There are many old, red phone boxes throughout the United Kingdom, but Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenny, two students turned entrepreneurs, have come up with a novel way to refurbish them and make them useful to the general public. The boxes have been painted green, fitted with roof mounted 86cm solar panels and made into phone charging stations.
The first six boxes were unveiled on Tottenham Court Road this week. The idea being that if your phone is low on power when you’re out and about, you can pop into one of the boxes for a few minutes and get enough of a charge to get you through until there’s a more convenient time to fully charge. Each Solarbox contains an assortment of charging stations for different phone models, along with an advertising screen. Watching a short ad seems a small price to pay for such a valuable free service.
Both students were educated at the London School of Economics and wanted to find a use for the outmoded boxes. “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,’ said Craston. The Solarbox can charge up to 100 phones per day, giving a 20% battery boost in 10 minutes. About six people per hour have been using the boxes since inception. “On launch day, my phone ran out of battery and I genuinely had to use the box,” said Mr Craston.
The Solarbox has already taken second place in one entrepreneurial competition and the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award. The advertising pays for the service and five more boxes are being planned for next year.
It may not be the Tardis taking you to other solar systems, but it certainly is useful. It would seem that the spirit of creativity that can benefit the public and turn a profit is alive and well in the UK. Well done!!!
Source: BBC News
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