Mobile medical technology relies on batteries, from AEDs to penlights. Sometimes, seconds matter and taking time to figure out if the batteries are in correctly takes crucial moments away from the task at hand. Addressing this, Microsoft has announced it is licensing a new technology that allows users to install a battery without regard to negative or positive polarity. They have partnered with Duracell and other industry leaders, which hopefully means products with this ability will come to market relatively soon.
From the press release:
InstaLoad technology can be incorporated into devices that require frequent battery swap-outs, are used in less-than-ideal environments or use several batteries. Industries that could greatly benefit from this type of timesaving technology based on their environments include law enforcement, military, construction, outdoor sporting and camping. In addition, users of devices with multiple batteries and frequent battery swap-out — including battery chargers, digital cameras, camera flash units and toys — could also benefit.
Unlike existing electronic solutions designed to address battery-polarity installation, InstaLoad is a mechanical invention that does not drain battery power or require expensive electronic circuitry. InstaLoad battery contacts can be cost-effectively designed into most battery compartments, as it usually requires replacing existing battery contacts with the patented InstaLoad contact design. The technology is compatible with popular off-the-shelf batteries used in products such as flashlights, toys, battery chargers, lighting and most other battery-operated consumer electronic devices that use CR123, AA, AAA, C or D size batteries (disposable or rechargeable) or similar barrel-type battery form factors.
Microsoft: Microsoft Unveils InstaLoad Battery Installation Technology That Allows Batteries to Be Inserted in Either Direction, InstaLoad Overview