I must admit that I felt tempted to talk about the cell phones. This constant image in the subway (and all over the streets) is just so impressive. It´s interesting that each person is doing a different thing with the phone, some are chatting, others playing games, listening music, reading, talking, paying bills, etc. Cell phones are a huge field of observation.
But my observation this week was about the interactive machine that is in some Metro Stations around NY. And my first reflexion is about the “some”. ¿Why is this machine just in few subways in the city?. Is it a luxury ? Why some stations have it and others not? How is it decided where are them? Was it created to give information or for advertising?.
This machine covers that 2 funtions. Inform very accurately about the state of the different metro lines in present time, it’s connections, changes, timing, etc. It also cover the buses, that is something very sub informed in this city. And it´s plenty of advertising.
I will think in two different users. The New Yorkers & the foreign (or more lost New Yorkers). For the people that uses the subway often and knows it, they use this machine just to know in how many minutes is their train coming. After asking this all the ones I observed watch their watches. So maybe the machine could have one itself.
For the turists or for people that need more info about how to transfer from one train to another, or to buses, this machine is great help. But it´s not connected to a system of information through the city. It´s a single machine that is in some places. Maybe it is a pilot. But the city really need to give more information to the users about the connection between subway and buses.
I hope that this machines, or others like this, would be integrated to a hole system of information that offers info about both subway and buses, and helps to know how to move through the city, connections, timings and so on. Now that info is kind of a luxury in this city.