With the EPA reporting that over 3 billion dry cell batteries (common household alkaline batteries) are consumed in United Sates each year, there is already a large opportunity for battery waste reduction through rechargeables and other innovative technologies.
Tetherboard, through its family of app-enabled batteries (called Tethercell), seeks to provide an answer to this growing problem. Currently, everyday household batteries are used and disposed of without much knowledge of the remaining power, nor is battery power utilized in the most efficient manner. Tetherboard intends to change all of this this by making batteries more intelligent and interactive.
Tethercell allows individuals, households and companies to conveniently and more effectively deal with battery powered devices by allowing them to:
With the proliferation of smartphones and the miniaturization of electronics, both of which are enabling the development of an array of app-enabled objects (such as: lightbulbs with LIFX, door locks with Lockitron, and location sensors with SticknFind), there currently is no effort focused on battery-operated devices or battery technology for that matter.
- Conveniently turn battery-operated devices on and off remotely.
- Ensure that objects remain off when they should be off (helping reduce energy waste).
- Set on and off schedules, limiting the amount of usage when desired.
- Know when batteries are low, so that replacements can be purchased before the batteries run out of power.
According to Tetherboard's Co-Founder, Kellan O'Connor: "Tethercell, in its current form, is a test-bed for future embeddable technologies that could reshape the world of batteries. We want to take what we've done so far, shrink it down even further and actually embed the technology into existing battery designs."
For the development of this technology Mr. O'Connor and his partner Trey Madhyastha drew inspiration for the design of their app-enabled batteries from their many years of experience at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) where they designed mechanical and fluid systems for the Falcon 9 rocket.
Tethercell was recently recognized as a finalist for the Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards, sponsored by the Bluetooth SIG and announced at the International CES 2013 in Las Vegas. According to Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO: "The Tethercell is the world's first app-enabled battery controller – it capitalizes on Bluetooth's tiny footprint, low implementation cost and the extremely low power consumption of Bluetooth Smart to give users mobile control over battery powered devices – it is a fascinating prototype, capturing all that is possible with Bluetooth.”
Tetherboard will be demonstrating their app-enabled batteries at CES 2013 in Las Vegas. Subsequently, the AA version of Tethercell will be available for pre-order on Indiegogo at the following location: http://www.indiegogo.com/tethercell.
The 9V version of Tethercell will be available for pre-order by May 2013.
Tetherboard, founded in 2012, is a Los Angeles-based consumer electronics company created to better connect people to the everyday objects in their lives.
January 10, 2013
I can already see some really great potential uses for this application. Tetherboard appears to be on track with their prototypes and Tetherboard says: "Tethercells have been tested to communicate with an iPhone 4S up to 100 feet away in an open field."
I'm hoping once Tethercell gets up and running with a large population of iPhones, we'll see a non-iPhone version for Android devices. But regardless of Smartphone preference, I think this App-enabled Battery Controller is a really cool idea.