Blog

My Day-ish In The Warehouse

My day in the warehouse began with me sitting at my desk, in the office. Was I feeling a little bit nervous about spending my day in a place I was unfamiliar with, and with people I hardly know? Yes, however, if I was being completely honest I was more scared of making myself look like a pleb. I have been working at 51T for just over a year and writing about our solutions for months, I literally felt like the apprentice meeting the masters. The guys that work in the warehouse know anything and everything about the charging solutions they build, and I only know what I’ve seen on short visits over there, or what I have been told.

I usually start work at 8:30am but due to my emergency panic at the office, I made it to the warehouse about 9am. After I got over the initially overwhelming feeling and the awkward hellos, I was totally amazed. There must have been 10+ cabinets dotted around the warehouse.

From 9-12, I was observing the guys building cabinets, which I have to say looked very confusing. I know cabinets, cradles and trolleys aren’t very interesting, but I cannot begin to describe to you how exciting it was to see all of the “Behind the Scenes” stuff. I now realise how sad I must sound.

After lunch, I was put onto cradle production. Apart from not being able to close the door (I was very very cold – they blamed it on me not being used to “actual” work) I enjoyed every minute. Okay, using the tools terrified me at first but after I had got used to it, it was fascinating. Admittedly, I wasn’t actually making the cradles and I was under supervision (constantly).

I guess I have never appreciated how much work actually goes into making the things we sell. All I see from the office is the finished product, not the days and hours of work that goes into it. I do feel kind of guilty for not doing something like this a bit sooner. The most time I have spent in the warehouse before this was an odd hour here and there, I have never actually acknowledged how hard they work.

Time for me to be totally honest. I didn’t spend all day actively helping in the warehouse. I may have taken over the only desk in the warehouse to start writing this, so I guess it should be called “My day at a different desk”.

Spending the day(ish) at the warehouse has really opened my eyes to how hard the guys work, and how close they all are. I will also appreciate it more when my Maxi cabinet gets completed for the exhibitions, and I maybe won’t complain (as much) when it turns up dirty.

 

-Charley:-)

Why is going modular the future?

Modular. What does modular mean? What does it mean to be modular? What does being modular offer over those “un-modular” solutions?

Let’s begin with the basics. Being modular allows you to be different, which is never a bad thing. Right? It means you can offer something that not very many people can, which makes you a go-to company.

What can we offer that an “un-modular” companies can’t? Freedom.  By using our cabinets, single bay, 4-bay or 5-bay solutions you can swap out any 51T cradle by simply clicking them out. This will make any estate upgrade easier and cheaper as the original equipment (Cabinets 4/5 Bays) will need replacing, only the cradles.

Not only are the whole units modular as a whole, the cradles themselves are modular.

This means the cradle can be broken down into the key components. In the (Very) unlikely event that something goes wrong, the cradle can be returned to our UK based repair centre just outside of Manchester, taken apart and fixed.

Rugged V's Non-rugged

Here at 51T, we have noticed that there has been a growing interest in Non-rugged devices. For those who don’t know what the difference is, here’s a quick run-down.

Rugged

Rugged devices are made stronger. They usually have shatter resistant screens, made out of stronger materials and more importantly, have a longer battery life. Plus, unlike non-rugged devices, the batteries can be changed. This then allows for near constant use. All of these factors working together allows for the device to be used alongside hazardous materials and challenging weather conditions. Both the latest handhelds and tablets can have the latest Windows or Android updates.

Examples of Rugged devices:

  • Honeywell/Intermec/Dolphin CT50
  • Motorola/Zebra/Symbol TC70/TC75
  • Samsung X-Cover 3
  • Motorola/Zebra/Symbol MC70/MC75/MC75A
  • ToughTab 

Non-rugged

Non-rugged devices are the everyday devices that people use. These devices aren’t designed to be used in a working environment, as they won’t be made with strong enough materials. Although this is true, the use of non-rugged devices is becoming more popular in the retail industry. By using the latest smartphones, it allows the users to have the latest software updates and use helpful apps.

