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Heathrow gets free Power Poles

Heathrow gets free Power Poles

The Samsung Power Poles allow up to eight devices to get a blast of electricity free of charge, and are dotted around the departure lounges at Heathrow.

Any frequent fliers around the nation's capital will be pleased to hear that Heathrow is introducing Power Poles – areas where gadgets can be charged for free.

According to an article over on vnunet.com, airport owner BAA is spending over £300,000 to produce and install the poles – each one of which is able to charge eight devices at a time.

The poles – forty-seven of which have already been installed – are placed in the departure lounge and made freely available for passengers to top-up the charge on their laptops, mobile 'phones, and other devices. Currently located in terminals one and three, plans are afoot for additional poles to be constructed in terminal four – with terminal five being checked to see if the project is suitable.

The cost of the power poles isn't being entirely met by BAA, with Korean gadget giant Samsung sponsoring the units. As part of the deal, each pole will feature Samsung branding along with a glass display case to show off the company's latest devices.

BAA's Juan Perez said the company is “confident that the Power Poles will provide an effective cost-free solution to a genuine problem, which will ultimately make our passengers' airport experience more enjoyable.

While these aren't the first publicly accessible charging stations to be installed in airports, it's good to see BAA going for the advertising-funded approach rather than asking for payment in exchange for juice.

Even with these drawbacks noted, it's certainly refreshing to see power-hungry gadgetphiles finally being accommodated.

Can you see yourself using a Samsung Power Pole next time you're waiting for a flight, or is the idea doomed from the start? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
iggy 17th April 2009, 14:57 Quote
worlds most expensive usb hubs?
Jamie 17th April 2009, 15:19 Quote
I usually just search the departure lounge for a plug socket.
Blademrk 17th April 2009, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iggy2k
worlds most expensive usb hubs?
Wouldn't it be power sockets rather than USB hubs though (can't see a laptop being recharged over USB)
Atomic 17th April 2009, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iggy2k
worlds most expensive usb hubs?
Looks like there are a variety of plugs on it...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/regaviationqueen/2679958551/
CardJoe 17th April 2009, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
I usually just search the departure lounge for a plug socket.
Pieface 17th April 2009, 15:54 Quote
Nice idea, suprised not to be charged like £5 every 10 minutes of charging or something like that. Wouldn't be too bad if they put this all around the world, will make life easier, and also make you think before a long flight "I can't use my iPod, must save the batteriessssssss"
harveypooka 17th April 2009, 16:34 Quote
My new chat up line:

Hey, wanna use a Power Pole?
nicae 17th April 2009, 17:31 Quote
47 poles installed in 2 terminals, 3rd coming soon.
that's roughly 50 poles in 2 terminals, or 25 per terminal.
with 3 terminals, we should have 75 poles.
at 300k pounds for 75 poles, that means 4000 pounds per pole
4000 pounds for a stick with sockets in it! sheesh!
Bindibadgi 17th April 2009, 17:49 Quote
How about FREE WIFI?

Huh? Too much to ask for?

Thought so
aron311 17th April 2009, 23:01 Quote
Its a ploy, they give you free power so you are tempted to pay for the wifi lol!
dire_wolf 17th April 2009, 23:22 Quote
Ahhh it has sockets, I thought it was some sort of plate that charged batteries by induction whe i first saw the pic.

Not that interesting then really lol
Xir 18th April 2009, 08:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
I usually just search the departure lounge for a plug socket.

So do I...
Bit embarrasing though when the cleaning people come and want to plug in their vacuumcleaner :D
notatoad 18th April 2009, 09:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicae
4000 pounds for a stick with sockets in it! sheesh!
£50 for the power pole. £450 for the installation. £3500 for red tape.
msm722 18th April 2009, 10:17 Quote
They already have one of these (albeit an older version) in terminal 3 departure lounge, in front of TGI Fridays.
proxess 18th April 2009, 23:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
I usually just search the departure lounge for a plug socket.

and plug(ed) my ipod into my laptop...
Confused Fishcake 19th April 2009, 03:36 Quote
I tend to just find a cleaner's socket. Oh, and connect to a paid-for wifi network, not pay, then tunnel traffic over ssh on port 53. Most are too thick to realise it isn't DNS traffic. I don't much like paying for things...
Cupboard 19th April 2009, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
So do I...
Bit embarrasing though when the cleaning people come and want to plug in their vacuumcleaner :D

On the only occasion I have wanted to use my laptop at an airport (I am not a frequent flyer) I was with a couple of friends returning from a school's trip to America. I managed to find one of the cleaners' sockets and we had two laptops and my phone plugged very precariously into a splitter which was plugged into a rather wobbly USA>GB converter thingy. It was rather amusing.
Stelph 20th April 2009, 09:26 Quote
Good news, last time I was in Heathrow I also just used a cleaners plug socket to charge up my iPod (a long flight ahead to the US). However I was (politely) told by a policeman that it was illegal to use the socket and could I stop doing it please :-)

To be fair to the guy, he did add that he had top tell me that, and that if I was less obvious about it (i.e. hid it with my bag) then id probably get away with it.
Xir 21st April 2009, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
On the only occasion I have wanted to use my laptop at an airport (I am not a frequent flyer) I was with a couple of friends returning from a school's trip to America. I managed to find one of the cleaners' sockets and we had two laptops and my phone plugged very precariously into a splitter which was plugged into a rather wobbly USA>GB converter thingy. It was rather amusing.

Heheh :D
Yah...I had to load a phone quickly
Gareth Halfacree 21st April 2009, 22:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
How about FREE WIFI?
<cough>OzymanDNS</cough>

Not that I would condone such action, you understand...
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