Part of complete coverage on
Who you gonna call? New York reinvents the pay phone
One of six finalists in New York's Reinvent Payphones contest, the "NYC I/O" phone booth aims to provide an open, urban-scale computing platform which provides access to real time data on important local information and civic events.
Competition to reinvent NYC pay phones
- New York holding contest to reinvent the city's public phone booths
- Six finalists selected with a winner to be announced on March 15
- Entries include devices powered by solar panels and others that collect environmental data
- Other cities around the world have also introduced new pay phone concepts in recent years
(CNN) -- The public pay phone is an iconic landmark of some of the world's greatest cities.
London has its unmistakeable red kiosks while the perspex glass boxes with sliding doors -- long favored as a changing room by Superman -- have been a familiar site in urban locations across the U.S. for decades.
With the inexorable rise of cell phones however, the humble pay phone has become less of an important public utility and more an archaic inner-city remnant.
In an attempt to keep the devices relevant in the 21st century, New York City has been soliciting designs for potential phone boxes of the future.
The Reinvent Payphones contest launched in December last year, encouraged design professionals, students and tech lovers to send in their futuristic visions of the phone booth.
Read: Is the pay phone making a comeback?
Six finalists have been selected, including a device powered by solar panels and another which collects important environmental information.
A public vote will select the winner which will be announced on March 15.
The Big Apple isn't the only city figuring out how to make the phone box relevant to the modern citizen.
A host of cool, practical and artistic concepts have been devised, displayed and implemented in cities around the world in recent years.
Check out the finalists of the New York competition alongside a selection of the best from the rest of the world in the gallery above.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Fri June 7, 2013
The inventor of GPS technology, Bradford Parkinson, tells CNN the future of transport is self-driving cars.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed May 29, 2013
It may be constructed from drainage pipes but according to its 18-year-old inventor, this single-person U-boat can plunge to a depth of 30 feet.
updated 1:28 PM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
A treasure trove of technological 'firsts', including an incredibly rare Apple 1 computer, goes on auction in Germany
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
How did an ex-cop fashion a fully functioning robot from old hi-fi speakers, DVD players and assorted household items?
updated 9:41 AM EDT, Fri April 26, 2013
More than 10 billion USB sticks are believed to be in use around the world today ensuring co-inventor, Ajay Bhatt, has a place in tech's unofficial hall of fame.
updated 4:07 PM EDT, Tue April 16, 2013
A California tech company has launched a tool that turns a regular iPhone 4 or 4S into a powerful biometrics scanning tool.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
What's four centimeters long, two centimeters high and smaller than the average thumb? The "Little Cyclops" fisheye camera.
updated 8:42 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
They are a formidable new force in the tech world -- tween developers with world-class coding skills and firsthand insights into the games kids really want to play.
updated 11:18 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
The rubber from dandelion roots could be on your car wheels before the decade is out. CNN's Nick Glass visits the Dutch firm pioneering the effort.
updated 12:34 PM EST, Fri February 22, 2013
The notion of self-healing materials might sound a bit "Terminator" -- but the first versions of the technology are destined to hit the market in 2013.
updated 11:11 AM EST, Fri February 1, 2013
CNN's Nick Glass meets David Gow, inventor of the i-limb -- a revolutionary prosthetic hand which is changing lives.
updated 9:52 AM EST, Fri January 18, 2013
British tech firm P2i has developed a "liquid repellent nano-coating" that can be sprayed onto a solid surface and repels nearly all liquids.
updated 12:43 PM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
In a world where computers are increasingly powerful and flashy, the Raspberry Pi offers surprising proof for the virtue of moderation.