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We’ve all seen mobile phone charging kiosks before, but how about a juicing station that lets you go off for a bite to eat or disappear into nearby store without worrying whether your phone will be there when you get back?
If you live in New York City, you may have noticed a new type of kiosk called Brightbox popping up in bars, nightclubs and on street corners. They’re hard to miss. They look like a miniature chest-of-drawers, but instead of socks you’re supposed to put your phone in those compartments.
You swipe a credit card to get a compartment to open. Inside are three fast-charge power adapters that Brightbox says will work with 95 percent of the phones out there. Once the door is closed and your phone starts charging, it remains locked tight, opening again only when you swipe the same credit card again. Total cost: $2.95.
Brightbox, which was founded in 2010 by former bartender Adam Johnson, is gearing up for a wave of expansion beyond NYC. The company says it has put together a funding round to finance its growth, but it won’t reveal any of the details on how much its raised or who its investors are.
Brightbox now has about 100 locations, mostly in Manhattan, but in the next week it plans to install 20 more in malls in New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of New York. But Brightbox says its in discussions with businesses ranging from gyms to casinos. The company also plans to launch iOS(s aapl) and Android(s goog) apps that will help you find the location of the nearest kiosk – assuming you have enough juice to launch the app, that is.