Last year, Mayor Bloomberg launched a competition to completely redesign and re-imagine public phones in New York City. With modern technology all but completely replacing our need for public pay phones, could something once so necessary in the city be reinvented for the 21st century?
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0042FV2SI” locale=”us” height=”80″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41r51J9HwXL._SL110_.jpg” width=”80″]FXFOWLE’s answer is the NYC Loop, a public hub that integrates directly with modern technology. The NYC Loop is far more than a payphone. A Loop hub offers you access to news and social media via its large smart screen. Video chatting becomes a grandiose affair when projected by the Loop’s smart screen and sound is better than ever with the Loop’s overhead “sound shower”. The Loop also offers WiFi (which any New Yorker can appreciate), even if they don’t want to use the Loop’s hardware to make video calls or check their Twitter feed.
In order to serve the diverse neighborhoods and citizens of New York, the NYC Loop had to be highly adaptive. Loop’s to be installed in [easyazon-link asin=”0810939460″ locale=”us”]Central Park[/easyazon-link] for example, can have added benches and green walls. Loop’s installed in high traffic areas will take particular advantage of it’s energy producing pressure plates, which power the Loop as they are stepped on.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00A17IAO0″ locale=”us” height=”80″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417mxjzpiNL._SL110_.jpg” width=”80″]Hurricane Sandy had just hit when Mayor Bloomberg launched the Reinvent Payphones Challenge, so there was heavy emphasis on disaster preparedness. FXFOWLE designed the NYC Loop to be a hub of safety and information in the event of another disaster like Sandy. It has phone charging stations, emergency contact features, and can readily display warnings and emergency broadcasts via its smart screen.
The Loop is an exciting prospect for New York City, or any other city for that matter. The rapid growth of personal technology has somewhat turned us insular and away from people around us. The Loop not only brings people together, but offers them modern conveniences that don’t try to discourage us from the wonderful technology many of us have access to. What’s really futuristic about the Loop is not its smart screen or energy-producing pressure plates, but its ability to reconcile modern technology with a somewhat lost sense of togetherness that very technology spurred.
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