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Never let your phone die on campus again, UITS plans to add 37 phone charging stations

Wireless charging stations are imbedded in the table to allow an aesthetically pleasing way to charge your phone. Photo credit/Powermat

Wireless charging stations are imbedded in the table to allow an aesthetically pleasing way to charge your phone. Photo credit/Powermat

By: CHRISSY BOHLMANN
Staff Writer
cmbohlma@iusb.edu

Students will no longer need to worry about bringing their charging cord and finding an outlet to charge their phones at school.
Almost any phone type will be chargeable for free in the Franklin D. Schurz Library on new wireless charging mats, according to University Information Technology Services (UITS).
“They will charge virtually any phone—new Apple, old Apple, Android, Windows, Samsung, and Galaxy.” Michael Fletcher, director of Microcomputer and Hardware Support Services, said.
If a student’s phone is not wirelessly charged, students may rent an adaptor ring at the Library Commons for free to enable charging capabilities for almost any phone, according to UITS. These rings may be rented like a library book, or purchased if one prefers.
“The rings are $10,” said Paul Sharpe, executive director at the office of the vice president for information technology. “We’re hoping to get the bookstore to carry them.”
The rings can also be purchased online through AT&T or through Powermat. If a student purchases through Powermat, he or she will receive a kit with a charging plate and a ring for his or her house or on the go.
In order to use the rings at IUSB, the Powermat app must be downloaded.
“The technology downloaded will help you find other charging locations and will tell you how much electricity you used,” Sharpe said.
Phone charging stations will be installed at each island computer station in the library commons, Fletcher said. That will be roughly 32 of the charging locations, with 37 locations total.
“If this works out, we’ll sit down with the student government and the chancellor about expanding it,” Sharpe said. This would look like additional stations.
The technology, the blue prints and everything else is ready for installation, Sharpe said. The only thing UITS is waiting on is approval from the IUSB architects’ office.
“Running the drill [for installation] is the easy part,” Fletcher said. “Approving the drill is the tricky part.”
After they are approved, Sharpe hopes to have them installed within two weeks. He also hopes to update the system near Christmas to accommodate tablet computers.
“It came from the student government,” Sharpe said. “They asked if we could find some way to efficiently charge their phones in the library. We investigated a number of companies and came up with Powermat.”
These wireless charging stations are green or environmentally friendly, Sharpe said. The stations shut off when they are not charging, unlike a charger at home which sucks 10 to 15 unused volts if left plugged in all day.

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