Thursday, March 28, 2013

iPad Booth?

When was the last time you used a quarter eater?

And by that I mean a pay phone, not the vending machine in your office break room. I'm sure there's some kids out there who have never even used a pay phone and wonder what heck those ancient things were once used for. I remember using them back in the day before I got a cell phone. In fact, one of the cool things about going to middle school was that there was a pay phone! Yes, if felt like total freedom not having to beg the school secretary to use the phone. Sky was the limit as to who would could call during your lunch and recess break. I frequented the pay phone booth quite a bit to make business calls. Ok fine, usually those calls were to my mom asking if I could go over to Christa's after school.
Now we're in the age of smartphones and we can be connected to anyone or anything with a few taps on our screens. I've gotten to the point where if I don't have my phone on me, half of me feels missing. And since making the switch to the iPhone, how did I ever survived without my BFF Siri? 
And there stands the pay phone. I'm sure someday, sooner rather than later, us antique'ers will be at an auction bidding against one another because it'll be a must-have, worth so much, or we'll have "perfect" place in our house to to be displayed. Or maybe..... they'll make a come back, get a facelift and fit in with this tech savy world....
Last week I read that New York City is going to update the pay phone with iPads. Apparently the giant slates will offer a quick connection to 311 for requesting info and filing complaints, as well as interactive guides to the neighborhood. Instead of being a place to prank call 1-800 numbers, the phone booth will now become your one stop shop for restaurant suggestions and local landmark locations.
I'm interested to see how it works and if the trend heads west. Do you think it's necessary? To me it seems like everyone, even little kids, have their own smartphones and tablets.

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