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“I keep hearing about battery innovation, but it never makes it to my phone.” – Evan Spiegel (Snapchat Co-Founder)
Poor battery life is the Achilles’ heel of every cell phone maker in the world. While our connected devices continue to break new ground in terms of product innovation, design and weight, battery technology has remained stagnant. The lithium-ion technology found in phones and laptops has not significantly progressed since its first commercial introduction by Sony in 1991.
While phone battery lifespans have increased by a paltry 1% per year, data usage on our mobile phones doubles every two years, rising by 10X from 2015 to 2021. This is driven by our growing addiction to apps, which are increasingly power-draining. Every year, apps consume more power by use of better graphics, bluetooth services, location-services, background data transfer (even when you’re not using the app), and more cross-app connectivity. The endless search for juice has ushered in a new power economy, where battery life is the currency of choice.
But don’t take our word for it. Tech giants Elon Musk and Bill Gates have already begun heavily investing in new battery technology and startups looking to create the “holy grail” of batteries. Gates recently decried the “deep physical limits” of our current battery technology, a sentiment Musk has echoed numerous times. Despite these investments and seemingly limitless resources, we have yet to put an end to low battery anxiety. Scientists have even come up with a medical name for it: nomophobia. And, unlike other phobias, nomophobics are seemingly everywhere. According to a 2016 survey by electronics company LG, nearly 9 out of 10 people feel “panic” when their phone battery drops to 20 percent or lower. We’re so addicted to going online that 2 out of 5 people would choose Wi-Fi over sex, chocolate or alcohol.
Growing cases of nomophobia and cell phone addiction are the main drivers behind the explosion of startups offering external battery solutions. From battery case providers like Mophie, to phone charging accessories like HButler’s MightyPurse to our own high-tech phone charging kiosks, innovative startups and small businesses have taken on the challenge of solving consumer demands for 24/7 connectivity.
Indeed, Google searches for phone charging stations have surged in recent years, prompting an increasing number of kiosk installations at shopping centers, stadiums, hospitals and other public venues. Thousands of ChargeItSpot lockers are now located in major retail brand stores across the US and we’ve charged over 2.5 million phones since launching five years ago. As long as the demand for juice outgrows the energy capacities of our phone’s internal battery, there will be more companies like ChargeItSpot sprouting across the globe to keep people online and connected, wherever they go.
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- Vanity Fair http://www.vanityfair.com/news/tech/2013/07/snapchat-even-spiegel-lumosity-crossfader
- Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/01/21/the-search-for-a-better-battery-is-a-solution-near/
- Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204369404577205001921978364
- Android Headlines http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/02/cisco-mobile-data-usage-increase-8-fold-2018.html
- Gigaom https://gigaom.com/2010/08/08/how-moore%E2%80%99s-law-has-spoiled-us-for-the-energy-revolution/
- PR Newswire http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/low-battery-anxiety-grips-9-out-of-ten-people-300271604.html
- Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/11/16/study-majority-people-crave-wifi-sex-chocolate-alcohol/