Examples of Non-rugged devices:

  • iPhone range
  • iPad range
  • Samsung range

When a company is deciding on what device to go for, there are some key things to think about. These are:

  • Breakdown time
  • Overall cost
  • Charging 

So, Breakdown time. The risk you take with using Non-rugged devices in a warehouse environment is the breakages. If a mobile phone/tablet is dropped on a hard concrete floor, the screen will ultimately smash which will then render the device unusable. At this point, there is a potential for an employee to not be working.

The overall cost of getting a new estate can be massive, so when a company is thinking of buying new devices, they’ll want the best value for money. Obviously, if your company is in the retail industry the use of non-rugged devices may be more suitable, but the chances are they’ll be more expensive to buy and maintain.

Charging Non-rugged devices can be a huge issue. It’s a well-known issue that if a mobile or tablet is over-charged the battery life will decrease dramatically. With a Rugged device will be more likely to be able to change the battery. Either way, the devices need to be fully charged when the next shift comes in.

We can help with that, we can offer solutions to any size business, Rugged or Non-rugged devices.

Do You Have Problems Charging Your Handheld Devices?

If the answer is yes, you should keep reading, it could be a massive help!

 

Here at 51T, we offer a Mini,Midi and Maxi cabinet solution. By using our Maxi solutions, you can charge upto 120* devices, from a single plug socket. If you decide to use one of our cabinet solutions, you'll be able to see how it keeps all of the charging equipment neat and tidy, as well as keeping the handheld devices safe whilst they are charging thanks to the lockable door.

 

If you have a smaller amount of devices to charge, the Midi or Maxi cabinet could be better suited to you. The Mini cabinet can charge upto 32* devices, where as the Midi cabinet can charge upto 64* devices, again all from one plug socket.

 

 

 

*Device Dependent*

New Product Release

Here at 51T we create and manufacture Modular Charging Solutions that are both reliable and rugged.  To date we have sold over 500,000 cradles to our partners and customers!

We have designed and manufactured Active Charging Cradles for Honeywell, Zebra and Samsung devices. We are delighted to report M3 Mobile have now joined forces with us to create a charging solution for the SM10 LTE device. Our aim is to help M3 Mobile Customers extend their choice of vehicle cradles and other peripherals throughout their distribution channel.

Paul Johnston, Sales Director for M3 Mobile UK and Eire said “51T is an exceptional company with a fantastic track record of providing high quality, business-efficient handheld solutions such as in-vehicle cradles."

51T add that bit extra to make the solution that one step better, such as a USB connector at the front of the vehicle cradle.  The modular design offers our customers the ability to switch out other brands and models of terminals by just replacing the head of the cradle, which provides a cheaper way for the end user to switch device”.

The new charging cradle (like all of our charging cradles) is modular so each component can be repaired or replaced. The M3 Mobile LTE can fit into our single-bay, 4-bay and 5-bay chargers ensuring that it can become the best charging solution for you. 

If you require a larger or more secure charging solution, you can fit up to 120 (one hundred and twenty) SM10 LTE Chargers into ONE of our Maxi Charging Cabinets, which are perfect for a depot or warehouse environment.

51T solutions can be purchased via M3 Mobile’s Distributors and throughout their existing and growing channels.

IMHX and New Product!

Next week, the 51T sales and marketing team is going on the road! We are exhibiting at IMHX 2016 which is taking place at the NEC in Birmingham. We will be joining over 400 exhibitors over the 4 days, along with releasing a brand new product while we are there. Exciting ey?

You can find us in Hall 8, with our Maxi Cabinet fitted with our new product (Major hint there), along with our impressive (And also relatively new) wireless charging solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in what we do, you can meet Pete, Charley and Alex who will be on the stand for the first two days of IMHX. We will also be live-tweeting while we are there, to get involved follow us @official51T on Twitter.

