Transforming New York: Smart Cities of the Future Start With

Transforming New York: Smart Cities of the Future Start With Old
Phone Booths 
City24/7 Launches the Next Generation Public Information System; 250
Outdoor Locations to Be Deployed Throughout NYC 
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/20/12 --  New York City today
became the first city in the nation to deploy a network of
technologically advanced, publicly accessible touch-screens on
neighborhood streets.  
The ground-breaking communication network -- called City24/7 -- uses
fully interactive pedestrian billboards called "SmartScreens" to
broadcast neighborhood news, current events and entertainment
listings, local deals and specials. Multiple mobile apps are
accessible through the 32-inch multi-touch LG screens -- connecting
New Yorkers to the "best of the best" city information. Content is
also fed directly to mobile and web platforms. 
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the City24/7 network will initially
focus on community revitalization and highlight volunteering
opportunities and projects citywide. This focus is true to the
company's mission, which is to help: 

--  Inform - by instantly connecting people with information that is
    relevant to their immediate proximity
--  Protect - by using instant alert systems and real-time communication
--  Revitalize - by increasing neighborhood commerce, investment, and

City24/7 is built as a pure public/private partnership, providing
multiple services to New Yorkers at no cost to the City or to users.
The initial launch of City24/7, in partnership with the Department of
Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), consists of up
to ten installations in existing payphone booths around Union Square.
Over the next several months, the number of installations will
increase to up to 250 participating phone booths throughout the five
The City24/7 rollout will take place in two phases. The first phase,
which has already begun, involves deploying 250 Smart Screens
throughout New York City. As these systems are implemented, City24/7,
Cisco, and the City of New York will further integrate the platform
with the addition of mobile applications, safety and security
capabilities, city information feeds, and location-based advertising. 
Once the Smart Screens have reached critical mass in New York City,
City24/7 and Cisco plan to start the second phase, which includes
expansion to more than a dozen U.S. and international cities. The
SmartScreens are designed to use real-time, location-based services,
tied in to the network throughout the city. City24/7 also provides a
channel for the City to broadcast vital information, real-time news
and transit updates. In addition, the street locations have free
Wi-Fi access, and are equipped with near-field communications and
"Our network is built on the idea that you should be able to connect
and activate information through any device -- anywhere," said Tom
Touchet, president and CEO of City24/7. "We're excited to help power
daily communications to the streets of New York, and to immediately
and directly give back to the communities we serve."  
The City24/7 network takes advantage of New York City's innovative
digital road map, hitting on four of the key points: providing
"Access for All," utilizing Open Government Information, promoting
citizen-centric engagement and supporting a vibrant digital community
through partnerships.  
To ensure that everyone can access the information, the City24/7
network utilizes a number of cutting-edge technologies designed to
assist with usability. 
The devices are equipped with numerous accessibility features -- some
developed by City24/7 -- such as screen repositioning for wheelchair
accessibility, headphone access for the hearing impaired and key-fob
access for the vision impaired. They also have multiple language
capabilities which include: English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin
The Light House for the Blind and the New York chapter of the
National Federation of the Blind have also endorsed City24/7 for
their support of people with disabilities.  
City24/7's SmartScreen displays -- a new digital design by LG
Electronics for delivering messages in outdoor spaces -- are
protected with steel casings, ATM-strength screens and able to
withstand extreme weather. They also contain backup batteries to
assist if power is disrupted.  
"Our ruggedized outdoor high-definition LED touch-screen monitors
were designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, and we are pleased
to enable such an innovative project with our touch solutions," said
Y.K. Cho, B2B senior vice president of LG Electronics USA. "This
innovative application showcases LG innovations that help create an
interactive and engaging experience." 
The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Global Public
Sector Practice helps governments create a vision of the future by
helping leaders understand the benefits of using innovative
technology to transform government processes and public services. 
"For the first time in history, cities are now home to more than half
of the Earth's population. These cities have become 'single-world'
urban areas -- tied together by communication networks. Knowledge
from these networks provides valuable insights to governments,
people, and businesses -- both large and small -- to change
industries, serve people, increase productivity, and create relevant
consumer experiences," said Jeff Frazier, Senior Director, Cisco
Internet Business Solutions Group. "Cities that lead future progress
will utilize networked knowledge like that being created by City24/7
to become more safe, more busy, and more vibrant." 
City24/7's SmartScreens emphasize community. All content is targeted
down to the machine -- helping drive local initiatives, small
business and retail growth on a neighborhood level. In addition, the
company "gives back" a percentage of its ad revenue to local
non-profit programs.  
"Union Square is one of the most vibrant, active neighborhoods in the
city with countless dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and
nightlife options at any given moment. The City24/7 technology
provides neighborhoods with a tremendous resource to reach the
public, and gives visitors everything they need to know about where
they are in a convenient, user-friendly format," said Jennifer Falk,
executive director of the Union Square Partnership, who worked with
City24/7 to bring the pilot to the neighborhood.  
City24/7's collection of the "best of" New York content providers
includes Zagat, Google Places, Roadify, CityMaps, TheaterMania,
community partners and other content providers. City24/7 also has
mobile, tablet and web platforms allowing content to be seamlessly
pushed to those devices. 
In New York, City24/7 is launching its network in the existing
payphone infrastructure. The company is excited to have partners
including Telebeam and Coastal Communications who are interested in
exploring future uses for the public telephones that grow their
benefit to the City. 
Through DoITT, the City of New York administers public pay telephone
franchises that allow for the installation and maintenance of
coin-operated payphones on city sidewalks. Today, there are
approximately 11,500 payphones across the five boroughs. As part of a
pilot program, DoITT has granted authorization for City24/7 to
install "SmartScreens" in up to 250 existing payphone locations.
City24/7 will be responsible for maintenance and/or repair of the
SmartScreens for the life of the pilot program. No taxpayer money
will be spent on the program, and the service will be free to all
About City24/7
 City24/7 is a revolutionary interactive
communications network that integrates content from open government
sources, local businesses and citizens to provide meaningful and
powerful knowledge anytime, anywhere, on any device... from the
street to mobile to the web. Following a New York City launch,
City24/7 plans to expand its network nationwide and across the globe.
For more information, visit 
Shane Kavanagh
The Marino Organization
(212) 889-0808 
Nick Sbordone
(212) 788-6602 
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