Opinion

How batteries single-handedly thwart mankind’s advancement

Newspapers have never required batteries in order to function. And I like reading magazines still because I don’t have to worry about the battery on them running down. If it were thick enough, I could go for days reading Sports Illustrated, but alas it’s “paper” thin most issues now, so I usually can read it in one sitting.

I’m surprised marketing departments of (print) news rooms across the country (they’re still a thing, right?) don’t tout this not-too-thought-of fact to promote print media.

Batteries seem out of place in the digital world we live in. I know there’s wireless charging. I know there’re big fat batteries that turn your phone into the size of a brick so you can go for a couple, three days without charging. I also know you can plug that baby in to a wall outlet and, using your fast charging cable, get that phone back up to 100% battery in no time flat (relatively speaking).

It still seems like we live in such incongruous times. We’re right in the middle, straddling the divide between past and present in all the devices we find ourselves using. Our phones are our most used computers yet they can be brought to their knees all too easily by virtue of the dreaded battery drain.

Think about it.

You say proper planning can prevent your battery running down? Who wants to think about or plan for, any of these scenarios? Why should we? Is it a conspiracy by the manufacturers of all our phones’ third-party peripherals such as cases, cables, chargers, holsters and the like, that keep our digital advances tethered to battery requirements?

Batteries are a nuisance. If they weren’t they’d be more strongly marketed.

“Out batteries are not replaceable by the consumer, but they last twice as long as our competitors!”

Yeah, man, go buddy! What kind of selling point is that? They still don’t last. Period. That’s where the issue is. Someone needs to work on our being done with batteries. The only places they should still be located in are our flashlights and cars.

Along with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and all the other co-conspiring, battery-sucking social media apps out there, we check our phone battery percentage just as much as email or the rest; or at least I do. I don’t want to be disconnected in the midst of an important phone call due to battery drainage.

The term “battery drainage” itself brings to mind landfill seeping lithium ions interspersed with murky, acidic and stench-like pus substituting as non-solids otherwise known as nasty liquids.

My phone’s battery does last longer since I’ve removed all social media apps. And as a result, I no longer am shopping for an “increased life expectancy” battery replacement for the phone. But, it’s still not enough. At least I’m happier for not checking social media as much as I used to. I can’t believe what a time suck it was for me—almost as much of a drain on me as the apps were on my battery.

If I’m a CEO in almost 2018 of a tech company with hardware products that still employ the use of batteries, I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for consumers as well as the companies themselves. I’m embarrassed at why the use of batteries defeats all contrary, alternative design, and leaves everyone disappointed in their wake of 0% charge (left).

Separate batteries from smart phones or at least give us the kind that last a month or more. I don’t want to know how difficult or challenging it may be for research and development teams. It’s time to figure it out. Whoever is first in this endeavor will finally be the company to overtake Apple (unless Apple comes up with it first).

I don’t have a case on my phone. It’s just another expense to keep the battery from coming out when I occasionally drop the phone. Rather than buying a case or having to put the battery back in to the phone when I drop it, let me just push the two panels of the phone back together sans battery and fire it up again like that.

Batteries that can’t be replaced are not the answer, unless they can last like car batteries for at least a few years.

If the only answer is to implant a chip in me, then I’m down with that. I won’t drop the chip out of my hands, I know that. And I won’t ever, and I mean ever, have to write another piece on how dumb it is that stupid batteries still live inside our smart phones.

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Categories: Opinion

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