Goodbye Summer!

This week marks the end of Summer 2016 (The very little Summer we actually had!), and the beginning of Autumn. In the logistics world, things are now going to start changing. In the next couple of weeks, couriers are going to start the pre-Christmas build up, by getting extra staff and doing last minute changes to equipment before the rush begins.

At 51T, we can help you with the last minute struggles before Christmas. We offer a secure, rugged in-vehicle charging and mounting solution along with a larger charging solution for within the warehouse/depot environment.

We offer charging solutions for a wide range of Honeywell, Samsung, Zebra and Panasonic devices. We can also offer a picking and labelling station. Betsy is a fully functional, powered computer on wheels which is ideal for manoeuvring around a warehouse environment.

The History of 51T

51T was launched in 2012. Pete's (Our founder) aim was to design and manufacturer in-cab charging solutions for handheld devices that Honeywell,Dolphin and Motorola offer.

We now create charging solutions for Samsung, Honeywell, Zebra and Panasonic devices, and we are always designing new products. 

The 51T product range has expanded to include a warehouse/depot solution (Betsy), a cabinet range (Maxi, Midi and Mini), and of course a varied range of charging cradle solutions.

CT50 Solutions

We are pleased to announce our latest creation, our new active cradle for the Honeywell CT50 handheld.  Using our methodology of “Modular, Robust  & Repairable”, our latest creation can be fitted in-vehicle (Using vent or windscreen suction mount) or in-depot using our Single, 4 or 5-bay chargers and mini, midi and maxi cabinets.  Made from Grade A Steel, featuring External Grade Power Coat and ABS plastics, the 51T CT50 Active Cradle is designed to be robust whilst also being ergonomic with the user in mind, featuring the ability to remove and insert the Honeywell CT50 using just one hand, perfect for multi-drop drivers. 

 

If you use the CT50, we also offer a wearable solution. By using the 51T CT50 wearable solution, it allows the user to use both hands whilst lifting, and still have complete access to the screen. The wearable solution can be used on either wrist and there are hygienic user changeable wrist pads available. 

Betsy4

Betsy4 is a fully powered workstation. It has a folded steel chassis which gives it more rigidity and strength, along with four ultra-heavy duty wheels, two are fixed and two swivel with foot operated breaks. Betsy4 can even be customised, there are mounting choices for a PC monitor, tablet, laptop and an all-in-one PC. You can also change the colour of Betsy4 and add any company logos that you need.

Betsy4 is the perfect mobile picking and labelling station, as it can reduce downtime within a warehouse environment by reducing wasted footfall to a fixed workstation, as Betsy4 takes the equipment needed for the job to the point of activity. At only 34cm wide and 140cm long, Betsy4 can fit in the narrowest spaces and is easily manoeuvrable.

51T Active Universal Wireless Qi Charging Cradle

Wireless charging is the latest feature to be included in all new Samsung phones (S7), and there are major hints that the new IPhone 7 will include it. So, what’s so good about wireless charging?

I think the biggest pro with having a phone (or any other handheld device) that can charge without needing a wire, is exactly that…you don’t need a wire! So many times I have gone out for the day, haven’t thought about bringing my phone charger and it has gone completely flat. I have a suction mounted phone holder in my car, and if it could charge my phone as well it would be perfect!

 

 

That’s why our Qi Wireless Charging cradle is the perfect charging solution. Even if your phone doesn’t support Qi Charging, you can use a Qi receiver module to enable it.

For the driver’s ease and safety, the 51T Wireless Charging Cradle is adjustable to make sure it’s in the right and safe position. Thanks to all of our mounting options, the Wireless Charging cradle can be placed exactly where it is needed.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates!

5 Blogs From Our Archive That YOU Should Read!

Only recently we re-started writing blogs again, so I thought we could do a Throw Back Tuesday ( I would do a typical "Throw Back Thursday" but I happen to go on holiday so I’m not here:-)).

