The company iUrban is the promoter of this pilot project, which in its early days of operation is already forming queues.
Phone booths have become fossils of our times as now mobiles rule the world. These cabins, of which there are many across our cities, lack purpose today, except for advertising. The company iUrban has discovered a new use for them: charge mobile phones for free whilst obtaining tourist, commercial, cultural and gastronomic information on an interactive screen. Three cabins located in the historic centre of Malaga have been converted for this use thanks to a pilot project collaborating with Telefonica and the City Hall. In the early days of operation it has already registered a thousand users and at certain times there have been queues, as highlighted by the Mayor, Francisco de la Torre, in presenting the initiative, christening the project as iCharge 3.0.
The ‘neocabinas’ are located on the streets: Molina Lario and Plaza de la Marina and Plaza de Felix Saenz. Sites have been chosen which have a sizeable movement of people, and particularly tourists, since this is one of the groups to which the initiative is directed. In fact, in addition to tourist information, the devices offer the possibility of taking ‘selfis’ with a landmark of the city in the background.
The extension of these charging points to other parts of the city and even in other municipalities will depend on their success, as stated by the territorial director of , Maria Jesus Almazor.
Users can charge their mobile for as long as they wish, although the average time is five to seven minutes, during which “these people can discover the city ‘explained by the chief executive of iUrban Andres Martinez. The company, whose founders are from Murcia, is housed in the promotor of ‘startups’ La Farola, managed by Telefonica in municipal offices of Tabacalera. If the project passes the pilot phase, then the idea is that profits will come from advertising of shops and restaurants in the area, especially small businesses that do not have web pages.
From the cabins you can access related information such as the processions of Holy Week in Malaga, news and events, attractions and shops nearby. Their chargers allow you to connect any type of ‘smartphone’.
With this initiative, the City “continues to work to make Malaga a smart city and to reuse street furniture for the benefit of tourists and to publicise the city’s attractive content,” said the councilman.
The delegate of the Andalusian Government, José Luis Ruiz Espejo, stressed the positive aspects of “the practical and palpable initiatives launched by La Farola.” He also stressed the pioneering nature of this project, since “to reconvert the older technology into new technologies and deliver new applications can be very useful”.
Meanwhile, Almazor welcomes the fact that any of the projects of La Farola “are turning ideas into real initiatives and generating employment and entrepreneurship.”