Smartphone owners in London can now charge their devices on the go, after a pair of entrepreneurs launched a project to install power points in a number of the city’s disused phone boxes.
In total, seven boxes will be converted – the first of which was unveiled on Tottenham Court Road earlier this week. As well as having the necessary charging hardware set up inside, they will all be painted green to help members of the public distinguish them from standard phone boxes.
The scheme is the idea of London School of Economics graduates Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenney, who were victorious at this year’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition. They decided on the name ‘Solarbox’, and plan to replace the traditional ‘Telephone’ signage with new branding.
[themecolor]All charging services will be free[/themecolor]
With power generated via roof-mounted solar panels, all charging services will be free, although users will be required to watch adverts while they wait. The facilities will accommodate a wide range of device-types by offering various cables.
While there have been concerns over whether the new hubs would fall victim to vandals, they will be maintained daily and locked overnight. The internal advertising screens will also be made from reinforced glass.
The initiative has already received the backing of London mayor Boris Johnson, who was quoted as saying: “It’s fantastic to see our young entrepreneurs already up and running with this brilliant idea.
“In our modern world, where hardly any Londoner is complete without a raft of personal electronic gizmos in hand, it’s about time our iconic phone boxes were updated for the 21st Century, to be more useful, more sustainable, and just as striking with a marvellous new green makeover.”
While the facilities are only available on Tottenham Court Road at present, plans are in place to continue with six further conversions in 2015.