Solarbox - Solar powered phone chargers

October 2014

The first of six solarboxes around the city was unveiled this week on Tottenham Court Road.

Although passers-by can use these solarboxes for free, adverts will be broadcast as they wait for the device to charge.

London’s red telephone boxes of yore are largely disused, although recent initiatives have seen some converted into miniature libraries or equipped with emergency medical equipment.

This is the phone box’s highest-tech renovation revolution, with the chosen boxes painted green and fitted with a roof-mounted solar panel.

Inside there is a variety of phone charging ports for a range of smartphone models, as well as a screen that displays ads.

The ad screen also functions as a deterrent for vandals, with the box’s well-being paramount to the experiment.

It will be regularly maintained and locked overnight.

Mr Craston told the BBC: "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.'”

This is among the handiest of the city’s public projects, with battery issues a real nuisance in the age of the smartphone.

Smart devices are increasing in power, running all sorts of apps, but battery life hasn’t seen equivalent improvement.

The Solarbox mobile phone charger pictured during the refurbishment process at X2 Connect