Anyway, I have created a top five list of my favourite blogs in our archive which I think everyone should read.

5.  5 Things Everyone Should Know About Our In Cab Charging Mounts.

 I chose this as this a kind of overview of the In Cab Charging Mounts that we offer. It includes all of the main points that makes our Charging Mounts the massive success that they are today. It’s a good read if you want a round view of what we offer.

4.  Why Multibay Charging Has To Be Effective

This is one of my personal favourites. Not only does it show the end product that we offer, but it goes through the problems that we overcame to create the perfect multibay chargers. This is definitely a good read, especially if you are interested in our multibay charging options! 

3. Mobile Workforce Management Tips

This one is slightly different to our usual blog type as it is more of a tips and tricks of the mobile workforce management and how to improve it. These are general tips , it’s not relevant just to our industry, this could prove itself to be rather helpful! 

2. Meet The Founders

This blog post is focused on our founder Pete Emslie and the background information on 51T and Signals IT (Which is very, very important).  It also highlights how far we have come as a company, and it shows as we are always evolving into bigger and better things every day.

1.  Ring Scanner Update

Out of all of our archived blogs, this one is my favourite. This cabinet was something which I have personally never seen before. I love how different it is compared to the other cabinets! Although this blog only mentions the Ring Scanners a little bit, it’s definitely worth a read.

If you would like to know more about 51T or would like to keep up with what we are doing, you can follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn!

Ring Scanner update!

Let’s start with some facts about today. On this day in 1786, commercially manufactured ice cream was advertised for the first time in New York. In 1978, Naomi James broke the solo round-the-world sailing record. Today is also National Best Friends day. So, it seems like it’s a perfect day to go for a quick sail and eat some ice cream with your best mate...right?

Sadly, we can’t because today we are already planning to do something slightly different. Instead of putting handheld devices in a cabinet, we are putting Ring Scanners. Crazy right?! I have heard from a secret source inside 51T HQ that the draw of the cabinet containing the OEM chargers is different to anything we have ever done!

I also feel like I should mention the two amazing promotions we have got going on for the month of June. To celebrate the start of summer, the Honeywell 99EX and Samsung X-Cover 3 desktop/vehicle cradle (With power and mounts) is only £40.00*! To take advantage of this incredible offer, email us at sales@51t.co.uk or go to our Amazon Page.

To keep up-to-date on all aspects of 51T,including future offers, you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Start Of The Summer Spectacular

Today is the 1st Of June, officially it’s the first day of a Meteorological Summer, we are two weeks away from the start of the Euro 2016 Football tournament and twenty days from the Summer Solstice.  Other dates to remember, the pinnacle of motorsport, Le Mans 24 Hour happens on 18-19th June.  And of course the big vote… on something to do with end users...woops my bad, I meant the European Union on the 23rd.  So it’s all happening in June!  And if my kids are reading this, A) Why you not at school?  B) Its Father’s Day in June!

It’s also 25 Years since McLaren released the F1, in 1992 this was the fastest production car on the planet, made from a space age materials and using technology, that in the 90’s, was cutting edge.  The concept was to bring the performance and technology from Formula 1 into a road car, Ferrari tried with the F50 and failed.  McLaren’s approach was different but not new. With a clean piece of paper and access to leading edge technology, McLaren created what we now call a classic British engineered supercar. Our Concorde moment of the 90’s.   

At 51T, we are celebrating the official start of summer with two amazing promotions, centered around our two products of the month, the Honeywell 99EX and Samsung X-Cover 3.  For the month of June only, we are offering either a desktop or vehicle cradle (With Power and Mounts) for £40.00 (Excluding VAT).  How can you get your hands on these amazing products? Easy, just go to our Amazon Page or email us – sales@51t.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other updates, the 51T Team of IT Ninja’s have been hard at work, they are busy working on a new website, social media and marketing platforms.  We have recently re-launched our Amazon Web Shop and my expert team are busy beavering away on the next generation…actually will keep this top secret for now…keep any eye out for regular updates.

