Photo by Antoine Motte dit Falisse.
Leeds seems to be one of the first British towns to exchange the iconic red phone boxes for modern technology – recycled interactive kiosks with built in WiFi. The modern phone kiosks have a touch screen and allow users to leave video messages. They also allow multiple users to use free WiFi. In a decade when even most kids have mobile phones, free Internet access might come in handy rather than an old phone box where coins are required. Below is a short introduction to red phone boxes.
History Behind Red Phone Boxes
The red phone box (K1-K6) is often seen as an iconic symbol of Britain alongside Black Taxis, a cup of tea, James Bond and the Royal Family. The color red was chosen so they would be easy to spot even from a distance. The first models of red phone boxes were produced in the 1920’s and by 1980 over 73,000 red phone box kiosks were in existence throughout the United Kingdom.
British Telecom (BT), the successor to Post Office Telephones, began to replace many red phone boxes following the privatization of the company. Over 2,000 boxes were given a listed status, but most were sold off.
Old Red Phone Boxes VS New Interactive WiFi Kiosks
The recycled interactive kiosks in Leeds are built on the classic X6 phone boxes but with a twist. They are all blue instead of red. In one way, you could even call the recycled interactive kiosks green since they are all powered by solar energy. The innovative phone boxes will feature free WiFi. One of the main differences between the old phone boxes and new interactive kiosks is that you cannot actually go inside the boxes of the recycled kiosk version. They hold Aql’s network equipment (official site), allowing users to make phone calls via touch screen displays on the outside. The interactive screens allow users to leave video blogs, messages and share recent memories about the area where each box is located.
Are you looking for a new or recycled interactive kiosk? Contact Slabb, Inc. today and our dedicated consultants at +1 702 208 9212 (US customers), +44 1223 92 6035 (UK customers), +31 70 250 0155 (European customers) or +61 438 005 253 (Asian and Australian customers).