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AT&T Setting Up Solar Powered Charging Stations Throughout NYC

Street Charge

New Yorkers, it’s time to pay attention. Today, AT&T announced a new pilot program that is set to begin in New York City called, Street Charge. Throughout the city, primarily in parks and other friendly places, solar-powered charging stations can be found for mobile phone users who are in need of some juice.┬áThe idea is to help those in need with a renewable and innovative solution, as well as to allow people to connect through a common frustration.

More info on the program can be found in the video below. On a personal note, this just seems like a dangerous idea. Be aware of your surroundings, folks.

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  • sski66

    Free charging stations, great idea, & all u non tri-state area people, relax, it isn’t the 70’s & 80’s anymore in NYC. Plus the men in Blue will be around, especially in Parks.

  • Qbancelli

    I really, really need this in Coney Island this summer.

    Sick and tired of leaving the beach and going to Macdonalds to charge my phone.

  • Bob G

    Good Guy AT&T helping low batteries out.

  • 18footJ

    Chatting with strangers while keeping your eye on your phone, hoping they won’t steal it.

    Could get a little awkward.

  • flosserelli

    /smh

    This is as brilliant as putting out free kids candy in a neighborhood filled with pedophiles.

  • onDroid

    I see this being the most useful when you need to make a call or send an email with a dead, or close to dead, battery. I’m not going to stand there and wait for my phone to charge but I would find it extremely useful if I had an urgent phone call and I wasn’t sure my phone would make it long enough. These may end up being hard to hold a conversation around with too many people huddled in one place trying to make a call. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

  • chris420o

    dunno why everyone being so critical…u must be non newyorkers who think its nothing but crime…u ever been to an airport? there charge stations like this all over terminals right now and they are nothing but a good thing…whats dif about being outside? why because someoen can run further with ur phone if they wanna grab it….it still confuses me why people would bother stealing phones now adays not like the nextel days where u could just steal and swap sim cards and bam new phone

    • Ian

      ” u could just steal and swap sim cards and bam new phone” …it’s exactly like that

      Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see this work. More charging options the better, and while we are at it, lets improve battery tech so maybe charging isn’t as important.

      • Geoff Johnson

        The IMEI can be blacklisted

        • Ian

          Yep, assuming you are on a carrier that supports it. There are carriers where they don’t check IMEIs coming onto their network.

    • NexusMan

      I am a New Yorker and think it’s a great idea for a pilot program, for use in cases of emergencies (it was born out of one such case: Hurricane Sandy.) However, you can’t possibly equate the level of security in an airport to the level of security at these stations in the middle of a city park. I would only use it with both eyes (and hands) glued to my phone.

  • Warwick

    Wow, enjoy the outdoors why wont you.

  • Trueblue711

    …or we could just find a better solution to mobile power than lithium ion batteries.

    • j__h

      I would be happy with larger lithium ion batteries. Batteries do not progress the same as silicon.

      • Trueblue711

        The RAZR MAXX is a good example of how larger capacity batteries can be used while still having a slim design, but OEM’s aren’t using them (probably because of cost).

        Also, I’ve seen a couple of videos from researchers demonstrating new battery technology that looks amazing. But it’s only from research labs and I see nothing about Sony/Samsung/etc. investing or researching in new battery tech for their own. Looks like we’ll have to wait for Apple to do something about it before it becomes important to everyone :-

  • John Jenness

    I know there has been discussions about hiring the homeless to be wifi-hotspots, couldn’t we do this too?

    • onDroid

      Why wouldn’t the homeless people just sell the hardware for parts and buy some booze?

      • John Jenness

        They probably would…but if you paid them they would be selling their only means of income. Just because they are homeless doesn’t mean they are crazy.

        • NexusMan

          Or alchoholics

        • eli

          actually, in most cases it does….lol

      • michael arazan

        The homeless would beg for money while you charge, and if you are broke you still get to feel guilty for not having anything to give. which would deter people from using it.

        I hope ATT puts up some signal booster along with the charging stations, a charging station with full signal, download fast while charging

  • awt

    USB hand warmers for the homeless people?

