AT&T Street Charge is a pilot program in New York City to bring solar mobile charging stations to parks, beaches and other outdoor venues. It was motivated after phones went dead during Hurricane Sandy.
Each solar-powered pole 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 a USB connector.
The Street Charge concept was born in the Brooklyn offices of design firm Pensa, back in early 2012. Here’s the inside story of Street Charge from Mark Prommel, Pensa Partner and Design Director.
Goal Zero’s three, 15-watt photovoltaic panels charge a 168 watt-hour AGM Lead Acid battery in about four hours. It can power up to six devices for several days without exposure to the sun.
USB 3.0 raised the charging ceiling from 500 milliamps to 900 ma, but a new version of the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm would enable charges up to 75 percent faster. Each device would get only as much juice as it can handle.
Or you could skip the USB charging entirely. What’s wrong with a solar powered camera and free WiFi hotspot?
You can broadcast live video over sensr.net using a D-Link DCS-930 WiFi netcam ($60) which only needs 5 Volts at 1000mA. A rechargeable powerpack like the Energizer XP18000 ($179) could also power a mobile wireless router. Done.