What will Hipmunk come up with next? The flight and hotel search engine just placed a recharging station in Portland Airport to take the agony out of handling a laptop, tablet or smartphone with no juice.
The three-sided "power tower" or Smile Station, as Hipmunk puts it, has AC outlets to plug in your myriad devices, plus each side touts a different tourism landmark in Oregon.
Here's an image of the recharging station, replete with Hipmunk branding:
So, if this clever marketing ploy works for Hipmunk, how can the startup afford to scale this thing up?
Will you soon be seeing Hipmunk recharging stations at JFK Airport or at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris?
The short answer is that Hipmunk has installed one power tower in Portland for now and there are no grand expansion plans.
"At the moment, we don't have plans for any more power towers, but that might change if we continue to receive such positive feedback from fans and new users," says Hipmunk spokeswoman Jacqueline Tanzella. "It was a really fun project, and was born out of our own pain points in traveling. We hope that we put a smile on people's faces during a somewhat mundane and tedious task."
So, why Portland then?
Tanzella says Hipmunk selected Portland Airport because it is a small market with a mix of business and leisure travelers.
"We wanted to conduct a small, controlled experiment to see if our fans would notice," Tanzella says.
Some noticed inside and beyond the airport, of course, because Hipmunk mentioned it in a blog post.