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Solar charging stations with Apple Lightning & 30-pin connectors come to New York

post #1 of 47
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iPhone, iPad and iPod users on the go can now receive a free boost at a handful of new public solar charging stations in New York City, with more set to appear across the city over the coming days and weeks.

Charge


Goal Zero, AT&T and Pensa collaborated on the new Street Charge stations, which feature three 15-watt solar panels. Each pole has six USB connectors, including 30-pin and Lightning plugs for Apple devices.

The charging stations also include a micro-USB plug for non-Apple devices, as well as three female USB plugs for users who may have a charging cable on them.

As of Tuesday, the first official charging stations are now live at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1, Fort Greene Park, Governor's Island, and Riverside Park Pier 1, according to AT&T. Another station is scheduled to open Wednesday at Union Square.

AT&T has said that it will deploy about 25 Street Charge stations by the end of the summer, serving all five of New York City's boroughs. And the inclusion of a 168 watt-hour battery will also allow users to charge their devices even after sundown.



The program grew out of the Superstorm Sandy disaster, when AT&T found that citizens were flocking to its generator-powered distribution centers to charge their phones. That led AT&T to partner with Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to develop what it's pitched as a "sustainable charging solution."

"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."

Goal Zero has said its Street Charge stations will be modular to meet specific needs. For example, the stations can be modified to add solar-powered lighting, Wi-Fi, and signage for advertisements.

Charge


The stations will come to other heavily trafficked areas of the city this summer, including Coney Island, Rockaways, Summerstage in Central Park, Randall's Island, and Hudson River Park.

"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."
post #2 of 47
So I just stand there while my phone charges? or do I walk away enjoy my day and comeback and prey its charged. For disasters I see the use. For a normal day its useless.
post #3 of 47
Given all the press "Apple Picking" has gotten in the Big Apple I have to wonder about this outside of areas where there are cops standing right next to the stations (as would be the case in Bryant Park).

ETA: Have to agree with above: benches or some other user freindly arrangement would be better.
Edited by jfc1138 - 6/18/13 at 10:39am
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

Given all the press "Apple Picking" has gotten in the Big Apple I have to wonder about this outside of areas where there are cops standing right next to the stations (as would be the case in Bryant Park).

 

yep...looks like a crime waiting to happen huh?

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post #5 of 47
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Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

 

yep...looks like a crime waiting to happen huh?

Agreed.

 

I'm all for innovative solutions, but I don't see how this is a solution to anything.

post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

So I just stand there while my phone charges? or do I walk away enjoy my day and comeback and prey its charged. For disasters I see the use. For a normal day its useless.

Yes, but if your phone is dead, you might appreciate this. 5 minutes or so should be enough to make a couple of quick calls. It wouldn't make much sense to try to fully charge it, though.

Of course, it's more of a PR gimmick than anything.
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post #7 of 47
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Yes, but if your phone is dead, you might appreciate this. 5 minutes or so should be enough to make a couple of quick calls. It wouldn't make much sense to try to fully charge it, though.

Of course, it's more of a PR gimmick than anything.

 

Great point about the 5 minute recharge....but at the same time it shines a spotlight for a potential thief and paints a target on your back when you walk away....

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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yes, but if your phone is dead, you might appreciate this. 5 minutes or so should be enough to make a couple of quick calls. It wouldn't make much sense to try to fully charge it, though.

Of course, it's more of a PR gimmick than anything.

If the amperage is at the highest the device can handle one can get a decent charge in 20-30 minutes. Standing around NYC for half hour isn't a bad thing you might even see a supermodel or two.
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post #9 of 47
It's a nice emergency option--and not much more of a target than simply talking on your phone or checking the weather. Be careful! Hopefully the police will be known to keep an eye on these areas.

Rain could be awkward....
post #10 of 47
I thought the mayor wanted to ban iOS devices in New York?
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

So I just stand there while my phone charges? or do I walk away enjoy my day and comeback and prey its charged. For disasters I see the use. For a normal day its useless.

