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October 2, 2023
Italian incumbent TIM has introduced some new digital booths with touch screens providing access digital services, content, and public services.
The ‘Smart Stations’ were created in association with Urban Vision and previewed at Italian Tech Week. They are designed to provide such things as infotainment, smartphone charging, digital payments, ticketing, free fixed and mobile national calls, and video surveillance functions are supposed to provide a ‘safety facility in potentially risky situations.’
It comes with a ‘Women+’ button which provides real time access to a support service manned by an operator. ‘This function has social value providing the community with a tool to combat violence against women or petty crime,’ says the release.
The booths are also equipped with sensor-activated applications designed so that people with motor disabilities, linguistic or visual barriers can use them as well.
“Innovation is the key to offering more efficient solutions and bringing real benefits to the community,” said TIM’s CEO Pietro Labriola. “With this project we have transformed the traditional phone booth created in the 1950s into a new generation multi-service facility that will help make our cities more sustainable. We have thus seized the opportunity to give part of our heritage, made obsolete by our new habits, a new lease of life, making it evolve and become an important safety device for women in dangerous situations. Phone booths will therefore be transformed into a tool for citizens to use, confirming our commitment to gender and social inclusion in the smart city era”.
Gianluca De Marchi, CEO of Urban Vision added: “We are truly proud to be TIM’s partner in this great project. In developing the new TIM digital booth, we were guided by the principles that have always defined our relationship with the city: to create value for the community in terms of public use, innovation and safety, through technologically advanced solutions fully integrated with the urban fabric.”
The project will launch in Milan, where approximately 450 stations will be ‘gradually’ installed. Around 2,500 digital booths then be rolled out across 13 other Italian cities. It all sounds quite similar to BT’s Street Hubs, though perhaps a little more ambitious in scope.
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