Just a quick note that tomorrow evening is the first meeting of our little reinvent payphone group branching out of this month's challenge at the NY Tech Meetup. Anyone else who would like to join is more than welcome. This is my second (and last) appeal. :)
Currently we have some very impressive talent, including the company who put in all of the biometrics in our military's fighter jets and has a contract for redesigned payphones in Mexico.
Right now, we really need someone who would be able to throw together a decent web site for the response.
We could also use a very talented artist for a rendering.
Of course, a maker who could help fabricate a model is on my wishlist.
This first meeting is a meet and greet, setting up a calendar to prepare a formal presentation, and discussing first steps.
In 2009, I led a $1B, 2 year RFP response to a NYC Department of Education job essentially to provide a Facebook alternative to all 1MM NYC school students, parents, and teachers. We had a dozen companies participate including Yahoo!, Cataphora, Telligent, and Starpoint. We were the finalist before internal DOE politicking (new chancellor) killed the project.
I think we have an excellent shot at a very innovative solution.
While this first phase is mostly for fun, bragging rights, and the ability to make a positive change in the City on infrastructure, the group can develop into something more substantial and protect our IP rights to the solution, especially for implementation in other markets beyond NYC if the city is favorable to the solution. So there is the potential to transition from just something fun to something profitable.
Payphones are in prime real estate locations throughout the city. They can be used to provide City services, to serve as public water coolers, to provide emergency notifications and instructions, WiFi and much much more.
From the official site, here's some of what we'll be considering/discussing:
Connectivity. Payphones currently rely on the power/phone line of the adjacent property. Many phones are electrified and many have traditional copper phone line connections. Almost all locations are capable of becoming electrified and being fitted with fiber connections with speeds of at least 15 Mbps. What alternative communications amenities would fill a need? (E.g. WiFi, touch screens, mobile device charging facilities, etc.)
Design. How can sidewalk payphones be redesigned to enhance aesthetics and integrate seamlessly with city streets and public infrastructure? How should design vary by location? Can sustainable power sources such as solar power support new infrastructure? How can we plan to prevent vandalism? What is the user experience of using the future payphone?
Community Impact. How can payphones support community needs such as local services, businesses and programs? How can the community play a role in content development?
Sustainability. The City of New York receives a 36% share of revenue generated through the payphones. New payphone kiosks should generate revenue that equals or exceeds the most recent annual revenue of $17.7 million: $1.2 million from calls and $15.9 from advertising. How can new payphones continue to generate City revenue while adding value?
Accessibility. Payphone kiosks should ensure that people with disabilities will be able to utilize new communications infrastructure. See Section 7 of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Inclusive Design Guidelines manual on creating public environments that are usable by everyone. How will payphones ensure accessibility?
Safety. Payphone usage tripled in areas that lost power during Hurricane Sandy, as payphones receive electricity via the phone line and not external power sources. Current public safety and service measures include free calls to 911 and 311 at any time. How can the City to use payphones for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery?
I hope you'll join our merry band.