Even if you’re only an occasional tech conference attendee, the scene is a familiar one: The tired yet somehow still over-caffeinated masses scrambling around in between sessions in search of somewhere, anywhere, to charge their drained smartphones.
At this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, there’s a new charging solution at work. Mophie, the popular Tustin, Calif.-based mobile battery-case maker, has partnered up with the nonprofit Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation to aid battery-sapped conference-goers by dispatching dogs (and human handlers) equipped with phone chargers.
That’s right: the burly, sweet-faced Saint Bernards that you’d normally associate with brave rescues on chilly and remote mountain tops will be bopping around the conference grounds, ready to charge your phone at a moment’s notice – while simultaneously raising awareness about animal adoption.
The #mophieRescue lodge will set up shop near the Austin Convention Center, at the corner of 5th and Trinity Street. Naturally, the company’s home base will be outfitted to feel like a lodge in the Swiss Alps – that is, if that lodge was offering free alcohol, demos and a pop-up store with all manner of battery-life saving products.
So how does it work? With your phone’s last gasp, tweet out a screenshot of your depleted battery and current location to @mophie with the hashtag #mophieRescue, and you’ll receive a link to a Glympse map to show the dogs and their handlers and mophie swag, en route to you.
In a release from mophie, vice president of marketing Ross Howe said, “This year, we tossed in a new element and partnered with the National St. Bernard Foundation for some added assistance to our rescue efforts, while also making the adoption of these lovable dogs easy. The idea is; mophie and the St. Bernards save the people of SXSW. The people of SXSW save the St. Bernards.”
While their hearts seem to be in the right place, and the partnership will no doubt lead to some adorable photo ops, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact face time with the SXSW crowd will have on adoptions for these guys.
Mophie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.