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.
Gallery: Street Charge hands-on
Filed under: Household, AT&T