“Doesn’t work,” said the guy next to me.
Sure enough, none of the outlets at any of the workstations had any power. Every person in sight was using an electronic device.
Lately, I’ve been running out of juice more and more. Finding an outlet is not always easy.
My iPad lasts for 10 hours. But using my phone as a wireless hotspot drains the battery within a couple hours. Anyone who says there’s lots of free Wi-Fi available doesn’t travel around the county much. I’m never in a car very long to charge up the phone sufficiently. There are some days I’m not at my desk at all.
I knew I had a problem when I was at a crime scene a few weeks ago. I asked a nearby homeowner for his Wi-Fi password. I almost asked to use the outlet next to his garden hose, but asking to use the bathroom would have felt more natural. Scoping out houses for outdoor power outlets feels like rock-bottom.
More and more places are recognizing people need a place to plug in. Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester added 225 outlets for student use. Bryant Park in New York City added 42 electrical outlets. Even Occupy Rochester had access to an outlet at Washington Square Park.
Some companies are seeing a business opportunity and developing systems that could charge you for using coffee shop power outlets.
Of course, other solutions include making mobile devices capable of heavy use for long periods of time. Until then, anyone have a place I can plug in?