New products, we have a couple which are currently being tested by our R&D team, one of which we are very excited about.  Again, can’t give too much away, but we feel the new products will help cement the 51T brand, quality and innovation, hand in hand.

Preparing for the Christmas Season: Focus on Hospitality

For the hospitality industry, Christmas party season has a huge profit potential. Christmas parties and events start taking place from November, Christmas Day itself can draw in families and New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year for many bars and clubs.

With such an extended period of celebrations, a lot of pressure is put on hotels, restaurants and bars throughout the Christmas season. Preparations need to be make early on, but we’ve put together some last minute tips for the sector which will keep the money rolling in and prevent chaos in the kitchen.

  •          Get festive menus out early

Get all your festive menus and offers out early and to as many people as possible. Don’t just put them on a stand in the corner – reach out to new customers by sending out e-mails and going to speak to local businesses to see if they’ll let you host their Christmas party. Then once the bookings start rolling in, you can make stock preparations.

  •          Manage your staffing needs

Most hospitality businesses need to hire extra hands to deal with the increased business around Christmas time. Plan for this early and think carefully about the type of people you are employing. For example, you won’t have time to fully train new staff members before extremely busy periods and hiring students might land you in the dark when they decide they are going home for Christmas and New Year.

  •          Use reliable technology

From your electronic till system to radios and tablets used for ordering food – all your processes depend on technology. Before the Christmas rush, check each and every bit of equipment to make sure it is ready to perform under pressure. Repair or replace anything which is faulty to avert disaster in the middle of the busiest day. Simple things like charging cabinets can help the day to day running of your bar or restaurant.

  •          Hygiene, health and safety

Even when working under pressure, it is essential that hygiene standards and health and safety standards don’t slip. Inspectors can show up unannounced at any time, and they don’t care if it’s your most profitable day – they have the power to stop you trading.

Let us know if you’d like to share other ways of preparing for the busy Christmas season.

Preparing for the Christmas Season: Focus on Logistics

As the e-commerce sector experiences rapid growth, logistics companies and carriers are dealing with demand like never before. Online retail sales are predicted to hit £52.25bn in the UK alone this year – which is up 16.2% from 2014. Christmas online sales are also increasing significantly year on year – last year clothing sales made via the internet were up 52.4% while House of Fraser reported 31.2% increase in online sales in the six weeks leading up to January 3rd.

More pressure on e-commerce retailers means increased demand for logistics companies and parcel delivery companies. We’ve put together some tips to ensure the supply chain stays strong throughout the busy Christmas period, from the distribution centre to the delivery van.

  •          Work together with retailers

Different retailers will have different demands, so it’s important you speak each client regularly and make sure you’re on the same page. Logistics companies and retailers need to work closely together to streamline operations and ensure both parties are fully equipped for the expected demand.

  •          Plan for staffing needs

Almost all logistics companies and retailers need to employ extra staff around the busy Christmas period. Plan early so you know exactly how many temporary staff members you will require to ensure the business keeps ticking over smoothly. At peak season it’s always better to have too many staff than too few – this will also cover any staff sickness.

  •          Don’t make false promises

You’ll always have to deal with last minute shoppers who expect their order to arrive on Christmas Eve. Be clear with your last order day deadlines, and don’t be pushed into extending them by clients. Breaking promises to customers is always worse than disappointing them early on by admitting a delivery is not going be possible before Christmas.

  •          Incorporate robust equipment

Processing a large volume of online orders requires robust equipment which is resilient enough to perform under pressure. Whatever devices you rely on – radios, PDAs etc – these need to last for hours and hours to keep operations running efficiently. Invest in robust charging solutions so workers never have to wait around waiting for devices to charge or waste time reporting damaged devices.

Let us know if you’d like to share other ways of preparing for the busy Christmas season.

