Urban invention: Charge your phone with this street sign

A new design lets you charge your phone on the street, no latte purchase needed.

Call it a proverbial life-saver or just another tool to fuel cell phone addiction.

Either way, Street Charge is a sleek product design concept from PENSA that would let you charge up your small gagets throughout a city. The solar-powered charging station could be installed on existing street sign posts with two docking stations and a small table, creating a mini-public space. You could do it all without needing to pop into a coffee shop to buy an unwanted latte.

At Fast Company, Mark Wilson, puts the invention into an interesting perspective. It's like a rest area for urbanites.

Think about it: The urban professional doesn’t need gas, Funyuns, ample parking or a patch of grass for their kids to run around like a typical vehicle commuter. The only thing most of them need is to top off is their mobile phone of choice. As of today, there’s a whole infrastructure of coffee shops and bakeries that fill this role in big cities--not so differently than gas stations fill the role of rest stops where public funding grows dry.

While it's a bit of hyperbole to say that the only thing urbanites (at least the ones who live in walkable communities) need is a cell phone charge and don't need gas (and who says they don't need Funyuns?!), it's still an apt comparison for certain urbanites. The product would serve a need while being easily integrated into a neighborhood, using infrastructure that you can find in any city.

Watch the video below to see how it works:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com