Is Power Bank Sharing a STEP towards a Smart Nation?
What with everything seemingly reliant on a “sharing system”, from bicycles to e-scooters and even umbrellas, would power bank sharing be a legitimate alternative to every Singaporean’s charging needs?
Is your phone running out of battery?
Did you forget your portable charger?
Desperately need your phone at that particular moment?
How many times have we encountered scenarios like this and regret not having charged our phones and/or power banks? Not to mention trying to find power plugs.
However, the MAIN hindrance would be its immobility.
Convenience takes precedence in a hectic society like ours and being literally tethered to a charging station constrains our lifestyle.
Therein lies a solution, when charging becomes a service. Renting power banks if you will.
We do not have to store our phones in a fixed location, nor do we have to purchase a power bank.
This phenomenon has made its mark overseas with “EGEN” (Korea), “Jiedian/Ankerbox” (China & US).
How does it work?
The process is simple: download the corresponding app on your mobile phone, “rent” power banks using a credit system and return them once you are done at supporting locations.
All of this is accomplished via GPS and QR codes, a process very similar to bike sharing that we see today.
Many locations are places of high traffic, where the customer would NOT have charging ports/cables readily available and wish to carry their phones on hand, say shopping malls, bars, restaurants and train stations.
To businesses hosting these power bank stations, the providers are positioning their services as an enticing feature to increase patronage to their location as people will be renting and returning power banks at commercial premises.
Inevitably, this would correlate to a rise in buying and selling in businesses and malls.
It is a win-win-win situation, with customers, businesses and providers all benefiting from this concept.
Questions to ask
Do you think such a business model would be applicable for Singapore?
We have seen social irresponsibility from some citizens in recent months over bike-sharing. What would stop more undesirable cases from surfacing in the future?
Is mobile charging on the go important enough to the average consumer to rely on charging services?
Will we be able to transit towards a Smart Nation as envisioned for the upcoming years?
It is definitely interesting to witness the influx of tech innovations and how we embrace and resist such changes.