A friend and I were strolling downtown this past weekend and it occurred to us that neither of us had used a payphone since, probably, high school. Both of us have had cellphones since our college days. (not to mention, I'm notorious for not carrying change!)
It's sad (because I often develop feelings for inanimate objects) to see the state of some of the remaining operating payphones. If you go to the bigger cities, they tend to be even more gross looking.
Naturally, New York is one of the places with the greatest number of old decaying payphones kicking around. They held a design contest recently to see what people could come up with as ideas for the "next" payphone, subscribing to the idea that the payphone need not go away forever; it just needs to be reinvented!
I like some of the ideas they're showing here... imagine a free wifi network spanning the whole urban part of a city or town, originating from old payphone stations? Of course, it's also a good thing to have phones that stay powered even during a disaster, like NYC faced with Hurricane Sandy last year.
When was the last time you used a payphone? Would you like to see them all removed, or updated?