Technology Growth – Batteries

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Technology Growth – Batteries

I find it utterly fascinating that different things technologically evolve faster than other things, even if they are two components of the same item.

For example, cell phone technology has improved to a great extent, much faster than the battery technology. Today with my Android Galaxy Note, which can do pretty much anything as my laptop can do albeit on a smaller screen, I have to charge the battery almost daily. This is even if I turn off all the extraneous settings, kill all the useless background apps, turn off location, turn off wifi, keep the screen brightness at the lowest possible settings, etc. I must still charge that sucker every day, if not every day and a half.

Back in the 1990s, I had a stupid little black and white plain-Jane Nokia phone. It made phone calls, did texting, had calculator and a few other apps. It was perfectly fine and did the job. I could go five or six days before ever needing to charge the thing. It would easily last that long, no problem. Five to six days vs. every single day now.

This is even bigger than it sounds. In the 1990s I spent a lot more time talking on the phone than today because of texting, email, social media, Skype, and various other "new" tools, I probably spend 90% less time talking on the phone today than I did back in 1997 with my old Nokia phone, and still that phone battery outlasted my smartphone by easily 400% percent.

I once heard Bill Gates say that all this hype over green technology is nice, but that's really not the answer. The answer, he said, is in battery technology. If battery tech actually kept up with other technological advances, like in computers, phones, and medicine then we would all have off-the-grind solar powered homes right now along with zero-gas battery-operated cars.

We've invented all the other tech necessary for some really wonderful things to happen; it's just that for some odd reason, battery tech lags behind.

Isn't that interesting?

This article was originally published on April 21, 2015