The ‘solarbox’ scheme may pain some smartphone-eschewing old-timers. But at least London’s beloved phone boxes are still kind of being used to make calls, right?
On Tottenham Court Road, a single démodé London phone booth dressed in the standard “currant red” has been painted over in green and outfitted with roof-mounted solar panels. Inside the kiosk, the payphone hardware has been removed and replaced with charging stations for mobile devices and screens that, naturally, play advertisements.
An additional five so-called solarboxes will join the kick-off kiosk at Tottenham Court Road Station by next spring. It’s expected that each solarbox, capable of boosting device batteries by 20 percent in 10 minutes flat, can charge up to 100 mobile devices per day.
And those looking to use a solarbox needn’t have a pocketful of pence or swipe a credit card. The sextet of charging stations will be free of charge although users are, as mentioned, subjected to a stream of adverts while they patiently wait for their batteries to receive a boost.