Grab a magazine, charge your phone, have a nice flight

Hudson News is the largest airport retailer in the United States. Over 1.7 billion passengers walk by Hudson News stores annually and a good number of those have cell phones that need a charge. Now, Hudson News has partnered with KeoConnect to bring us KEO, a new place-based interactive media platform targeting the traveling consumer that provides information, entertainment and a secure, free charge for mobile devices.

KEO are interactive kiosks rolling out in airports around the US, and they offer free charges to mobile phones, as well as news, weather, and more through interactive touch screens. Users can drop their phone off in one of KEO‘s password-protected locked bins, then go shop or grab a bite to eat and return to their newly-charged phone, all for free.KEO’s exclusive “lock and charge” system gives a free charge to almost any mobile device. Leave your charger packed away; with KEO, users lock their phones in one of KEO‘s charging lockers then go shop, relax, eat, barter with gate people for an upgrade on that next flight or simply forget about someone stealing their phone while it charges.

I’m reminded of many times being focused, alert and on-guard close to a gate where a possible upgrade/flight change might happen while a traveling companion “watched the phones” being charged. This could end that game.

For those not quite comfortable about straying too far from their mobile device, KEO presents entertaining content like travel tips, book and magazine reviews. A few taps on KEO‘s touch screen gets users flight information, news, weather, stock information, sports and probably an advertisement or two while they wait.

Coming up soon for KEO will be high-speed transfer of movies, music, magazines, audio books, newspapers and more (porn/revealing photos of politicians?) direct to your phone, SD card or USB.

The only drawbacks I can see are putting my phone in one of the secure charging lockers then either forgetting all about it until boarding time or slowing down the process by forgetting my secret passcode, forcing a manic run through the terminal at the last minute. That or fighting with the other 1.7 billion people in the airport for one of the four secure charging lockers it looks like each machine has.

Flickr photo by ishane