Rollout Starts For LinkNYC Info-stations & Hotspots

December 30, 2015 by Dave Haynes


So how many techs does it take to plant a ruggedized touchscreen on a New York sidewalk?

Many many, by the looks of it.

The group behind those LinkNYC information stations/free WiFi hotspots/ad totems slated for NYC’s boroughs started installing the first ones this week, and photos have been posted by Civiq Smartscapes, and also by the tech blog The Verge. Ultimately, the network could have as many as 7,500 units – each replacing an old phone booth with a combination smartphone charging station, interactive information screen, hotspot and two-sided media vehicle.


One was spotted going up outside a Starbucks near Union Square, and the photos captured a pile of people watching the install. There are many stakeholders in the project, which explains the crowd, as well as the complexities of putting a very expensive and less than bulletproof mix of electronics on a Manhattan sidewalk.

The photos suggest there is a lot of engineering inside those totems, as these things are a lot more than “dumb” street furniture displays cycling through a short rotation of ad spots. It will be fascinating to see how these units handle life in the big city, particularly as the units get away from high-rent Union Square and into less ritzy parts of the five boroughs.

Leave a comment