BBC News

Reinventing the New York payphone

Before mobile phones became ubiquitous, payphones were essential communications tools.

They also served as a handy changing room for Superman and an icon for London tourists.

Today the old, coin-operated payphone may seem like a dying technology. But what if a public phone booth could be more than just a phone? New York City used to have 35,000 payphones; now there are just over 11,000.

With the contracts on its remaining phones set to be renewed in 2014, the city of New York held a competition to reinvent the payphone and ensure it will remain relevant in the future.

Produced by Ashley Semler, camera by Ilya Shnitser and Matt Danzico, edited by Pete Murtaugh.

Footage of submissions courtesy: FXFOWLE, Sage and Coombe Architects, Frog Design, Control Group