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

charge phoneHudson 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.charge phoneKEO’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

Review: Technocel Universal PowerPak – the last phone charger you’ll ever need

As the title describes – the Technocel Universal Power Pak may be the last mobile charger you ever need. The PowerPak is two devices in one – a regular wall charger and a 1000mAh battery backup pack – both in a unit no bigger than the size of a regular mobile charger. What this means is that you can use it when plugged into AC power to charge your device, and keep charging when you unplug the unit. The 1000mAh battery should be enough for at least a 75% charge of most mobile phones.

Now, devices like this are not exactly new, what sets the PowerPak apart from other devices we’ve reviewed is that it comes with almost every power adapter plug on the market. Included in the box is a USB cable, and ten different plugs. You get connectors for phones from Palm, HTC, Motorola, LG, Casio, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and more. With this assortment, you’ll have what you need to power and charge almost every phone out there. If the tip is not included (like with the iPhone), you simply use the existing cable and plug it into the USB of the charger.

And the designers didn’t stop there – they also include a carrying pouch for all those plugs AND were kind enough to label all the connectors, so you don’t need to find the right one through trial and error. The charger provides 1A of juice, so it is capable of charging almost any mobile device.

The charger itself operates on 100V-240V, so you’ll be able to use it all around the world, provided you use the correct foreign plug adapter. The Technocel PowerPak retails for $49.99 but you’ll find it online for as little as $36.

Regular readers will know that I love chargers like this – and I’m impressed how Technocel took the concept beyond just supplying a charger. The assortment of power plugs means your investment is safe for years to come.

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T-Mobile joins industry initiative to standardize phone chargers – and you can win one!

The telecommunications industry is working on an initiative that should put a smile on the faces of travelers all around the world – a single mobile phone charger standard. By January 1, 2012, the new “Universal Charging Solution” will become a reality. The format is based upon the MicroUSB plug, and the standard also includes new rules for energy efficiency.

One of the driving forces behind the new development is T-Mobile, who plan to have the standard in place across their entire handset lineup. The operator already has a fairly large number of MicroUSB phones in their assortment (Nexus One, Motorola CLIQ and CLIQ XT along with various Blackberry devices).

Another part of their push towards the standard is the announcement of several innovative chargers. Each of these new MicroUSB chargers already complies with the strict energy efficiency proposals with smart features like low power LED indicators and Energy Star level 5 ratings.

The assortment includes a car charger ($19.99), a wall charger ($29.99) and a neat 2-in-1 wall/car charger ($39.99). The chargers are for sale at T-mobile.com and will be available in T-Mobile retail stores on June 19.

If you currently own a MicroUSB equipped phone, you can win one of these chargers, just by leaving a comment below.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment
  • The comment must be left before Thursday June 17 2010 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Three Prize Winners will be randomly selected to receive one T-Mobile MicroUSB charger (Gadling will pick the type of charger you win, we have one of each).
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
  • The total value of each prize is approximately $29.99 (car or wall charger) or $39.99 (2-in-1 car/wall charger).
  • Click here for the complete official rules of this giveaway.