College students taking their smart phones, tablets, to charging stations

Auburn students pay $5 to use the charging station.

Students at four universities can avoid a modern-day campus nightmare: The last of your smart phone’s battery power runs out on the way to the lecture hall.

Towson University near Baltimore, the University of Miami (UM), Auburn University, and the University of Alaska (UA) have unveiled mobile-device charging kiosks that can refuel a host of smart phones and computer tablets that students rely on for in-class interaction, note taking, and web searching.

The kiosks, made by Baltimore-based NV3 Technologies and sold for $6,500 apiece, charge up to a dozen mobile devices at once, from Apple iPhones to Blackberries and a range of tablets like the iPad.

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The kiosks can recharge a device with no battery life in less than 10 minutes, said Mostafa Razzak, a NV3 spokesman.

Auburn charges $5 per battery fill-up, while Towson, UM, and UA offer the service for free.

The kiosk stands about six feet and has a 19-inch high-definition LCD screen on top and a 32-inch screen near the bottom of the machine.

The charging stations provide up to 800 milliamps of electrical current to smart phones and computer tablets, or about 300 more than other charging kiosks, according to NV3 Technologies’ website.

On at least one campus, the charging stations are already a hit.