In fifteen years, the mobile phone has evolved from a brick-sized telecommunications device owned by business execs to a pocket-sized gadget even pre-teens regard as a must. The upshot is that we can't leave home without one, we can't remember phone numbers and we live in constant fear of the battery life indicator. We could be standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square but once the phone's out of juice we're effectively cut off from the world. But fear no more.

According to UK developer N5, coin-operated mobile phone chargers will soon be installed in thousands of hotels and coffee shops across the UK. N5's Quickie machine can give phone batteries a 'powerful emergency charge' in just 10 minutes – and all for £1 a pop.

The company hopes to sign up a limited number of franchisees to install the machines in various outlets across the UK, and claims they could earn £5,000 per month from the deal.

What will they think of next? How about telephone boxes on every street corner…