STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A tech-savvy Staten Islander has developed a new application that can make life on the go easier for anybody with an iPhone, iPad or iPod.
Will Damante of Prince’s Bay is the creator of PlugHunter, a street-smart app that lets the owners of Apple hand-held devices find the nearest electrical outlet they can use to recharge a low battery.
Since Oct. 18, what’s billed as the world’s first and only free-power finder, has been available to be downloaded via iTunes from the Apple Store. The price is 99 cents.
“With PlugHunter you’re always near power and Wi-Fi even if you didn’t know it,” says Damante. “I found over 200,000 locations worldwide that have free publicly available plugs and Wi-Fi.”
He says electric outlets can be found in all sorts of places open to the public, including stores, restaurants, copy centers, shopping malls, movie theaters and airports.
Damante, 32, a former process server who works as an assistant to a Brooklyn judge, started cataloguing the locations for his own use a few years ago.
“I was a process server for about 10 years and my phone was my lifeline to my clients and contacts,” he says. “Being a process server means being on the go all day long. I would usually hit all five boroughs in a day. But I was always running low on a charge and was always on the lookout for outlets where I could charge up my phone for a few minutes to get me to my next destination.”
He decided to create PlugHunter when he realized there were lots places where people who are out and about can find electric outlets to recharge their mobile devices.
According to Damante, “I created this application because I found a need for it in my travels in and around the city and country, and since there was nothing there to fulfill the need, I created one myself and made it so everyone could share the power.”
The Islander says: “It’s a labor of love.”
Damante sifted through websites and databases to assemble names and addresses of public locations in the United States and abroad to plug into PlugHunter.
He also included public places where WiFi links are available. For example, they can be found inside Starbucks, McDonald’s, UPS, Kinko’s and Mail Boxes Etc. Plus libraries, parks and many other hot spots.
When the app was ready to go, Damante submitted PlugHunter to Appple for official approval. It took just 20 business days for him to get the OK for his product.
Key specifications: Category: Utilities. Version: 1.0 Size: 2.0 MB Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
The full details are available on Web (www.PlugHunter.com). Damante also has a blog (www.theplughunter.blogspot.com).
He is continuing to add to PlugHunter, which also allows users to input locations they discover.
A few hundred of the app have already been purchased. Under their deal, Apple gets 30 cents per download and Damante gets 69 cents.
Is he on the way to fame and fortune?
Maybe. But there is no lack of competition.
“There are about 250,000 apps available for the iPhone and iPod,” he points out. “There are about 100,000 for the iPad.”
So Damante hopes to spread the word far beyond Staten Island that PlugHunter is uniquely handy.
He calls himself a “hometown person with worldwide aspirations.”