LinkNYC, the program that plans to convert old New York City payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots with handy USB charging ports, made its official debut today.
The so-called "Links" will eventually be available at 7,500 old payphones, but the retrofitted terminals are initially rolling out in beta testing across a few city blocks in Manhattan. We decided to give the Wi-Fi capabilities a test drive to see if connecting to these links in the future would be worth it.
Here is what it was like:
Although Links are supposed to be available on all street corners between 13th and 19th street, this was the stand-in on the 19th street corner. Undeterred, we kept looking.
The corner of 17th and 3rd Avenue was more fruitful. Here's what an actual Link looks like. The Link is around 8ft tall, with two large screens on either side of it. In the upper corner is a "beta" sign.
The mini-vestibule in the middle of the Link is meant to replace old payphones. USB ports are also available for charging up your devices. A 911 button is also present, which may become very useful once all 7,500 Links are fully operational.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider