AT&T unleashes solar-powered phone chargers into New York parks

By on June 18, 2013, 1:30 PM
smartphone, att, battery, new york, solar power, charging

Mobile users know the feeling all too well; the desperation that accompanies the last few minutes of a fleeting charge on their smartphone. With capabilities such as music, games, and internet browsing all stemming from a single handheld device, battery life can go from full to nada in just a few hours.

To combat this pesky problem, AT&T is unveiling free phone charging stations in a multitude of New York parks. Each station will contain a microUSB port, as well as iPhone 4 and iPhone 5-compatible plug-ins. USB ports that support several other smartphone manufacturers and models will also make an appearance.

Neil Giacobbi, who helps with AT&T programs for the New York region, added, "We realized charging was the missing ingredient during the day."

According to Cnet, AT&T has decided to go the eco-friendly route, harnessing the sun’s energy to power each of the stations. An extensive battery system means that once fully charged, the unit can support continuous phone charging for up to four days. To complete the project, AT&T worked alongside Pensa to design the tall structure, and Goal Zero to supply the necessary solar technology. Each station stands 10 feet tall, with three long solar panels extending out from its top, closely resembling the branches on a tree.

Not only does a solar-powered system offers numerous environmental advantages, but it also allows AT&T to quickly pick-up and move each station. Without any external wires getting in the way, the company intends to test the charging units in a variety of different locations.

Currently, 25 AT&T stations have setup shop in the New York area. Following a one year trial of the program, the company will revaluate the situation and then decide whether a system expansion is necessary. The long-term plan is to eventually bring this initiative to other major cities.

User Comments: 9

Got something to say? Post a comment
2 people like this | psycros psycros said:

I give it 10 days tops until one of these is stolen.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I give it 10 days tops until one of these is stolen.

WOW, a whole ten days! lol

Cool idea though, if they can keep them in service.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

How exciting. Now you can spend the whole day in the park, in the rain & snow watching your phones battery charge. Not to mention coming to blows with some thief who wants to make off with your phone.

P.S. Apple users probably won't have to deal with the ramifications of my last comment.

Guest said:

Vandalism.. an easy way to steal phones.. *clapping away like a monkey with cymbals*

Ean Mogg said:

I just don't understand phone companys ,,don't they realize the whole back of the phone is unused,,, Put A Solar Panel There On The Back ffs..

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Man stuff gets dumber everyday

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For the record, I don't think it's a dumb idea. The stations can be used for charging more than just cell phones. If the stations had been put in low traffic areas, then may be that would be a different story. They were put in high traffic areas, and I'm willing to bet they are under surveillance.

Guest said:

Hey one questions is there a sun in NY outside of summer time ?

Guest said:

Yes! Now I can sit in the park and use my phone drinking a my Big Gulp Sod--Ah never mind. Its New York.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.