While battery life of smartphones has certainly improved over the years, depending on use many New Yorkers struggle to keep their phones charged each day. In a smart piece in Fast Company, specifically its design section recently, an article shows the aesthetic development and transformation of the stations that the company Pensa is producing. The charging stations, called Street Charge, will begin being deployed this week through a partnership with AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and solar company Goal Zero. Twenty-five stations will find their way to electric “dead spots” throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan for the next three months. After their initial placement, each station will be moved twice before the three month run ends and their retirement begins.
Pensa Creating Pedestrian Phone Charging Stations
Pensa began its foray into Street Charge with a series of simple umbrellas that were attached to solar panels in order to collect user data such as how much power does the average user need, whether they usually have their own power cords (they don’t), and other information.
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After consulting with the city, they then learned that it would require a long round of negotiations to attach its solar panels to existing street signs and decided to go with self-sufficient poles filled with batteries that would allow users to get a quick solar charge while given a nice little resting spot for their phone and coffee.
Street Charge Making an ‘Organic’ NYC Design
With the understanding that each would be made self-sufficient, Pensa changed their single curved solar panel design to a three paneled array that provides both more solar surface and a more organic look, almost like a flower that can turn into a helicopter.
“We wanted something that looked like it fit naturally in those natural environments,” Perry says. “It’s a little bit organic, but it’s a little bit industrial. It kind of looks like a flower, but so little that it’s not kitschy. It’s more of an abstraction.”
While the design changes that are chronicled though the piece with a pictorial was a nice touch, I was quite surprised when the piece gave no mention of why Street Charge will be limited to a three month run in New York. However, if the New York experiment is successful, don’t be too surprised if you see them in a city near you soon.