The Battery Hurdle

The Battery Hurdle

The Battery Hurdle

In the world of mobile devices, technological developments are advancing with giant steps: more powerful processors, razor-sharp screens, faster data transmission, and more. These widen – significantly – the technological gap between generations of devices.

However, notwithstanding the innovation and creativity that we find in many areas, there is one cardinal component of mobile computing that has been left way behind: the battery. This has led to a situation in which, no matter how innovative a product is, we are still left with a constant search for an electrical outlet. And this dependence on some source of electricity has never been more palpable.

The search for a solution to this problem continues unceasingly, but real news for consumers is still somewhere in the future; it seems that we are at a stage at which companies are doing all they can to maximize the given capabilities of rechargeable batteries.

First among these are the chip manufacturers, who are trying to offer an overall solution, one that will provide advanced processing capabilities along with reduced electrical consumption. However, there are also solutions that provide faster charging of the battery, as in the case of Qualcomm and its Quick Charge technology, in whose newest version the charging online casino is controlled both from within the chip itself, and from the charger plugged into the wall.

Device manufacturers such as Motorola (which was recently acquired by Google) have simply provided a dramatic increase in battery capacity, to allow longer than normal time between charges.

One of the more notable solutions is wireless charging, which allows charging to take place almost without our thinking about it, whether by placing the device on the table in a cafe, in a car, or on top of some other electrical device. In this area, though, there is a standards “war” taking place between two dominant organizations – the PMA (Power Matters Alliance) and the WPC (Wireless Power Consortium). The former views the public sphere as the battleground, while the latter is specifically launching its campaign from the private sphere. Both organizations are recruiting other companies, from various areas, into the struggle. Such companies range from cell phone manufacturers, such as Nokia, Samsung and HTC, through car manufacturers, to cellular providers, and even organizations such as Starbucks, who installed the Israeli PowerMat points in their chain of coffee shops.

How does this affect developers? Those involved in hardware development should give thought to how to incorporate such solutions in future versions of their products, because ultimately one of these two will win out (and it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation – no one wants to end up like Betamax cassettes or HD-DVD, which lost their respective battles). And those involved in software, particularly in areas such as augmented reality, can in the future plan for a longer experience, based on the assumption that the user’s device will not turn itself off in the middle of the story.