We’ve all been there.
You're on your way to an important meeting when you discover your phone or tablet is running out of charge.
DanTeb Enterprises is working to create a solution to this universal problem by installing public charging stations throughout Toronto. The company, which is supported by Ryerson's DMZ incubator lab, was co-founded by Laura Miller and her father. Market research identified the need for accessible charging stations and Miller was enthusiastic about a potential business opportunity.
The free-to-use stations can charge all smartphones or tablets, including Android and BlackBerry devices, as well as old and new iPhones. Charging only takes 10 to 15 minutes, and the station can simultaneously charge a dozen devices at once. The company continually tracks which devices are being used, so they know how to customize their power adapters. Many of the charging stations are also wifi hotspots.
DanTeb is making a name for itself through its commitment to accessibility. But it’s also pioneering a unique partnership with advertisers. As users wait for their phones to charge, they'll be presented with branded content on an interactive screen attached to each station.
The end product is a win-win for both users and advertisers. Pedestrians get to charge their mobile devices while advertisers have an opportunity to reach out directly to consumers. "DanTeb's unique channels of distribution enable marketers to specifically address their desired demographics in a targeted and interactive manner in a unique out of home experience," states the company's website. The charging process, says Miller, automatically provides advertisers with a “captive audience” due to its unique set-up.
Miller also notes that DanTeb is looking for ways to make advertising more interactive for all of its users. Instead of appearing on a single public screen, the content could be ported to individual devices so that multiple users can view it at the same time.
DanTeb has recently inked deals with Telus, Rogers, and Metro, and the company is a regular fixture at local trade shows. If you live in the GTA, there's a good chance you've already seen DanTeb in action. The company operates multiple stations in public areas, including PATH, Toronto’s underground shopping network. The PATH tunnels connect major office buildings in the downtown core, supplying DanTeb with tons of potential customers.
While the company is still in its startup phase, Miller says there are plans to expand DanTeb by the end of the year. Currently, there are stations in GTA malls and at Ryerson University. By 2014, the number of DanTeb devices could be in the hundreds.
This bodes well for those of us who regularly forget to charge our phones before leaving home.