Juicebox Could Be Your At-The-Bar Smartphone Charger of the Future
By McKinley Noble
PCWorldJan 27, 2012 10:01 am PST
Despite all the advances in mobile technology, even the best cell phones can’t sustain a charge all night. (Especially not when you’re calling, texting, and web surfing all at once.) In particular, bars and pubs are notorious for customers that abuse wall sockets and bartenders’ stations for a quick charge.
But one day, the Juicebox might change things for the better. According to Mashable, this new brand of charging station has been in the prototype testing stages for a few weeks in the New York bar scene. They’re easy to use, sleek-looking, and can charge just about any model cell phone that exists, displaying some impressively accessible technology.
While charging stations aren’t exactly new, the Juicebox incorporates a safe payment and locking system that’s tailored specifically for public hangouts. Anyone needing a charge simply has to swipe their credit card, choose their language, plug in their phone (iOS, Android, or Blackberry) into the open dock, and lock up afterward. Retrieving the phone is as simple as re-scanning the same card, and the system even recognizes when you leave your phone in the dock — in case you’re just checking your messages.
Juiceboxes are free for venues to install and have 4G connections that alert headquarters if they need maintenance. And, at least relatively, they’re pretty. A stainless steel, uncluttered design makes Juicebox look like the iPhone compared to competitors such as gocharge, which connote instead more of a clunky 2005 flip phone. The startup even made a custom box with a white exterior for a bar called Agave in order to blend in better with its Santa Fe-style interior design.
Considering the one-time payment price structure, the Juicebox’s applications seem like they can go far beyond the bar scene. Just imagine if bookstores, coffee shops, and other types of public hangouts were equipped with this system. Most importantly, advanced charging stations like these eliminate the need to carry around a charger or a battery extension for your phone.
Of course, this is also assuming you don’t lose the credit card you locked your phone with — it would be pretty embarrassing if someone made the manufacturer manually release their phone via the Juicebox’s 4G alert system.
McKinley Noble is a former GamePro staff editor, current technology nerd and eternal mixed martial arts enthusiast. He also likes Japanese sports dramas and soap operas. Follow him on Twitter or just Google his name.