

Plan for free public phone booths in Maine

us002.jpg We've heard much about the demise of the phone booth all over the world due to the prevelence of mobile phones, but one US State has a good idea; Maine. The Boston Globe reports.

"A hearing on the proposal for public interest pay phones will be held Thursday before the Public Utilities Commission.

The growing popularity of cell phones has prompted companies to eliminate many public pay phones, particularly in rural areas. The companies say the phones get little use and it is costly to maintain and repair them.

But in some areas without good cell service, or in emergency situations, access to a public phone can be essential. Mobiles seem particularly vulnerable to crashing during crisis. The networks are also liable to be shut down to forestall the possibility of mobiles being used as bomb-triggering devices.

"A bill sponsored by Adams to authorize the rule change was enacted last session by the Legislature.

If the rule is adopted, municipal officials and the public could request public interest pay phones for certain locations, which might include bus stations, airports, highway rest areas, courthouses, post office lobbies, hospitals and medical clinics.

Callers could dial for free anywhere in the state, while out-of-state calls could be made using a calling card, credit card, prepaid calling card, or by making a collect call."

Picture from Payphones of the world


-- Finland to abandon its payphone business by spring 2006

-- Public Telephones Get the Call in South Korea

-- Slow demise of a very British icon

-- Korea. Mobile Phones Drive Out Street Phone Booths

-- Belgium to dismantle 4,000 phone booths

-- Phone booths in England losing their popularity

emily | 5:50 PM | permalink

August 27, 2004

Slow demise of a very British icon

_40006082_mobile203.jpg The news from BT that it plans to axe close to one-fifth of payphones in Scotland is the last phase of a rolling review that will eventually see around 10,000 payphones disappear across Britain in the coming 18 months, reports the BBC.

"In its heyday the red call box was a British icon as famous as the red double-decker bus, red postbox, or The Beatles.

However with the rise to prominence in recent years of the mobile phone, BT says there has been "a complete culture change in communication.

Over the last three years the use of public payphones has almost halved and revenue has dropped by 40%."

Related articles:

-- Mobile Phones Drive Out Street Phone Booths

-- Belgium to dismantle 4,000 phone booths

-- Phone booths in England losing their popularity

emily | 5:06 PM | permalink

May 12, 2004

Belgium to dismantle 4,000 phone booths

Belgian incumbent telco Belgacom has announced it is to scrap roughly 4,000 of the country's telephone booths because so few people are using them anymore, according to DMEurope.

"With some 75 per cent of the population now using mobile phones, the company says that the number of calls made from phone booths has fallen by around 76 per cent since 1998. Belgacom says that only 14 per cent of its booths are profitable.

There are some 14,000 phone booths in the country, and the company has said that if mobile penetration rises to 80 per cent, a further 2,000 booths will be mothballed".

Related Article

-- Phone booths in England are fighting for their lives in what looks like a losing battle with the cell phones.

emily | 4:18 PM | permalink

November 30, 2003

SMS for struggling payphones

Rival public payphones in Australia may be given a last breath of life with the addition of text-messaging capabilities and email-capable payphones, reports The Age.

Telstra has blamed declining numbers of payphones - 1373 were removed last year - on the increasing use of mobile phones but other research shows that two-thirds of payphone callers who have a mobile phone with them, will use a payphone to save costs".

emily | 3:38 PM | permalink | comment (0)
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