HALIFAX - A new Halifax business is hoping to enlighten those wandering around with dead cell phones and show them what‚Äôs watt.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Ken Leccese, from left, Pascal deVillers and Ben Lynds of Free2Charge, a new free mobile charging business, pose next to their station in the Casino Nova Scotia.
Twenty-something friends Pascal deVillers, Ben Lynds and Ken Leccese recently launchedFree2Charge, where they create and provide mobile charging stations to places like Casino Nova Scotia, music events, or other areas where people are waiting for long periods of time.
‚ÄúA problem that everybody‚Äôs starting to have is dying batteries when they‚Äôre away from their car charger or their home charger,‚ÄĚ deVillers said at their casino station Tuesday.
He said the idea began when he and Lynds noticed more and more people coming into their Telus store to charge their phones, especially since many now have large HD screens and quad-core processors that drain battery life.
The duo teamed up with Leccese and found an engineer to help draft a plan for their ideal station, which uses a locker system as well as open charging where you can stand next to the machine and use one of three common cords, including ones for iPhones and micro-USB devices.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a few connections within the fabrication world, but the rest of it was assembled right at our ‚Ä¶ homes,‚ÄĚ Leccese said about turning the ‚Äúraw steel frame‚ÄĚ into a useable machine.
‚ÄúIt was a learning curve every day, that‚Äôs for sure.‚ÄĚ
Lynds said they can afford to the keep it free by selling advertising on the station‚Äôs large screen, or leasing the machines to businesses who don‚Äôt want to use ads and for big events.
Although Rogers offers charging stations at the Metro Centre, and many Canadian and international companies offer stations for purchase, the trio is confident their model will take off thanks to its ‚Äúhigh quality‚ÄĚ and free locker system where you leave a loonie deposit and walk away while your phone charges.
They are expecting to roll out 10 stations around HRM by the end of the summer, would like to see a network of 500 machines in the region over the next three to five years, and ultimately have a major company use their design.
‚ÄúWe see most of our friends ‚Ä¶ heading out west to make it big and we‚Äôre looking to try and stay home and make Halifax kind of pop off with this new technology,‚ÄĚ said Lynds.
‚ÄúOur roots are here,‚ÄĚ added deVillers. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôd like to roll this venture out right here in Atlantic Canada and see where it takes us.‚ÄĚ