NYC Beacon (Reinvent Payphones)

NYC Beacon (Reinvent Payphones) from Frog on Vimeo.

Gently rising out of the sidewalk and topping out at nearly 12 feet, BEACON is a slender concrete and stainless steel structure enclosing a stack of indestructible LED matrix screens, similar to those found on Times Square billboards.

The upper screens function as digital signage, creating an ad-supported revenue stream that allows Beacon to provide its other functions free of charge. These screens also adapt to public events throughout our city, from NYC marathon mileage markers to themed banners, celebrating with the city during its many parades.

The lower screens are dedicated to New York City’s local street life and communities, with hyper local advertising, community message boards, and of course, the telephone functionality. Controlled by your voice and gestures, Beacon is touch-free and hygienic, and is highly accessible. It uses directional microphones and noise canceling speakers to create the right acoustic environment for making phone calls, and an array of sensors to track gestures. Fire, Police, and Taxi are physical buttons, always at the ready to signal our needs direct to the city and via the colored light crown.

Beacon is also there for us in times of emergency, such as when we experienced Superstorm Sandy. The upper digital signage and the light crown on top give us clear instructions on how to respond during these events. Beacon becomes an information kiosk during times of emergency, providing updates on critical services, evacuation instructions, and directions to local shelters in multiple languages. Beacon’s solar cells trickle charge an integrated battery, creating an uninterruptible power supply to update the information on a regular and consistent basis, even during a blackout.

Beacon is New York City’s next generation open communications platform, connecting the city and its services with our communities, businesses, residents, and visitors. Beacon makes New York City more accessible, safer, healthier, greener, and better informed in our best of times and our most challenging.

Beacon was designed to connect New York City with New Yorkers, businesses and visitors. Beacon takes everything chaotic, colorful & loud about New York City and connects it back to us in an intelligent, purposeful & familiar way.

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