Not all planes have a power source, so if you travel a lot, you might appreciate this service. FuelRod allows you to make a one-time purchase of a (charged) portable battery with cords, and at a future time you can exchange the battery at any kiosk for a charged one, at no cost. It’s perfect when your on the go.
When charging the device, it has a convenient red/charging and green/complete indicator light. It does not indicate its level of charge. A full battery charged my iPhone 6s in 90 minutes (with screen and WiFi off), from a 34% battery level.
The website currently claims 8 hours of phone talk time and 4 hours for tablets. Personally, the charge time means more to me, as I know my own phone’s capability from that point.
The search engine for locations only allows for searches by city name or zip code. This might be handy for vacations and conventions, but I’d like to see a revised search engine that can give a national list of airports as well. Air travelers can be in 2-4 airports in one day, so an airport search would be handy.
Here are the airport locations with FuelRod kiosks that I found as of February 2016:
Will I replace my HooToo with a FuelRod? No – they don’t compare. Will I keep the FuelRod in my travel case? Yes indeed. It’s smaller and I’ve used it as a secondary backup more than once. It may even come in handy when a quick swap is needed if I ever see a kiosk again.
The initial cost seems a bit high, but I love supporting innovative start-ups, and I do think it’s a clever service if they can grow fast enough. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify the purchase price if the swap option isn’t readily available.
However, think about the challenges for a startup. If we don’t buy their product now, they can’t grow into the future. So if you like the business premise, consider supporting FuelRod’s vision when you see a kiosk.
Have you supported any other startups or Kickstarter-type projects?