So I guess you never run low on battery. Sometimes you need a quick charge to make it home.

As for crime, they aren't in remote areas. I suspect it's no different than playing with your phone on a bench.
post #12 of 47
Convenient for last minute situations, however efficient when you want to stand under a pole for 30 minutes, otherwise low security and few uses alternatives are inportant
post #13 of 47
FREE! Just let us download all your data! FREE!

Any idea how you make a data diode for a lightning port?
post #14 of 47
The problem is that some stupid street thugs will come along and destroy them just like they vandalize other property.
post #15 of 47

Twenty-five charging stations and what, six outlets? In a city of over 8 million residents and millions more tourists? Yeah, that'll do it. Meanwhile, I'll pull up a folding chair, grab a bag of popcorn, and watch the mayhem ensue. I can seriously see the fights breaking out while disgruntled residents wait for a gaggle of tweens get full charges on their iPhones. 

 

Seriously, I'm still surprised that there hasn't been a commercial service where street vendors hooked up to power provide juice and cables to charge electronic devices for a fee. It could be more secure, folks could walk away and return after a while, and many will pay through the nose to get back to their Instagram-ing and Vine-ing.

 

Another option is kiosks where small devices can be individually secured and retrieved after charging. For example, a credit card or PIN could be used to authenticate the individual docking and retrieving the device. Security cameras could blanket the area. If $1,000 public, shared "Citibikes" can be secured on the streets of Manhattan, why not phones? 

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post #16 of 47
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Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I thought the mayor wanted to ban iOS devices in New York?

Huh?

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post #17 of 47
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The problem is that some stupid street thugs will come along and destroy them just like they vandalize other property.

Vandals and the stuff they leave behind is what I'd be worried about. You'd want to put on a pair of rubber gloves before handling....

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

Twenty-five charging stations and what, six outlets? In a city of over 8 million residents and millions more tourists? Yeah, that'll do it. Meanwhile, I'll pull up a folding chair, grab a bag of popcorn, and watch the mayhem ensue. I can seriously see the fights breaking out while disgruntled residents wait for a gaggle of tweens get full charges on their iPhones. 

Seriously, I'm still surprised that there hasn't been a commercial service where street vendors hooked up to power provide juice and cables to charge electronic devices for a fee. It could be more secure, folks could walk away and return after a while, and many will pay through the nose to get back to their Instagram-ing and Vine-ing.

Another option is kiosks where small devices can be individually secured and retrieved after charging. For example, a credit card or PIN could be used to authenticate the individual docking and retrieving the device. Security cameras could blanket the area. If $1,000 public, shared "Citibikes" can be secured on the streets of Manhattan, why not phones? 

Most people won't need it. Not sure what you want, 8MM charging stations?

No one will try to break into those "secure" kiosks for phones. /s

If I'm charging my phone in public, it is not leaving my personal space.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post
.....

If I'm charging my phone in public, it is not leaving my personal space.

Pretty much this: as at airports and whatever where every wall outlet has a person or two sitting next to them while they grab a charge. I've done that myself at PENN station just in case I didn't get a seat next to the window (and the outlets) on the train.

 

ETA: Oh and as to the "small" rollout? That's a far smarter sequencing than dropping a few thousand on the city and THEN discovering the real world problems with the design.  This way they get to do an edit once the real world usage experience has had it's way with them.


Edited by jfc1138 - 6/18/13 at 12:49pm
post #20 of 47
This won't end well....
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post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Most people won't need it. Not sure what you want, 8MM charging stations?

No one will try to break into those "secure" kiosks for phones. /s

If I'm charging my phone in public, it is not leaving my personal space.

I get your point, but I live in Manhattan and often carry my iPhone charger in my pocket when i don;t have a briefcase with me. I would definitely use one.

 

Also, I did mention that a good option would be an attended vendor, much like the newspaper and candy vendors on the sidewalks and in the subway stations; and the person using a "secured" kiosk won't be required to leave the area, but they could. 

