Forgot to charge your phone or tablet before leaving home? This useful service has you covered.

Having a smartphone that’s out of juice is perhaps one of the worst things that can happen when out shopping or hanging with friends, instantly transforming that ultra-convenient gadget into a useless deadweight. Unless you own a nifty portable charger, the chances of reviving your smartphones on the move are pretty slim.

The good news is that a recharging service called ChargeSpot has been implemented in Tokyo, allowing customers to rent portable chargers from ChargeSpot stands for an incredibly low fee of 108 yen (US$0.95) for the first hour. And if one hour of charge isn’t enough, the next 48 hours of rental costs only another 108 yen.

Our Japanese-language correspondent Ishii Yota thought it wise to familiarize himself with it, and proceeded to install the smartphone app that the service relied upon. iPhone users can download the ChargeSpot app from the App Store, while Android users can do so from Google Play.

▼ The handy app provides useful information to users, such as ChargeSpot stand locations,
operating hours, and the number of charging units available for rent.

▼ Sensing an adventure ahead of him, Ishii headed to a cafe called Shibuya Coffee
where a stand was supposedly located.

▼ Heading inside, he immediately found a ChargeSpot stand beside the entrance.

▼ There was only 10 percent of battery left on his phone!
He quickly scanned the QR code on the front panel of the kiosk…

▼ …and a charger smoothly popped out of its side.

▼ Gingerly extracting the unit from the stand,
Ishii examined the futuristic-looking charger.

▼ It came with three types of adapters for different devices:
Micro USB, USB Type-C and Apple’s Lightning cable.

▼ Although the 5000mAh unit was larger than his smartphone,
it didn’t feel heavy in his hands.

The great thing about ChargeSpot was that separate cables allowed different devices to be simultaneously attached, making it an excellent tool to charge iPhones, Android phones, tablets, and even some cameras.

▼ What’s more, returning the unit was as simple as
locating another ChargeSpot stand using the app.

▼ After an hour of walking around Shibuya,
Ishii headed to the nearest stand located in a Tokyu Hands store.

In the one hour that Ishii spent outside shopping, his remaining battery had recovered from 10 percent to 70 percent of charge. Pretty neat!

▼ He inserted the device into an empty slot…

▼ …until the indicator light lit up, signalling that the transaction was now over.

▼ The app provided detailed information about the session,
including the length of rental and total price.

Although the service was convenient, customers need to keep in mind that empty slots must be available on ChargeSpot stands to successfully return units. Fortunately, users can keep track of a stand’s status in real-time using the smartphone app.

▼ In the case of this ChargeSpot kiosk,
nine units can be rented and 11 can be returned.

Another thing of note is that a deposit of 2,139 yen paid via the smartphone app is required before renting can proceed.

▼ This deposit will be fully refunded should the charger be returned
within the provided 49 hour window.

If the unit is broken or not returned on time due to unforeseen circumstances, customers will forgo the deposit but get to keep the device. So in the event that you forget to return the gadget, you would have essentially purchased a portable charger that comes equipped with three different cables for 2,355 yen, which is still cheaper than the majority of chargers out there.

ChargeSpot is already implemented at various locations in the heart of Tokyo, with six Lawson convenience stores also joining the list. Inforich, the company running the service, hopes to install another 15,000 stands by the end of next year, making zero-percent batteries a thing of the past. There may be free smartphone recharge spots out there, but none offer the mobility and price that ChargeSpot does.

Tourists who are often out exploring Tokyo for long periods of time will find this service invaluable, as camera and smartphone batteries can drain rather quickly when recording movies or using the Internet. Thanks to ChargeSpot, we now have a cheap yet solid option until we return home to our cool and trusty home chargers.

Images: ©SoraNews24
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