Phone battery dead (again)? Need a quick 10% (or more) to send those texts/read those emails/browse those tumblrs? This summer, if you’re in one of a dozen NYC parks located in all five boroughs, the excellent new Street Charge stations have got you covered. Street Charge is a marketing program which we all can get behind: basically, the telecommunications giant, partnered with Goal Zero, has installed some 25 ingeniously designed solar powered charging stations in public parks and plazas all over town. And they’re all totally free! Just plug in your phone or tablet and watch that green bar grow.
AT&T and Goal Zero’s Street Charge stations were designed and engineered by the Brooklyn-based firm Pensa, and they are so sleek and visually integrated within their environment that, unless you were looking, you might not even notice they were there. Each vaguely treeish-looking station comes with three small platforms and six USB connectors. For iProducts (-Phones and -Pads), there are 30-pin and Lightning plugs; for Android and Windows Phone devices you can hook up to one of the micro-USB plugs. Everyone else can use their own cable with one of three female USB connectors at the Street Charge poles.
Street Charge stations are currently soaking up the sun in Brooklyn Bridge Park (where these photos were taken), Riverside Park, Union Square, Governors Island, Coney Island, the Staten island Zoo, Socrates Sculpture Park, Rockaway Beach and Randall’s Island Park. And even if we’re hit with a few sunless days in a row, Pensa’s Street Charge poles have enough stored juice to keep on charging, even in the rain… though I’m not sure why you’d be in the park charging your phone in the rain, but still: good to know! They’re easy to use, they work like a charm (at least the one I tried), and because the program doesn’t seem to be common knowledge just yet, there’s no waiting for a plug. So, thanks AT&T, Ground Zero, and Pensa.
For more information about the Street Charge and a map with all the station locations, see here.