Preparing for the Christmas Season: Focus on Retail

For retailers, the Christmas season is unprecedented – not only do they experience the holiday season rush, but the industry also has to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Then as soon as Christmas is over it’s time to draw shoppers back in with Boxing Day and New Year sales!

Retailers should ideally start planning for the peak season during summer, ensuring they have enough seasonal staff and stock to manage operations for the extended peak period. Here are some ways businesses can still prepare for the Christmas season and make sure customer service doesn’t crumble.

  •          Work together with carriers

With many retailers now relying on online sales for a significant chunk of its profits, it’s important that ecommerce customers are kept happy. This means speedy and reasonably priced delivery and a convenient returns policy. For retailers to deal with the increase in orders, they need to work closely with the carriers of their choice, sharing data such as forecasted volumes and both parties making suggestions for improvements.

  •          Check IT systems

There’s nothing worse for Christmas shoppers than a website running slow or crashing completely. In fact, it’s so frustrating that you can bet it will send them straight to your competitors - and you’ll lose out on significant revenue even for an hour or so of downtime. Perform an audit of your IT systems well before the peak season kicks in to guarantee your site can cope with the increased traffic and demand.

  •          Get marketing early

The early bird gets the worm – it’s never too early to start marketing for Christmas. Take John Lewis for example; the department store often releases its Christmas advert before any other store, and it’s almost always the most remembered and talked about.

  •          Check all equipment

Processing online orders will require an efficient team of staff – but they can’t be proficient without functional equipment. If the back of house team use PDAs, radios, tablets or any other form of technology then you need to make sure it’s resilient and ready for the Christmas rush. Invest in robust charging solutions so workers never have to wait around waiting for devices to charge.

Let us know if you’d like to share other ways of preparing for the busy Christmas season.

 

Preparing for the Christmas Season: Focus on Healthcare

During the winter time when the UK experiences very cold weather, A&E departments and GPs are under increased pressure. There is usually a ‘winter spike’ in hospital admissions, as elderly people, vulnerable people and those with underlying health conditions can need urgent treatment should they become ill. For some with respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, even the common cold could become serious.

Add the increased risk of slips, falls and traffic accidents in icy and snowy weather, and it’s easy to see why the NHS finds it hard to cope. Extra measures need to be put in place and all staff from management to admin and cleaning professionals need to be ready for the busy season. Here are some preparations which healthcare organisations can take in the run up to Christmas:

  •          Direct people away from hospitals

Hospitals, especially A&E departments are very stretched over the winter period, so people need to be aware of other NHS services they can access before turning up at A&E. Campaigns can be launched – even as simple as posters in GP waiting rooms – to let people know about services such as 111 helpline. People should also seek early advice from pharmacists, which can prevent problems becoming worse and then needing urgent care.

  •          Plan for the weather

Anticipating particularly bad weather can help healthcare organisations be prepared for what is to come. Adverse winter weather conditions can delay ambulance services, as well as trapping people in their homes so they cannot visit GPs or pick up prescriptions. A dedicated team of staff should be assigned with the duty of making emergency plans and solutions for winter weather, and keep looking for ways to improve it.

  •          Check all equipment

With an added pressure on staff there is also an added pressure on technology and equipment. This means it needs to be checked on a regular basis to see if any repairs are needed or certain technology needs replacing. Departments can ensure they have fully up to date mobile charging stations and state of the art equipment for staff and patients which is resilient enough to last for long periods of time.

  •          Ensure staff wellbeing

With bed occupancy almost full in most hospitals, staff can easily experience burnout at the busiest time of the year. Not only is this traumatic for staff members who have to take time off work, but it will put even more pressure on the other employees who have lost a team member. Tired doctors also make mistakes – so it’s essential you put a policy in place which helps staff feeling stressed, overworked or ill.

Let us know if you’d like to share other ways of preparing for the busy Christmas season.

What’s Best for your Business: Tablets, Smartphones or PDAs?