 

Even if most people won't need it, in a city of over 8 million people (very many of whom carry small devices) a million or two in Midtown, downtown or Times Square is a pretty decent market.

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post #22 of 47
LOL! The mayor of New York complains about Apple's devices causing crime to go up and then does something stupid like this! What a hypocrite.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

yep...looks like a crime waiting to happen huh?

Without a doubt.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Without a doubt.

Well it does depend on where they site them. There's many locations around NYC with an essentially constant police presence.

post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

LOL! The mayor of New York complains about Apple's devices causing crime to go up and then does something stupid like this! What a hypocrite. 

LOL! Bloomberg isn't the mayor of AT&T, Goal-Zero or Pensa, who are the ones who "did this". Gotta free from that socialist mindset that everything is done by the government.....1wink.gif

post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

If the amperage is at the highest the device can handle one can get a decent charge in 20-30 minutes. Standing around NYC for half hour isn't a bad thing you might even see a supermodel or two.

If there is an example of hell on earth it would be NYC.

As for standing around I'm sure that is exactly what people want to do while their phone charges. The whole concept is not bad, that is public recharging stations and even solar powered has its merits. It is the implementation that sucks.

Beyond that what is with the 15 watt solar panel. 15 watts is likely under optimal conditions so it would be easy for modest use to keep the battery in the machine from charging at all. So if the station is there to help support cell phone users during disasters most likely it will lead to frustration and confrontation as it would never keep up with demand. If this is to be a solution to emergencies it really needs a surplus of power under less than optimal conditions.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Great point about the 5 minute recharge....but at the same time it shines a spotlight for a potential thief and paints a target on your back when you walk away....
No more than walking down the street using your phone. And my phone does pretty well with a 10 min charge, so in an emergency, great.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

Well it does depend on where they site them. There's many locations around NYC with an essentially constant police presence.

You do realize that in vast portions of the USA there is no police presence and no crime. The fact that there is constant police presence indicates that you are in a high crime area and are at risk. Worst yet if there is a crime and you report it there is almost zero chance of real punishment taking place due to the corruption in NYC. Think about it a bit, when was the last time someone was executed for a crime in NYC? What is even worst NYC is so perverse that if you try to defend yourself during the commission of a crime they try to turn you into the criminal.

In any event we can probably debate this forever but is you think a police presence makes you safe you really ought to ask why those police have to be there in the first place. Compared with millions of other places in the USA NYC is nothing more than a hell hole.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


You do realize that in vast portions of the USA ....

I also realize there's no cell service in large portions of North America. While, even absent Google balloons, Bryant Park has free WiFi! http://bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/wireless.html

 

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Edited by jfc1138 - 6/18/13 at 1:34pm
post #30 of 47

I think it is pretty good. They give you a little workspace table. If your phone is getting low you can plug in and still work, call people, etc. It probably doesn't have a cord but you can use the speaker phone. An iPhone can pick up a pretty decent charge in just a few minutes. Standing is good for you anyway. I have a friend who has a standing height desk in his office.

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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You do realize that in vast portions of the USA there is no police presence and no crime. The fact that there is constant police presence indicates that you are in a high crime area and are at risk. Worst yet if there is a crime and you report it there is almost zero chance of real punishment taking place due to the corruption in NYC. Think about it a bit, when was the last time someone was executed for a crime in NYC? What is even worst NYC is so perverse that if you try to defend yourself during the commission of a crime they try to turn you into the criminal.

In any event we can probably debate this forever but is you think a police presence makes you safe you really ought to ask why those police have to be there in the first place. Compared with millions of other places in the USA NYC is nothing more than a hell hole.

Wow. There are criminals in every large city, anywhere in the world. I like New Yorkers. They are pretty good people, The criminals that would rob your iPhone are not real New Yorkers, they are just criminals.

