Even in the age of smartphones, New York City’s more than 11,000 public street payphones bring in about $18 million a year, between coins and advertising revenue. Contracts with companies responsible for installing, maintaining and operating payphones are set expire October 15, 2014 – spurring the city to launch The Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge. The contest, aimed at urban designers, planners, technologists and policy experts, challenged participants to come up with physical and virtual prototypes to give payphones a modern facelift.
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