It’s all so convenient. It’s all so freeing. It’s all so empowering. It all requires batteries! The quest for improved battery power, like more bandwidth, continues to vex the mobile eco-system. With so much mobile, how are we going to keep it all running?
You may have heard of Kickstarter project; Pebble. Launched earlier this month, the “smartwatch” project quickly became the most funded Kickstarter project ever surpassing their goal of $100k with over $5.5 million committed so far…a very small part of it mine. The idea of a smart watch appeals to me and is a very logical next step in mobile. I’ll be sure and share how well it all works later this year.
However, after pledging my backing for the Pebble I started thinking about the impact it will have on my Android device. You see the Pebble becomes “smart” with the help of your mobile phone via Bluetooth. Of course, this constant connection is going to have an impact well beyond the ability to get notifications on my watch. It’s going to use more battery power. In my case, I think it may very well suck the life out of my Evo 4G, requiring me to charge even more than the two times a day I currently dedicate to the process.
While the topic of more bandwidth occupies much of the headline space, I think about making the device I use to access that bandwidth run long enough to really benefit from it.
Thankfully, many are working to answer those concerns. While you and I continue our own home remedies…decreasing screen brightness, killing apps, turning of the wi-fi…technology continues to advance.
We’ve seen the decreased use of multiple chips by consolidating multiple functions into more advanced single chips. Processors have advanced to use power when needed…not all the time. As I mentioned in my last post, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is and example of optimizing current technology.
Don’t think the lowly battery has been overlooked. Not only is mobile device battery technology being addressed, the continued proliferation of electric and hybrid cars fuels research on batteries that will also benefit the mobile industry. If you’re in need of reassurance because you think we've been standing still, Gigaom provided a tidy little list of 25 battery technology developments in the past decade.
Thought leadership continues with the Department of Energy’s formation of the Batteries and Energy Storage Hub, a $20,000,000 project that “will accelerate the development of energy storage solutions that are well beyond current capabilities and approach theoretical limits.” Even Ohio State is hosting a Battery Symposium in May.
So take heart you mobile users and Dick Tracy wannabes. Your “smartwatches” will continue to run. And while you will still need to make stops long enough to recharge, improvements will come.
In the meantime, remember to turn off your 4G when you’re driving through Lower Dump Truck, Wyoming. It may mean one more text message or at least the right time of day.