 

You want to see some dangerous cities, try any of the larger Latin American cities. Forty of the top fifty most dangerous cities in the world are in Latin America. You'd get robbed and murdered faster on the desolate north shore of Costa Rica than just about any city in the world. I don't know why you are picking on NYC.

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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You do realize that in vast portions of the USA there is no police presence and no crime. The fact that there is constant police presence indicates that you are in a high crime area and are at risk. Worst yet if there is a crime and you report it there is almost zero chance of real punishment taking place due to the corruption in NYC. Think about it a bit, when was the last time someone was executed for a crime in NYC? What is even worst NYC is so perverse that if you try to defend yourself during the commission of a crime they try to turn you into the criminal.

In any event we can probably debate this forever but is you think a police presence makes you safe you really ought to ask why those police have to be there in the first place. Compared with millions of other places in the USA NYC is nothing more than a hell hole.

Have you ever been to NYC?
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post #33 of 47

The solar panels should be bigger and create a rain umbrella over the charging tables. With the extra power a meak wifi hotspot can be added so while people are waiting around for their phones to charge they can check their email etc. A video camera above to record thefts might also be a good idea.

post #34 of 47
I suppose this is where Fandroids hangs out, eh ?
post #35 of 47
So basically you stand there for hours while your device charges. You can't leave, because it'll obviously be stolen. You can't go there without a gun, because you'll get mugged standing there in the first place. You can't use it in any sort of weather whatsoever, because you're outside and it's unprotected and the device will be destroyed. And after the first rain, the entire station will be destroyed because the plugs will be ruined. Anyone trying to use a rusty plug will damage their device physically and electrically.

What in the name of frick is the point of these things?!

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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So basically you stand there for hours while your device charges. You can't leave, because it'll obviously be stolen. You can't go there without a gun, because you'll get mugged standing there in the first place. You can't use it in any sort of weather whatsoever, because you're outside and it's unprotected and the device will be destroyed. And after the first rain, the entire station will be destroyed because the plugs will be ruined. Anyone trying to use a rusty plug will damage their device physically and electrically.

What in the name of frick is the point of these things?!

Maybe he invented a mirror before but didn't like the way it looked ¿
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So basically you stand there for hours while your device charges. You can't leave, because it'll obviously be stolen. You can't go there without a gun, because you'll get mugged standing there in the first place. You can't use it in any sort of weather whatsoever, because you're outside and it's unprotected and the device will be destroyed. And after the first rain, the entire station will be destroyed because the plugs will be ruined. Anyone trying to use a rusty plug will damage their device physically and electrically.

What in the name of frick is the point of these things?!

To assume AT&T hasn't thought of these things is ... well, characteristic.

 

Why would you stand for hours? What kind of person needs to go from 0% to 100% before moving on with his or her day?  I commonly charge my iPod for 5 or 10 minutes when I'm getting low and it adds plenty of juice, especially if I needed say, to use my GPS or something while running low on battery.

 

What we really need is grapheme transistors that can charge almost instantly - then these things will be mint

post #38 of 47
Between vandalism, cloudy days, and that battery fading away after a couple of years, this idea makes little sense to anyone who's not a politician posturing as a green.

Much better would be more AC outlets in parks and public areas. Limit them with a 5-amp breaker is electricity costs are an issue. They'd be far more reliable and much cheaper to maintain than this solar silliness. You could also use them with laptops and to fast-charge a tablet.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Between vandalism, cloudy days, and that battery fading away after a couple of years, this idea makes little sense to anyone who's not a politician posturing as a green.

Much better would be more AC outlets in parks and public areas. Limit them with a 5-amp breaker is electricity costs are an issue. They'd be far more reliable and much cheaper to maintain than this solar silliness. You could also use them with laptops and to fast-charge a tablet.

How often do you carry your charger? These are meant for quick 5-10 min charging not 0 to 100% charging.
post #40 of 47
I just came up with the idea earlier that AT&T providing its wifi at these would be another convenience.
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