Commuters in Barbados will now be able to charge their phones while waiting for the bus, using only the power of the sun.
This latest innovation by the Adopt A Stop workshop is being introduced in conjunction with its telecom partners, as well as other sponsors.
Adopt A Stop project coordinator Barney Gibbs thanked sponsors Digicel and Flow, while pointing out that the initiative was open to all sponsors of the shelter project.
“The charging points were developed by our employees to address a need they experienced themselves. They wanted to be able to charge their phones during bus waits. So we were proud when we connected the first depleted phone by USB cable to a shelter, and it immediately came to life,” he said.
The Adopt A Stop bus shelters were first installed in Barbados 20 years ago, and are designed to harmonize with traditional Barbadian architecture, using indigenous or repurposed materials. The greenheart wooden supports of the shelters, for example, were previously used in cane carts.
However, the shelters are also intended to be on the cutting edge of technology, and utilize the ample amount of sun available in this part of the world.
“With the full photovoltaic lighting, solar charging points, and a further technological improvement planned for 2017, it is not an exaggeration to say that these homegrown bus shelters will be among the most sophisticated in the world in terms of functionality,” Gibbs said.
When asked about the next planned innovation, he hinted that with the support of another large telecom sponsor, free public WiFi at the shelters was in the works. Since the bus shelter WiFi would also be solar powered, it would be available even if the national power grid was not functioning.
“With the help of our sponsors, we will continue to make the shelters more phone-friendly to improve convenience and disaster preparedness, here and throughout the region,” Gibbs said.