  • Ja

    that looks like a good way to get mugged

  • Ray Gray

    you have to stand there and watch your phone so how long are people willing to do that….maybe 5 min.

  • jnt

    This will be beneficial in a few extremely niche situations and that’s it. It will never have mass appeal – but maybe that’s not the goal.

  • Tony Byatt

    Hoping for the best but expecting the worst from this…

  • RoadsterHD1

    Does this charge all phones from all carriers where the plug in is mini usb?

    • MikeCiggy

      Looks like it also has USB ports for a BYOC(bring your own cord) type deal also.

      • http://BGR.COM/ riggs

        if its BYOC then it changes my opinion on it. It could possibly work out better.

    • NexusMan

      Each station features a microUSB, iPhone 4, and iPhone 5 plugs, as well as USB ports for other devices.

  • Ian

    Seeing as how mobile device thefts are on the rise I can see these stations becoming hot beds for unsavory characters.

    • tomn1ce

      These will become the shopping centers for thieves…

      • Ian

        Must be why the police are pushing phone OEMs to develop the “kill-switch” solution :)

        • tomn1ce

          Well New York is one of the cities pushing for the “kill switch” to be implemented on phones…..

  • Zurvann

    I don’t even know why people leave the house now. Strangers are dangerous and only want to steal from you. The TV told me so.

    • Publienew1964

      These will become the shopping
      centers for thieves…They won’t need to guess where to go to rob
      someone, they will just go to one of these charging station and rob
      someone’s device….Unless who ever came up with this great idea is
      expecting to have some police presence on or near these things.­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

  • http://BGR.COM/ riggs

    I only charge my phone using OEM chords, also they should of made the charging stations wireless. I can see a lot of ppl mistreating and abusing the connectors. Plus it would boost certain phone sales/ phones that had wireless charging capabilities. Imagine being able to actually sit on a park bench that has wireless charging set up and being able to sit the phone down right by your lap/ and it charging. With the other approach I got to stand there for however long I can withstand standing in one spot, 10 minutes max and assume that 10 minutes of charge will last me the rest of the day on a dead battery.

    • Ian

      What!?! Wireless charging takes a lot more power to charge a lot slower. Not a great idea for solar powered stations. Also, 10 mins for the rest of the day? I think these are more a spur of the moment / in a pinch kind of solutions.

      • http://BGR.COM/ riggs

        you’re missing the point. If i was sitting down on a park bench I would be able to sit there longer then just standing. I can charge my phone as a add on to what im doing at the moment/ just by setting it down. And you are wrong that it takes more to charge through wireless charging. Also in a “pinch” you know just preteens will be surrounding this thing making it their primary source of charge. Taking away any hope of some adult that actually needs to use it, because more than likely they have a car charger and it being the park their not gonna be there all day, unlike kids and teens. If it was important.

        • dadllum

          Its NYC, good luck with a car charger. Who’s driving? By allowing you to sit, you MIGHT ACTUALLY sit there all day and make it your primary charger. By forcing you to stand, you get in, get some juice, and move along for another person to charge up. Seriously, bitching about a free, public solar charging station.

        • Ian

          Stick some solar panels on a park bench then.

          Wireless charging 101:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging

          Disadvantages:
          Lower efficiency
          More costly
          Slower charging

  • Owen Harvey

    Until the people you meet steal your phone.

    • Kristopher Hamblin

      why would you let the phone out of your site?

      • Ian

        Its not that the phone would be out if your sight, it’s that some people may have a knife, gun, or just be bigger than you and forcefully take it…

        • onDroid

          But they will be in very public places. If someone is going to steal a phone at one of these places it will be discretely. They most likely won’t whip out a gun in the middle of the park. Especially no for a phone that can be easily tracked or disabled. Of course there are edge cases with the crazy people but the majority of thefts are done without a confrontation.

        • Kristopher Hamblin

          if they are going to bust out a gun or a knife to take your phone then they can have it….i dont think stolen phones will be as big of an issue as say maybe vandalism at a place like this…