Power to the People?
As a technology geek, I love a lot about our modern, connected society. You can pull out your laptop or whip out your smartphone and access the internet pretty much anywhere through 3G and wifi hotspots. You can even be contacted up a Scottish mountain, as my erstwhile colleague Chris Lee has found.
So the communications infrastructure is pretty much in place. But what hasn’t kept pace is the ability to power all this technology. I spent a day in London last week and set off from Suffolk with a fully charged up laptop, iPhone and – the complete modern road warrior. By lunchtime the iPhone was in the red, the laptop screen was dimmer than the inside of a cave and the video camera was flashing various warnings. In the end I had to take the phone into the office of the person I was having lunch with and put it on charge while I ate – hardly ideal.
So, there’s a real gap in the market for power on the move (or Steve Jobs to make longer lasting batteries). And just in the same way that cafes offer wifi with your latte this could be a chance for pubs to win our custom, by letting us charge when eating our pasta or downing our pint of IPA. Less cyber café, more power pub. The additional energy cost would be negligible compared to the business they’d get and there’s no set up costs or issues like installing a wifi network. Time for switched on landlords to provide power to the people………