You almost never need your phone more than you need it when you’re out and about. Whether that means commuting to and from work, traipsing from one meeting to the next, or traveling from one city to another, the common denominator is that nine times out of ten, you’re going to struggle to find an outlet, your cable, and the time to charge your device on the run.

Fortunately, a project called ‘Charge Yourself’ from the bright young mind of Tal Bahar (an Arts student at Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Israel) is moving towards finding a solution that will help all of stay charged and connected using the power of the sun.

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Charge Yourself centers around an idea for dual-purpose public benches which utilize shade-bearing overhangs equipped with solar panels to power wireless electronic charging mats that are accessible from each seat on the bench.

This new industrial design brings the idea of ‘recharging’ to a new level in the context of city life. The Charge Yourself Project and announcements like the one that Starbucks made regarding the integration of Duracell wireless device charging technology in tables for customer use is creating some interesting buzz and commentary surrounding the future of urban design.

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It begs the question: what else can be redesigned and re-imagined to better fit the needs of city-dwellers in a world where everyone depends on their devices nearly all the time? Soon, we may very well be planning short ‘recharging’ breaks into our days; a few moments where we take a break, sit down and charge up mentally and electronically before moving on to whatever demands our attention next.

Though wireless charging is not yet available in all devices, we’re certainly headed in a decidedly cable-less direction. And even though the Charge Yourself solar-powered charging benches aren’t yet installed on every corner of every major city, it likely won’t be long until we’re less worried about the battery life of our devices and more worried about when we catch a break and a quick energy boost.

Meet Megan Logan

Megan is a gadget-lover, sound-maker and all-around life enthusiast. Because gadgets and tech are so close to her heart, it’s rumored that she’s got a ticker of brushed aluminum, a la the Tin Man.