I wrote about my desire to purchase portable backup power for my tech toys (mostly my iPhone) a few months ago. I made an impulse QVC buy and got a portable charger, which I later sent back. I liked the idea, but realized I could get a much better deal on Amazon.

After another month or so of shopping, comparing prices, and using SwagBucks to earn a ton of Amazon e-Gift cards, I finally made a decision and ended up with not one, but TWO portable power packs. I got a smaller capacity charger, from Intocircuit, which has found a permanent home in my purse. With 5000 mAh at my disposal, it should fully charge my iPhone about 2 times. Lord help me if I’m just out and about, around town, and I need more than 2 charges!

Then, for more heavy duty tasks, such as charging my Nook Color, or a friend/family member with a phone that needs some juice, I also bought an Anker 10,000 mAh pack. We had a lot of power outages last year, and I was always debating when I’d have to resort to driving somewhere, just so I could recharge my devices. So, that’s the biggest reason I got the big guy.

My Mom, Aunt, & I are planning another trip to the Western & Southern Open, in Cincinnati, in the next 2 weeks. We went back in 2009 and saw Roger Federer defeat Andy Murray in the semifinals. We want to see Venus and Serena before they retire, so we’re going to try and see them this time around.

I’m on the mailing list, for that tournament, ever since then. Reading the latest update on the 2013 edition of the tourney, I scrolled down to a section that immediately grabbed by attention!

Smartphone running out of juice?

The text that follows announces that if you visit a specific tent, on the grounds, you can rent a mobile phone charger for either $7 or $9 per day.

WOW! Have times changed or what?

Smartphones and electronics are big business. Not to mention that we, as a society, are hopelessly attached to our devices. I know I am! And that’s why I bought my backup power packs. But, if you think about it, what the Western & Southern folks are providing is genius!

Even if you brought your USB/micro charger, and you’re at a venue, where are you going to find an outlet? And even if you find one, how long can you really stay there without missing something? You certainly can’t leave your device there to charge and retrieve it later! If you haven’t invested in portable power, being able to rent one seems like a pretty good idea, right?

Check out my relevant tweet from 2009:

I sure could have used this service then!

Do other venues/festivals offer a backup battery rental? If not, they should be! After Ohio State football games, my friends and I usually race to nearby buildings, in order to recharge our phones. We typically have juuuuuuust enough juice to last a game, but no longer. If you’re attending an all-day or extended event, you’re going to need some help, and these venues could create even more income by renting backup batteries.

In any case, I applaud the Western & Southern Open for displaying such business savvy. I’ll be paying more attention to see if this becomes more of a trend, if it isn’t already! But they won’t be getting a cent from me. I’m well prepared.