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August 20, 2004

We need a standard for rechargeable batteries

Posted 3529 days ago on August 20, 2004

This is a huge issue. How many devices do you have with rechargeable batteries? From mobile phones and shavers to toothbrushes, MP3 players and PDAs: each one has its own proprietary battery and its own proprietary charger. So when you travel with several devices you need a bag full of chargers as well. Worse still, a dirty secret of the device world is that each time you use a rechargeable battery, it runs down that little bit quicker. After a year or three, it's useless. Often, the battery is sealed into the unit, so unless you are skilled in electronics your choice is between an uneconomic manufacturer's service, or buying a new device. Most often, you choose the latter, often adding poisonous waste to landfill sites when the old unit is discarded.

Think what would happen if there were an industry standard for rechargeable batteries, in sizes and types suitable for most devices. They would be cheaper. They would be replaceable. You would only need one universal charger. Competition and technology advance would mean gradually improving performance, so that you could easily get longer battery life by replacing your old one. There would also be a healthy market in refurbished batteries (as there is in refilled ink cartridges), since with standard sizes and types there would be an assured market.

Why doesn't this happen? It requires cooperation between competing vendors, and extending device lifetime might reduce sales. It also means hardware designers would have to live with the standard battery sizes, and design easy battery replacement into their devices. On the other hand, users would love it. So would the environment. A good candidate for government interference.

Re: We need a standard for rechargeable batteries

Posted 3528 days ago by Nigel Wright • • • Reply

We do have standardised rechargeables. They're called AA, AAA etc. ;)
Apart from me being a bit cheeky you are right of course but, you can always get yourself a USB charger kit. All you have to do then is get different cables for the different devices - it's not a total solution but a useful one nonetheless and greatly reduces the number of chargers you need.

Rechargeable batteries: Standards now!

Trackback from Information Manager Journal Posted 3512 days ago • Reply

Bravo to Tim Anderson for revving up the call for standard, interchangeable batteries on devices. Look, the number and variety of devices is growing exponentially. How crazy is it that the electrons fly between them in standardized ways (TCP/IP) but

Re: We need a standard for rechargeable batteries

Posted 3287 days ago by Me • • wwwReply

This has nothing to do with Dodge Chargers.

Re: We need a standard for rechargeable batteries

Posted 3287 days ago by Tim Anderson • • • Reply

Indeed, that's why we need a semantic web :-)


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