Portable technology is now an integral part of contemporary business. Today, employers and employees across a myriad of sectors rely on handheld devices to communicate on the go. Whatever division you specialise in, it’s almost categorical that your business could benefit from the roll out of handheld devices. But how do you decide what technology to invest in? To help you maximise the effectiveness of your handheld inventory we’ve put together a guide to the various different pros and cons of three of the most popular options.

Tablets

The rise of corporate tablets has boomed over the past few years, with TechRadar reporting that by 2016 the devices will make up 30% of all enterprise end-user mobile computing platforms. Furthermore, by the end of next year corporate purchases will contribute to a huge 18% of the global tablet market.

For dynamic employees tablets are a great way to arm them with access to corporate information, at their fingertips. They can be employed as point of sale devices, promotional displays, presentation tools and more. Most importantly, they seamlessly integrate with other business systems. This means owners can manage their devices with the same password, firewall and encryption security.

For businesses wanting to offer customers an interactive experience tablets are an incredibly powerful tool. From digital restaurant menus, self-guided tours, waiting room explainer entertainment and more, tablets are an incredibly effective way to enrich the customer experience.

Smartphones

When it comes to keeping employees in the loop smartphones are an indispensable asset. They support on-the-go communication, regardless of an employee’s physical location. The range of powerful features and functions enhances employee performance while the vast memory capacities are ideal for storing and sharing important documents and files.

PDAs

Short for personal digital assistant, PDAs essentially blend the various different benefits of computers, phones, fax machines and personal digital organisers into one singular device.  Generally, PDAs offer the most benefits when distributed to a select number of key persons who oversee the management of other employees.

At the end of the day, choosing what handheld devices to invest in largely depends on the specific operations of your business, and its individual needs. One thing is certain, businesses that want to attract and retain the crème de la crème of next generation talent must incorporate cutting edge technology into their internal communications strategies. The latest research from Ultimate Software confirms this theory, stating that the ubiquity of social and mobile technologies has led new age employees to expect speed, simplicity and efficiency in business applications as standard. Without a doubt, tablets, smartphones and PDAs deliver. Get the most out of the technology with our range of charging cradles, cabinets and stations.

Are Public Mobile Charging Stations the Future?

A decade or so ago, there was no need to build charging stations in public places – the only mobile device commonly carried around was a mobile phone. Before the smartphone, mobile devices had quite a good battery life and would last at least an entire day without needing to be charged. After all, they were only used for calling and texting, and playing the odd game on-the-go.

Technology has moved fast over the last few years, with 76% of people in the UK now owning a smartphone. With the public spending hours on their mobiles phones every day for calling and messaging, browsing the internet, using social media, taking photos and videos, online banking and shopping, it’s no wonder that our phones need a quick refresh daily.

Cue forward thinking entrepreneurs investing brilliant ways for members of the public to charge their phones while they are out and about. In one project in London, traditional red phone boxes are being converted into charging stations for mobile phones. The best thing about this is that they are solar powered and can give a 20% battery boost in just 10 minutes.

The Solarbox has won two awards – the LSE’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award and it came second place in the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The rise of smartphones has made phone boxes redundant, which is why this green transformation and revival of the facility is such a great idea. The service is free to use but is funded by advertisers, as users will be shown adverts while they wait for their phone to charge. 

Other public spaces are also realising the benefit of allowing customers and members of the public to charge their mobile phones. A shopping centre in Glasgow has recently introducing phone charging stations to allow shoppers to leave their phones to charge for 30 minutes. Silverburn Shopping Centre announced a few months ago that it was rolling out charging stations at various locations, to allow people to recharge their phones for free. This is a great way of keeping shoppers in the centre for longer, so they don’t have to rush home or limit time on their smartphones. It could also potentially eliminate people getting lost or not being able to meet with friends if a phone has lost battery and people can’t get in contact with one another.

Of course with people now utilising more mobile technology such as tablets and music devices, charging stations could definitely become more popular in the future as our reliance on tech and access to the internet increases.

What do you think of mobile charging stations? Will they soon be considered the norm?