The payphone-to-hotspot transition is an attempt to do that layering in a way that minimizes friction and optimizes the user experience of the city itself. It’s the tech incarnation of Manhattan’s lauded High Line, which successfully converted urban blight into urban awesome. The hotspot experiment gives city-dwellers something they can’t get enough of — wireless connectivity — while making use of infrastructure that is, at this point, overly abundant. And, as a bonus: It takes pieces of sad, abandoned technology and gives them a shiny new chance at relevance.
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