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10-Foot-Tall Double-Sided Touchscreen Wins NYC’s Pay Phone Redesign Challenge

 Today, officials announced the winner of the top category, "Popular Choice," and highlighted the winners of the contest's five individual categories.

While the final selection won't be implemented, it will provide the city with information about what elements their community values in the pay phone's replacement structures as they begin the process of selecting official criteria for what they will ask vendors to provide.

Finding the perfect replacement is a big challenge, especially with the history and technical issues to consider. The first payphone booth was installed in 1889 in Stamford, Connecticut and by the 1960s there were about a million spread throughout the US, including a lone booth in the Mojave Desert. At the peak of the coin-op era there were millions of phones dotting street corners and airports, but they've disconnected rapidly — fewer than 500,000 remain in the US. At the same time, there are now more active mobile phones (327,577,529) in the US than people (310,866,000) in the US, leaving many to wonder what the role of these iconic structures should be.

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