Although CES is generously provided with outlets for our charging needs, I decided that the power that comes out of them, like everything else in Vegas, is dirty. So Doug and I headed over to the SkyCharger, a big solar- and wind-powered charging facility housed in a tent outside the central hall. There are dozens of tiny lockers in which charging cables of different types are hidden. You take a key out like a normal storage locker, plug your phone in, lock it back up and go get lunch.
They’ve got a set of solar panels up there providing up to 880 watts, and a wind thing that does up to 1000. Not a lot of wind between the casinos here in Vegas, but there’s plenty of sun. Doug and I saw both our phones go up about 30% in less than half an hour, so it’s not just a trickle of power. It stores power in a big set of batteries as well, so your phone won’t die if a cloud passes overhead.
The setup was branded as LG, but they magnanimously provided chargers for most kinds of phones. Probably because they didn’t build it; it’s made by GotWind, a UK company whose founder we spoke to. He’s hoping to expand the service to, for example, city parks or other areas where a quick charge would be appreciated, as long as security can be assured. It also would be a nice addition to a third world village, where power is hard to come by.