The glorious past of red telephone boxes
Not so long ago, we lived in an era where we depended on the warmth of our own apartment when it came to communication with our friends and loved ones. We made arrangements to meet, where and when, and we were on our way, vulnerable to unexpected occurrences such as traffic jams, people being late, location changes, etc. Yet without smartphones, people still managed to go for a coffee, go on dates, go partying, and have kids, which is pretty much unthinkable to millennials and their portable computers which can fit the palm of a hand.
The only emergency measure to call someone while outside was to use a telecard in one of the phone booths. Yes, they were expensive and you had to know all the phone numbers by heart, but they became an icon of an era. Specifically the red, vintage ones which became pretty much a symbol of London, England and the entire British colonial culture. Ever since then, whenever a person sees one, the capital of the United Kingdom pops inside their head.
The new age trend - WiFi
With the inevitability of human technological advancements, old traditions and symbols slowly become obsolete. So is the case with the red-colored communication devices/cultural symbols. Starting next year, the BT Company is to start replacing all the old booths with – WiFi terminals. Not only will they provide valuable internet access for all passers-by, they will also feature phone chargers for all models and operational systems, plus a fertile soil for marketing ventures aimed at people from all walks of life.
It will also inject new life into the city’s tourist potential as the kiosks will be equipped with local maps, services, direction and free phone calls in need, all featured in a multitude of languages. BT plans to install the first 100 terminals all during the upcoming year, with 750 planned to be implemented in the next few years, in all neighborhoods of the city.
Lesson learnt from New York
One important thing to note is that browsing on the kiosk itself will be unavailable due to people monopolizing the kiosk browser interface, as it was seen in New York, where people occupied the space for extended periods of time, whether listening to music or watching pornography. To improve fluctuation and functionality, the browsing option was disabled, and BT intends to stay firm with their decision.
BT and the Primesight advertising company will join forces to reinvigorate the bustling metropolis, fusing antique beauty with minimalistic, modern appeal. Some residents of the city have already filed complaints on the grounds that the city will lose its’ trademark and the entire landscape will be defiled. We are all; however, very well sure that this improvement will only benefit the city in the long term and everybody will quickly forget the pain of separation from old traditions.
Whether there are going to be vandalism incidents or will the project fail because it will be funded solely by revenue from digital ads placed on the terminal, it is still an ambitious move and everybody is eager to try it out and see how it will fare.