SXSW (South by Southwest) is one of the most popular sets of conferences and festivals in the country, held annually in Austin, Texas. It features films, music, and interactive media and is taking place from March 13 to 22. Such a long set of festivals eventually starts to take its toll on your energy levels — and your phone’s. But not to worry. This year, if your phone starts to run out of battery, a St. Bernard may have you covered.
On March 13, 14, and 15, juice pack battery company mophie is teaming up with the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation to provide a very interesting service to SXSW-goers. According to Mashable, every hour from noon to 7 p.m. on these three days, the mophieRescue Team will bring out a team of nine adult dogs and three puppies to provide charging services to chosen people. To get a chance to meet the dog and get your phone charged, you need to tweet @mophie with the hashtag #mophieRescue and attach your location and a screenshot of your dying phone battery.
Mophie’s vice president of marketing, Russ Howe, explained that the dogs’ safety has been accounted for.
“Every dog goes out no more than one or two times a day. They’ve been through the rescue program, or their owners support it; they’re from the area, they’re acclimated to the Texas heat, and they’re very comfortable around crowds.”
In addition, every dog will have a human team member present at all times. If you happen to see one of the dogs, you can take a photo with them and tweet it to get a chance at winning a prize.
The foundation has provided the dogs for this weekend service, and at the end of SXSW, some of the dogs will be available for adoption.
“We’ve activated at SXSW for several years and saving the batteries of attendees’ mobile devices has become our reputation during the week in Austin,” Howe said. “This year, we tossed in a new element and partnered with the National St. Bernard Foundation for some added assistance to our rescue efforts, while also making the adoption of these lovable dogs easy. The idea is: mophie and the St. Bernards save the people of SXSW. The people of SXSW save the St. Bernards.”
Those interested in supporting the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, or perhaps adopting a St. Bernard of their own, can use the foundation’s website to find more information.
So far, this move has garnered positive attention, which is good for SXSW, which has made some controversial decisions in the past. In 2012, SXSW used homeless people as wireless hotspots, which received a quick, heavy backlash.
Of course, if you’re at SXSW, don’t just rely on the dogs — they won’t be able to reach everyone, so keep your charger with you.
[Photo by Rod Begbie/Flickr]