Kiosks save drowned phones

June 1, 2015 | by Bradley Cooper

Many can relate to the sinking feeling as your cellphone sinks into water. You frantically grab it, only to find that it is completely dead. You quickly go to Google to find solutions, only to find the age-old solution of soaking the device in rice. Even with that method, the success rate is questionable. Kiosk manufacturers are attempting to provide a more effective solution to saving drowned cellphones. Two of these manufacturers are Dry Ventures Inc. and TekDry.

Dry Ventures was founded in 2011 by CEO David Naumann. Its key product is a kiosk called DryBox that attempts to repair water logged cellphones. During the test run, Naumann said he found out three strengths of Dry Ventures. "We have something that works. People will use it. And there's a huge market for it," Naumann said. "We want to save the growing number of wet phones and save people money."

The kiosk attempts to extract moisture from the cellphone using heat and pressure, in a process that takes around 30 minutes, according to Naumann. According to Naumann, the DryBox has successfully dried 5,000 cellphones.

One issue with this process is the success rate of the drying process. The success rate can vary significantly due to a variety of factors. For example, the longer the moisture stays inside your cellphone, the less chance you have of repairing the phone. The excess moisture can cause the phone to short or corrode.

"They are almost like snowflakes. You can't duplicate it," Naumann said. Currently, DryVentures claims a 70 percent success rate overall. TekDry claims on its website that users who get their cellphones to a kiosk within 48 hours have an 80 percent success rate.

When it comes to price, the DryBox costs $20 per attempt. At its Gamestop locations, DryBox charges a total of $40 for a successful revival since Gamestop employees can aid customers with the process. TekDry charges $100 for a smartphone repair, which can be performed either at a location or by mailing the phone to the TekDry office.

In terms of refunds, DryBox offers a money back option and TekDry will do partial refunds if the phone is not revived. For example, TekDry will refund $80 out of $100 for an unsuccessful smartphone repair, according to a report by CIO.

Currently, the main challenge with these kiosks is awareness. Many users only find out about these kiosks when they have exhausted all other options. Currently, Dry Ventures is partnering with two retailers to raise awareness and craft its brand image.

The DryBox can be found at select H-E-B grocery and Gamestop locations. TekDry kiosks are located at select Batteries Plus Bulbs locations.


Topics: Custom Kiosks, Hardware, Manufacturers, Repair / Service


Bradley Cooper / Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.
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