Wednesday, July 18, 2007

LAX Charges up Gadgets

On a recent business trip, a fellow journalist I was traveling with found himself sitting in a lone seat on the opposite end of the airport so he could charge up his notebook in the only available outlet. Wouldn’t it be great if it were more convenient to charge up devices in airports? There's nothing worse than having a flight delayed right when your notebook is about to run out of juice!
The Los Angeles International Airport (better known as its airport code, “LAX”) is offering a great solution to this.

In partnership with Samsung Mobile and JCDecaux (an airport advertising contractor), Los Angeles World Airports has deployed charging stations in all terminals in LAX. The stations, shaped as poles, will refuel all of your techie gadgets while you wait: everything from notebooks to cell phones and PDAs.

A total of 51, 8.5-foot tall stations have been erected, each with four outlets to accommodate any device that goes by U.S. voltage standards. Don’t want to leave your precious PC or smartphone on the floor where a hyper-excited child might accidentally step on it? The stations each have a small shelf for maximum device support.

Even better news: in celebration of Samsung Mobile’s 10th anniversary, use of the stations will be f-r-e-e. I’m not sure if this implies that they will eventually follow a pay-per-use model (probably), but either way, technophile travelers should enjoy the service as a useful, and welcome, accommodation.

It’s great to see technology being recognized as an important part of the travel experience: I’ve seen everything in airport stores from noise-canceling headphones (something I can’t live without on a flight!); to the latest DVDs for those with multimedia-capable notebooks or portable DVD players. Now all we need is worldwide Internet access while in flight...

Sidenote: to learn about "cool", tech gadgets for travel, check out Traveling with Technology: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in here's how! magazine. (Click on the thumbnail cover to download a PDF of the entire issue)

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