Mayor Bloomberg is putting his signature under a lot of ideas that improve the life standards of New Yorkers, whether they like it or not. The latest idea will probably get more positive feedback than negative.

Throughout New York, people started to notice palm tree shaped mobile charging stations. These are free and, most importantly, solar powered charging stations. The project is called “Street Charge”, though AT&T calls it “AT&T Street Charge”, and it involves 25 charging stations, some of which are already deployed at Riverside Park and Union Square. The rest will be deployed in a couple of months.

Like 80% of the solar panel deployments in US, these charging stations also use Crystalline Silicone solar cells. With large built in batteries, the stations are to serve the New Yorkers day & night.

Apparently installation of a charging station requires at least 3 people, as seen in the picture below.

Solar Energy

The end result is a fancy looking, environment friendly, free, and efficient charging stations as seen below.
Solar Energy

The NY design firm Pensa designed the systems, Goal Zero produced them, AT&T bought them, and NY City helped with the deployment.

The following YouTube video explains how the project started:

For more information, AT&T Press Release would be a good starting point (click here to read the AT&T Press Release).

Even though this is a huge step towards the right direction, a few humble suggestions can be made to improve the deployments. First of all, perhaps an umbrella under solar panels can be deployed to provide shade to users. It might be a little hard to stay under the sun waiting for their phone to charge. In addition, perhaps built-in chairs could make the experience more pleasant for the New Yorkers.