In an article in Verge, they identified that Uber has discovered you are more likely to pay surge pricing if the battery on your mobile is low. Surge pricing is where they put the price up when they are low on drivers or there is peak demand, such as closing time in pubs on a Friday night, or after a sports match or concert.
This is not a question that many people would be thinking about and unlikely to come from conventional research. The implications are significant though because battery level in your mobile is something that can be shared with applications.
Imagine marketing opportunities if you were able to detect low battery in someone’s mobile. For example:
1. A restaurant, bar or food business app with proximity could offer a free charge while you eat.
2. Any destination running a loyalty program, for example a gas station brand could offer the same. Quick charge while you fill up and buy a coffee. Same for movie theaters who want you to keep your phone off anyway would win your loyalty over other chains.
3. Mobile GPS mapping applications (that suck battery power) could offer directions to a location where you could charge it (if you don’t have a charger with you, it happens). At the very least it would be good PR to let you know you were down to say 30% and build loyalty towards that service.
4. Public Service apps like Civil Defence would also serve well if they sent you a battery low warning, especially if there were conditions such as storm warnings in the area or other current alerts.
5. Corporate Apps such as field sales or service automation.
So Uber have kindly shared an interesting observation. Who is going to act on it?