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The Chargebox

Updated on October 7, 2007

Ok, this isn't a gadget in itself, but a really cool idea for those of you who carry electronic gadgets when you travel. Anything like a cell phone, digital camera, PDA or MP3 player.

How many times have you been out and about, only realize that you forget to charge up your device and are about to run out of battery power? Admit it, it's happened to everyone at least one (if not frequently). What we need is a place out in public where we can charge up our gadgets safely.

Enter the Chargebox. So far, these power kiosks are mainly only found in the UK but if their popularity takes off, I wouldn't be surprised when they start popping up around Canada and the USA. There are a handful of Chargeboxes in other countries in Europe as well (Iceland, France and Turkey).

A Chargebox allows you to safely leave your phone or PDA in a locker while it charges. Drop it off, go do some shopping or sight-seeing, then come back and pick it up. Convenient and easy to use.

The unit is coin-operated, much like a typical storage locker at a mall or bus terminal. Each small locker has charge adapters inside, so you can choose the right one for your device. You just plug in your phone, pop a coin in the slot and take the key for the unit. The light outside will tell you when your device is charged, and you can just unlock the box and take back your phone.

Most devices will fully charge between half an hour to 2 hours, and you are allowed to leave your device in the locker for up to 5 hours. If you leave your phone or PDA for too long, the proprietor of the machine has the right to unlock your locker and confiscate it. The Chargebox is for charging, not long-term gadget storage. If you need your device before it is fully charged, you can still open your locker at any time to retrieve it. But to restart the charging sequence, you will have to put in more coins.

Each Chargebox station lists the makes and manufacturers that can be charged safely with the included plugs and adapters. The cost to charge a device is 1 GPB (British Pound), which is a reasonable amount for this service.

You can find out more about the Chargebox, including a full map of locations and details on hosting one at your place of business at their website.


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      Web Marketing 10 years ago

      With so many of us tied to PDA and GPS devices, this is going to become a necessary part of our physical landscape. I suspect that someone will figure out a way of putting these kiosks in Malls and Department stores and perhaps some coffee shops.

      Great idea.