Category: Our Mission

A Coffee Shop without Outlets

I love Oakland’s Blue Bottle coffee. More and more of them have been popping up in Los Angeles. I no longer need to go to the one in Downtown’s Arts District to enjoy one as there is a more convenient West Hollywood location now. 

Sadly, this open and gorgeous space of clean lines, Danish-inspired furniture and white brick walls lacks our most precious commodity: an open outlet. Not even one for the utilization for the shop owners themselves can be borrowed here. 

  It nonchalantly says “Don’t bother camping here all day as you sip one cup of $4 coffee.”
Yet, as pretty as the space is, it doesn’t absorb sound very well. Combine chairs without felt-padded feet grating against a concrete floor, whining children of wired parents, and the banging and clanking that go with grinding and making pour over coffee, this place is LOUD. 

If you find yourself nearby, don’t come to Blue Bottle for an open outlet. 

What Makes a Super Tagger

if you’re not familiar with the term, it’s what we at Open Outlet Project call someone who tags open outlets in their realm. A realm can be as expansive as a neighborhood or more focused like a college campus or every hair salon in the Fairfax District. 

Super Taggers live, work and come alive somewhere and that’s also where you’re going to need to keep your phone nicely charged. And if not yourself then your fellow smartphone users who need to keep #lowbattery away. 

With the Open Outlet app for iPhones, you can tag all types of open outlets you find in the wild. Should you find yourself with time to kill before you board at Denver International, take a a few seconds to tag an open outlet on a wall to help a fellow passenger. Or, if you’re a live music fan, take some time out to help a fan out. 

Yet, if you are more than a casual traveller but find yourself in a a realm that is either rich or poor in available outlets, please share that information using our app. 

And, for those of you that really run with this, and share tags on Twitter, then we call you a Super Tagger and we give you stickers too. You can peel and stick a sticker on a standard outlet where it seems appropriate to do so (sorry, but asking for permission is the best way to be sure). 

Super Tagging isn’t for everyone but for those altruistic few that want to help us build essential content. 

I hope that’s you!

Happy Charging. 

Got #lowbattery Need #openoutlet

Whether Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you’ll eventually come across a #lowbattery or #openoutlet. At the moment, these are merely comments on a situation, even dire ones–last glimmers of social activity before the smartphone gets stupid., and yours truly, seek to solve this problem until the low battery becomes a thing of the past thanks to battery technology. In the mean time, the gap between having a low battery phone and finding a place to charge it (#openoutlet and #usbcable) is our mission. To bring you there, we have developed a crowd tagging app to allow you to add an #openoutlet to our map. Whether at your departure gate at the airport or sitting in an English class on Campus, tag that #openoutlet. We use FourSquare to help you identify #openoutlets at coffee shops and most public places. There’s the ability to snap a picture and write up a simple text description in case finding the #openoutlet is harder than just being there. And there are a ton of more features planned.

What we need most of all, right now, are dedicated users. Perhaps that’s you? :-)

In case you’re wondering why the app isn’t in the store yet, it’s because it’s being tested. That’s where you #earlyadopters come in handy. Whether you’re geeky and/or just want to help, we WANT you badly. The more, the merrier, and the more tagged #openoutlets. As you can imagine, asking the operations desk of a major airport for their floor plans that might identify #openoutlets is suspicious.

Now, if you see someone post #lowbattery send them our way to #openoutlet for a chance to survive and succeed. No matter how you found yourself with #lowbattery we’re understanding (just like mom) and there’s likely a safe haven for you and your phone to get the boost you need.

The Long Goodbye to the Fog of Open Outlets

Does this outlet work?

Does this outlet work?

Have you heard of the fog of war?  It is a term used to describe uncertainty by personnel in military operations. Thanks to radar and field communication, the fog of war has been lifted. And with the wide ranging apps for nearly every utility ever thought of, one might think that there is no fog when it comes to finding things, online or offline.

There is indeed a layer of uncertainty affecting urban workers, travelers, and students when it comes to finding a place to plug your battery-drained smartphone. For some, they turn to their car for a boost. Everyone else is left to fend for themselves, and on an individual basis.

Open Outlet aims to fill this void and lift the fog of uncertainty to reveal where open outlets are on map, and in proximity to wherever you and when you need it most. Part mobile app, part hashtag and part movement, the Open Outlet project aims to solve this problem by using crowdsourcing, social media, and its own app to  map the world’s open outlets, wherever you roam.

Open Outlet is currently seeking beta testers, who use an iPhone, and who can answer a resounding Yes to any of these questions:

  • I suffer from premature low battery frequently and want to help solve this problem for myself and others
  • I travel quite a bit and I often discover open outlets and I want to be an integral part of a movement
  • I’m a college campus warrior, and a geek, and I know where I can charge my phone and laptop at any given notice. I am able to help others too.

If interested, please email Open Outlet’s creator at chief @ pillar