Late last year, New York City began replacing old telephone booths with free, public WiFi hotspots. Provided by LinkNYC, the plan was to replace payphones with the shiny new gigabit WiFi hotspots so that anyone could connect to the internet. But what if you don’t have an internet connected device?
Starting today, LinkNYC kiosks are now being outfitted with Android tablets. This means anyone can check their email, place WiFi calls, or even find directions, even if they don’t have a smartphone or tablet of their own.
Made by Intersection (a technology company that operates and funds LinkNYC), the tablets are custom-made and built to withstand all kinds of abuse and weather conditions. Just might want to wipe them down with some Windex before using. Over time, the tablets will be updated with new features and eventually — according to Mayor Bill de Blasio who held a special unveiling event for the new tablets — could soon act as a bulletin board, displaying local events, helping to find lost pets, or even allow for voting on small city projects.
Each LinkNYC hub features headphones for privacy, and USB ports to charge devices should you need it, and large ad space on each side. 500 more of these internet hotspots are expected to go up by July as the city works to reach their 7,500 goal.