How often have you had to encounter a dead smartphone in an emergency situation? All of us can remember at least one time when our smartphone ran out of power when we needed it the most, right? But this is going to be change very soon, at least for New Yorkers.
Okay now think solar! We say this because carrier AT&T has unveiled a pilot program that aims at providing free, solar mobile charging stations in five major areas in New York. The public will be able to charge their mobilephones and other battery powered equipments at these charging stations, for no cost whatsoever.
The pilot program comes about as a direct impact of Hurricane Sandy. During last fall, when Sandy swept through New York, cell phone network provider AT&T powered the city’s distribution centers with commercial generators. But it wasn’t enough and many people lost power for days and also lost communication to the outside world.
In order to eliminate such a situation in the future, AT&T has now teamed up with solar technology company Goal Zero to develop solar powered battery chargers for residents. Brooklyn based design firm Pensa has also participated in this initiative.
According to info we have stumbled upon, AT &T will implant at least 25 AT&T Street Charge solar mobile charging units across the New York city, by the end of summer. The project, named Street Charge, would power up any handheld device with a microUSB, USB, lightning port or a 30 pin connector.
The entire mobile charging stations feature advanced design and technology, so that it can charge any smartphone, tablet or mobile device out there.
The design would be such that solar panels are attached to the top of the charging station and will provide power during the day. And for the night, it includes built-in lithium batteries that run the stations at night, so that people around the city can enjoy their service, round-the-clock.
AT&T’s Street Charge project is expected to deploy about 25 charging units in five, high traffic areas, including Manhattan, Coney Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Riverside Park, by the end of this summer. You can search the full list of locations here. You may also find out via Twitter your closest location
Going by what Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg believes, the new AT &T service would definitely improve connectivity and access to wireless technology, which is an important part of our lives. And we like the solar angle to it too.
The carrier seems to think that solar mobile charging stations would be the next natural step towards providing innovative services to people to lead a more sustainable life. Aren’t you excited too?