Thursday, 13 March 2014

We need a mobile power breakthrough

We really do need a breakthrough in mobile computing. We keep wanting to run more powerful processors with bigger screens and more demanding software in a thinner package. The end result is dramatically reduced battery life, to the point that you can barely get through your waking hours on one full battery charge. People have started to look at this problem, but the answers so far are other ways to charge up - at the desk at work, a luggable backup battery, even solar panels. These stop-gap measures only stand in the way. We will soon end up with high-end phones that you unplug at 6am and expect to have dead batteries by the time you get home from work, without even really using it.

More compact battery technology would be a start, but our advances in this space have been incremental rather than revolutionary. Lower-power hardware would help, but probably not enough, especially if we take that as a cue to run ever more demanding software on it. Basically, our increasing demands on mobile computing technology are slowly eroding the very thing we designed them for. Eventually, if we continue on this path, the advantages of mobile will disappear altogether because the batteries suck so hard that they need to sit in a charging cradle non-stop.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Every couple of years I get a new phone and have to charge it more often. Right now it's often twice per day.
PPS - I know I wrote about this not too long ago, but it keeps coming up.

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