If you're lucky, your smartphone's battery can just make it through a full day, with the percentage meter dropping to the single digits as you finally get a chance to plug in. With 10 hours out and about, some handsets can't even last through dinner, though, and out of reach power outlets make juicing up at the restaurant a tad inconvenient. Beginning this summer, public power will be much more accessible in New York City. AT&T is partnering with Goal Zero to deploy Street Charge stations in a handful of parks and other locations around NYC. They'll be coming to Fort Green Park on June 18th, and will roll out to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, Riverside Park, Rockaways, Summerstage in Central Park, Randall's Island, Governor's Island, Union Square, and Hudson River Park over the next few weeks. Each solar-powered pole, designed locally by Pensa, sports six USB connectors: for iPhones and iPads, there's 30-pin and Lightning plugs, Android and Windows Phone users can hook up to micro-USB, and everyone else can use their own cable with one of three female USB connectors.
There's three 15-watt solar panels and a 168 watt-hour battery, enabling each Street Charge to power up to six devices for several days without exposure to the sun. Sure, it's probably impractical to fill your gadget's cell completely, but if you have a few minutes to spare, you'll be able to juice up and go. You can plug in phones, tablets, cameras, or even a Pebble watch -- each cable can pump out up to two amps of 5V power, providing support for just about any USB-powered device. Each weatherproof unit will have AT&T branding, which seems reasonable, considering the carrier is footing the bill here. You should start seeing these pop up at several TBA locations in New York throughout the summer, with more stations to come if the trial's a success. Take a closer look in the hands-on video after the break.
Street Charge hands-on
GOAL ZERO TEAMS UP WITH AT&T AND PENSA TO DEVELOP AND DEPLOY PUBLIC SOLAR CHARGING STATIONS
NEW YORK CITY – June 18, 2013 – In a world where fast-paced seems to be the only pace, there's no time for dead cell phones. Solar power market leader GOAL ZERO is collaborating with AT&T and Brooklyn design studio PENSA, to offer an eco-friendly solution to New Yorkers facing the dead-battery dilemma – public solar powered charging stations known as Street Charge.
Street Charge features a modern design and is powered by the latest in solar panel and battery technology from Goal Zero. People will be able to conveniently charge their phones and hand-held devices using built-in USB ports and charging tips. Solar panels and lithium batteries are elegantly incorporated into each station to ensure that there is juice for people to power up – day or night.
"We're excited to team up with AT&T and Pensa to help make New York a little greener and solar power a little more accessible," said Joe Atkin, President and CEO of Goal Zero. "Nearly half of all Americans own a smartphone and the amount of time we spend on handheld devices has increased dramatically. All too often, we hear the dreaded low-battery beep and it happens at the most inconvenient times. Street Charge will fix that."
Pensa's prototype Street Charge was tested last summer in Brooklyn. Installed in a reclaimed public space in tech-savvy DUMBO, Street Charge gave people a perfect place to relax and recharge. Teaming up with Goal Zero, the market leader in portable solar solutions, was the logical next step to develop this concept further.
"Partnering up with Goal Zero is a great match for us," said Marco Perry, co-founder of Pensa. "We're looking to create something that complements its surroundings and invites people to hang out and recharge. We have also found that where people gather, opportunities develop for street vendors and retail, and neglected urban areas come alive."
Street Charge will be modular to meet the needs of architects, developers, and city planners seeking to offer amenities in commercial and public spaces. Besides providing power, Street Charge will have the potential for lighting, WIFI, and signage for ads and way finding.
Street Charge will make its debut on June 18th at Fort Green Park. AT&T will then deploy units around New York this summer in high foot traffic areas like Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, Riverside Park, Rockaways, Summerstage in Central Park, Randall's Island, Governor's Island, Union Square, and Hudson River Park.
About Goal Zero
Goal Zero is the industry leader for renewable and reliable solar power. Born out of the desire to empower people everywhere, Goal Zero's products are designed to give you the freedom to go anywhere, regardless of battery life. From cellphones to refrigerators, and everything in between, Goal Zero products keep you connected and powered up in any situation.
For more information, visit www.goalzero.com
Pensa is a strategic design consultancy with a track record of developing successful products, brands and strategies. They are hopelessly optimistic in the belief that the world can be continuously ￼improved through great design and a bit of clever invention.