The British red phone box is probably as iconic and synonymous with England as the London red buses and especially if you live there. With the extremely quick rise in popularity of mobile phones, the red phone boxes saw massive year-on-year decreases in use and need. However, in spite of the boxes becoming quickly irrelevant, they are so iconic in London that the powers-that-be simply kept them in place for the tourist market. Visiting London? Things to selfie… red bus, red phone box and maybe Tower Bridge.
However, two young entrepreneurs have came up with a clever solution for the disused but permanently stationed boxes. A number of them have turned green in colour and effectively green in nature by being converted into solar powered mobile charging stations. The new phone boxes, dubbed ‘Solarbox’ literally offer a quick and short-term solution to the issue of running out of battery. Inside the boxes, they contain a variety of charger points and users can simply plug in and get that needed recharge. As the name suggests, the boxes completely rely on solar panels attached to the top of the boxes which charge a battery inside allowing for a consistent deployment of energy to connected devices. In addition, the battery will allow for charging during non-sunlight hours and at night although for now the boxes will be locked overnight for obvious reasons. At present the actual usage of the Solarbox is free in terms of money. Instead the box contains a small screen which will force feed you short adverts while you charge. Yep, it seems if its mobile-based it comes with ads and Solarbox is no different. However the ads are supposed to be fun and more youth orientated with quick snappy adverts to maintain your attention. At present a number of companies including Tinder and Uber have signed up to advertise with Solarbox.
The first box has just been opened on Tottenham Court Road in Central London yesterday. Although there are already plans in motion to open another five Solarbox’s in London before April 2015. So if you live in London keep a look out as that messy and old phone box near you might be turning green real soon. Visiting London, well now you have another reason to take a selfie by the famous British red (err Green) boxes.