DryBox Rescue brings solution for water-damaged phones to UT

Lisa Nhan

DryBox Rescue, a kiosk designed to save water-damaged phones in 30 minutes, was installed last week on the second floor of the Texas Union.

The success of the kiosk in an HEB near the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, Texas, inspired DryBox founder and CEO David Naumann to install a kiosk on UT’s campus. This is the first on-campus DryBox Rescue.

Naumann, a UT alumnus, said the service acts as “CPR for a wet phone.”

“We really do try to save people time, hassle and money,” Naumann said. “It gives you a quick resolution. With other home remedies, you never know when it’s dry or safe to use.”

The patented process removes moisture from the phone by lowering the boiling point of water. If the phone is dried within 24 hours, DryBox has a more than 70 percent success rate.

James Buckley, director of facilities and operations for University Unions, said the University negotiated a reduced rate of $29.95 rather than $34.95, the price at other DryBox locations.

“We felt like it would be helpful for students to give them a break on the price,” Buckley said. “We wanted to accommodate to help the students who would find the machine useful.”

For some students, including computer science freshman Rebecca Wardall, putting a phone in rice and other home remedies have proven successful.

Wardall said she sees value in the kiosk but is unsure if she’d ever use it herself.

“If I had a spare $20 and really wanted to save my phone, I’d use it, but the rice trick is free and has worked before in my experience,” Wardall said. “I’d rather just try that first.”

Recognizing that their main competition is inexpensive remedies like “rice and cat litter,” Naumann said the company also offers a full money-back refund if the phone does not work after using the kiosk.

Naumann said the success of saving the phone is dependent on many factors.

“Every device that is exposed to moisture is basically a snowflake,” Naumann said. “It depends on things like how much moisture was the phone exposed to, the device itself, how long it’s been.”

The kiosk can also dry other electronic devices, as long as the device is less than seven inches in width.