Power up with PowerPuck

NIU is bringing power to the people thanks to IDEAL Industries’ innovative charging system recently installed in the Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels and the Holmes Student Center.

“NIU students are never further than a cord’s length away from power to keep their devices fully charged,” Nate Kolmodin, PowerPuck product manager, said. “The PowerPuck system brings power to where they are.”

PowerPuck chargers attach to a low voltage, safe-to-the touch rail using existing USB cords so that multiple devices can be charged at once. After looking at high student traffic areas where there were a limited number of outlets, the Holmes Student Center and Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels in Founders Library were selected for the initial installation.

“There is no longer a need to hunt for the nearest outlet or cut a study session short because of a low battery,” Kolmodin said.

PowerPuck is the latest partnership between IDEAL, a family-owned company based in Sycamore, and NIU. In 2016, the IDEAL-NIU Intrapreneurship Program was created to give students real-world experience while bringing new products to market. Since then, more than 30 students have participated in the innovative program that prepares Huskies for the workforce, and seven students accepted jobs with the company following graduation.

“It’s awesome to be testing and representing PowerPuck at NIU, especially because many of us are alumni,” Reema Abdullah, a 2018 Huskie graduate and current IDEAL business unit engineer. “It’s great to know we are improving NIU students’ experience.”

Abdullah said PowerPuck is an easy and effective way to charge devices for busy students who are on the go.

“Huskies can benefit from PowerPuck by having an efficient way to charge their mobile devices in between classes,” Abdullah said. “It’s a great addition because students don’t want to hunt for outlets.”

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