Famous London Phone Booths are Now Solar Cell Phone Charging Stations

london phone booth photo

The famous London phone booth is a symbol of the city but, as is the case with most phone booths, its role is increasingly passé as cell phones become a global mainstay. But now the phone booths may serve a new purpose: charging your dead cell phone (or any mobile tech gadget for that matter).

A standard London phone booth has been repainted green and equipped with solar panels. The new kiosk has been stripped of its former hardware and replaced with charging stations for mobile devices. It’s one of five to be madeover.

According to MNN:

The preservation and reuse of the beloved yet antiquated phone boxes has become a sensitive point of contention for Londoners and those living in other British cities and overseas territories. No one, in London in particular, wants to see the crown-emblazoned payphone kiosks go away for good.

While the service is free, users are subjected to a stream of advertisements as they charge. The boxes are maintained daily and locked overnight, according to the BBC.

The project was started by two young London School of Economics entrepreneurs, Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenny.

“I lived next to a phone box in my second year at uni and walked past it every day. I thought, ‘There are 8,000 of these lying unused in London and we must be able to find a use for them,'” explained Mr Craston.

The solar box can charge up to 100 phones a day with a 20 percent battery boost in 10 minutes and since its launch, about six people per hour have used it. People seem to dig the new booth.

“On launch day, my phone ran out of battery and I genuinely had to use the box,” said Mr Craston.

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Image: MikeDixson