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CES 2019: Breeze wants to make it easy to charge your phones – CNET

CES 2019: Breeze wants to make it easy to charge your phones     – CNET
breeze

Breeze lets you rent powerbanks for charging. 


Aloysius Low/CNET

Ever played too much Pokemon Go and find yourself running out of battery juice and don’t have a power bank on you?

Well, that’s set to be a thing of the past, thanks Singapore startup Shareasy, who have started up a business of renting out power banks to users around the world.

Instead of handing out power banks by hand though, the company has automated the process with a dock that dispenses and charges up these rental battery packs. To unlock one, you just need to scan the QR code on the machine and it automatically allocates a charged battery pack for use.

Payments are done through your credit card, and if you’re not old enough to have a credit card, there’s also a family account that parents can set up to pay for their kids. The first 30 minutes of charging are free, and the company aims to charge around 40 Singapore cents an hour (about 30 cents), but if you run away with the battery pack, you’ll have to cough up $30.

There are also plans for a yearly subscription of $15 for unlimited charging, which could make sense for heavy users. The power bank is also designed to be tamper- and hack-proof, with no visible screws for opening it up.

While the idea itself isn’t new — I’ve seen plenty of similar products in China inside restaurants, Shareasy’s plan to take this global is fresh. The company currently either rents out its own units, or works with partners who license its hardware and tech under their own branding. The Breeze system is already available in places like Russia Japan, Malaysia, USA, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Spain.

CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.

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