Other prototypes included streamlined designs for phones with broader capabilities such as touchscreen interfaces, free Wi-Fi, automated emergency information, solar power, gesture recognition and, of course, dynamic advertising space. None of them said anything about access to the Ministry of Magic, though.
Back in the 1990s, I loved reading about Mark A. Thomas' Payphone Project, an obsessive endeavor started in New York that partly encouraged people to dial payphone numbers and start conversations with strangers. These days Twitter seems to take care of that. Besides, by the time I moved to New York, nearly everyone had a cell phone.
Virtual Library Brings Books to NYC Subway
Payphones have been germ repositories for a while now. New York City's contracts covering their installation and operation were signed in 1999 and don't expire until October 15, 2014. There are still a few hurdles remaining, including the actual design and production of the new payphones. But after that, New Yorkers could finally - finally! - get public communication hubs they might actually use.