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
May 10, 2013 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
How did an ex-cop fashion a fully functioning robot from old hi-fi speakers, DVD players and assorted household items?
April 26, 2013 -- Updated 1341 GMT (2141 HKT)
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.
April 16, 2013 -- Updated 2007 GMT (0407 HKT)
A California tech company has launched a tool that turns a regular iPhone 4 or 4S into a powerful biometrics scanning tool.
April 12, 2013 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
What's four centimeters long, two centimeters high and smaller than the average thumb? The "Little Cyclops" fisheye camera.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1242 GMT (2042 HKT)
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.
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1618 GMT (0018 HKT)
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.
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
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.
February 1, 2013 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
CNN's Nick Glass meets David Gow, inventor of the i-limb -- a revolutionary prosthetic hand which is changing lives.
January 18, 2013 -- Updated 1452 GMT (2252 HKT)
British tech firm P2i has developed a "liquid repellent nano-coating" that can be sprayed onto a solid surface and repels nearly all liquids.
January 8, 2013 -- Updated 1743 GMT (0143 HKT)
In a world where computers are increasingly powerful and flashy, the Raspberry Pi offers surprising proof for the virtue of moderation.
December 7, 2012 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Watching Peter Dearman at work amid the clutter of his workshop, it's easy to see why one of his sons refers to him as a "nutty professor."
November 29, 2012 -- Updated 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
An Afghan designer has developed a low-cost, wind-powered, mine-detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.
November 23, 2012 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
A toy helicopter controlled by nothing but brainwaves could be available to the public just in time to hover under this year's Christmas tree.
Today's five most popular stories