The Amber phone charging system offered people a convenient way to store and charge their phones using fingerprint scan technology, with later retrieval from storage areas secured with fingerprint locks. Entrepreneurs behind this product hoped to lease these stations out as locations within bars, malls, airports, or arenas.
Entrepreneurs presented themselves as being in “pre-revenue,” each station costing $2,000 to buy or $150 each month to rent, prompting sharp comments from the sharks.
Charges multiple devices
The Amber cell phone charging station is a self-locking unit capable of simultaneously charging multiple devices at once. With space for seven phones at any one time and individual compartments for each phone charging, as well as LED indicators to display charge status and error codes, overheating protection that automatically shuts down power if the unit becomes too warm is also included with this charging device.
Entrepreneurs behind the Amber prototype came into Shark Tank seeking an investment of $200,000 in exchange for 20% equity in their company. They said they planned on leasing these stations out to bars, malls, arenas, and other venues where customers needed easy ways to charge their phones on the go – portable Amber chargers would make an excellent option to bring with you on your travels.
Amber is not only ideal for charging an iPhone, but it can also set an Apple Watch with its 3.7 V rechargeable battery. No separate power bank is necessary: its small case fits easily into tracksuit pockets while the cable spool cover keeps wires out of sight.
Robert Herjavec was skeptical of the fingerprint scanner and doubted its security compared to other systems. Daymond John expressed similar skepticism regarding its necessity, noting there were plenty of places that offered free charging services already. Lori Greiner did not wish to invest in Amber’s cell phone charging station and eventually dropped out of negotiations altogether.
The Amber is an exciting idea, but it faces fierce competition. Similar products exist on the market already, and consumers may be wary of trying something unfamiliar, like an Amber charger that may not come from a well-established name. But if it can prove its value to consumers and become one of their top-selling items – thanks to its distinctive design and functionality features – then success may follow suit.
It can be used with a fingerprint scanner.
As most people own multiple iDevices, the Amber phone charger from ClearGrass offers the ideal solution to the burden of carrying various power banks for each device. As both a protective case and power bank in one compact device, it allows multiple devices to charge at once while being highly portable, fitting perfectly into tracksuit pockets. This is a testament to Dieter Rams’ philosophy that good design should be simple.
Bill Shuey and Kyle Bird, two industrial designers from James Madison University in Virginia, developed Amber as part of their college side projects. Recognizing a need for charging stations in large venues like theaters and stadiums, they saw Amber as the solution; entering Shark Tank, they sought a $200,000 investment for 20% ownership in exchange for a $200,00 investment in business for their product.
The Sharks were skeptical of Amber’s ability to meet its goals, given its production cost of roughly one thousand dollars per unit. Mark Cuban admitted seeing its potential yet expressed doubt as it might not be profitable at its current price point; Lori Greiner was similarly unimpressed and declined to make an offer for one unit.
Daymond John and Robert Herjavec expressed concerns over the product’s security features. They noted that Bill and Kyle hadn’t brought any units with lockable compartments into the Shark Tank; Bill and Kyle responded that they are working on developing lockable versions, which should become available soon.
Before the Sharks could decide whether or not to invest in Amber, they were interrupted by an email from their Shark Tank producer. The producers of the show wanted to know if Bill and Kyle were still developing their product and had received any interest from festival organizers or large venues for festival organizers or large venues alike. Bill and Kyle assured their Sharks that they were still working on Amber while being interested in the feedback they were receiving from audiences around them.
Can be connected to an external power source
Recharging our smartphones may not always be top of mind. When the battery begins running low, however, people typically seek out establishments where they can restore it. Unfortunately, most establishments cannot accommodate everyone needing their phone charged. The Amber Charging Station is an innovative device that provides charging capacity for multiple devices at the same time, holding up to seven phones while locking with fingerprint scanning and providing users with updates through the speakerphone.
Amber was initially conceptualized by Bill Shuey while studying political science at James Madison University. Inspired by watching his smartphone slowly die at a bar, Shuey decided to create an Amber solution that would protect phones while they charged in public spaces. Together with Kyle Byrd as their business partner, they designed a prototype Amber that could hold seven devices safely behind locked plates of glass while charging. It could then be placed anywhere from bars, restaurants, arenas, airports, gyms, and movie theaters; patrons would register fingerprints upon entry for free, while venues paid $150 per month, leasing the system from both parties.
Shuey and Byrd presented their prototype on Shark Tank in 2014. Producers discovered it during its development as a college side project, inviting Shuey and Byrd to submit it on TV as a potential investment opportunity for up to 20% equity stake in exchange for a $200,000 upfront investment in exchange for a 20% ownership stake in their firm.
Robert Herjavec was not keen on investing, calling the concept “terrible.” Lori Greiner also decided not to join, prompting them not to offer an investment deal.
Shuey and Byrd ultimately were unable to cut costs enough to make their system profitable; consequently, they closed the shop in 2015. Without being forced to face such public scrutiny for so long before debuting their idea on Shark Tank, their chances might have been different; future entrepreneurs should be wary about appearing there as it can sometimes backfire on new ventures.
It can be used as a dock
The Amber phone charger is an innovative way of simultaneously charging multiple iDevices at once and also acts as a dock, designed by two former classmates from Virginia’s James Madison University: Kyle Byrd of industrial design major fame, and Bill Shuey (political science major) met while in school and quickly developed their prototype while finishing at JMU; ultimately being featured on Season 6 of “Shark Tank.”
Amber was designed to work with any Apple Watch or iPhone and can charge up to seven devices at the same time. Its self-locking compartment makes putting devices away easy, while its fingerprint scanner verifies identity and protects privacy. Businesses can use Amber to track customer data, while customers can download an app that reveals locations where charging stations can be found.
ClearGrass Amber may appear like an ordinary power bank, but its internal battery can simultaneously charge both your Apple Watch and iPhone. Recharging can occur up to eight times, and even powering your watch without being connected to an electrical socket is possible thanks to this Amber’s integrated battery powering it from within – with USB plug charging capability compatible with existing Lightning cables for additional flexibility.
This sturdy stand boasts a generous design with natural colors for an eye-catching piece. Perfect to place your phone or watch on while texting or emailing. Additionally, its cable spool cover keeps cables out of view while you charge up your device.
The Sharks loved both the concept and product, but were concerned about its business model. Mark Cuban mentioned that for their business to succeed, device costs must fall below $100; therefore, he suggested developing an app allowing people to search nearby Amber stations. They agreed and are currently working toward commercialization of their technology.