Batthead batteries could allow any device to be wirelessly controlled
By Ben Coxworth
September 30, 2013
There are already a wide variety of devices that can be turned on and off by your smartphone, although they typically need to be Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-enabled. The makers of Batthead, however, have taken another approach. They're creating Bluetooth-controlled batteries, that will allow any ol' device using them to be powered up or down via your phone.
The Battheads themselves are AA-sized rechargeable NiMH batteries, each one containing a Bluetooth Smart Chip that allows it to communicate with your phone.
There's also an integrated accelerometer, making it possible for the batteries to detect when they've been moved. This could allow for things such as flashlights that come on whenever they're picked up, or devices that automatically turn off when they haven't been used in several minutes.
Along with simply being used as a remote power switch, the paired phone could also make it possible for devices to follow a power on/off schedule throughout the day, to turn themselves on or off depending on whether or not the phone is nearby, and to notify the user if they've accidentally left the device behind somewhere.
If one set of batteries is charging while another is loaded into a device, the app will always identify the "in use" batteries as the ones to control. What isn't immediately clear, is what happens when multiple sets of batteries are in use in different devices at the same time.
Battheads are currently in working prototype form, with iOS and Android versions of the app on the way. The developers are currently seeking production funds, on Kickstarter. Pledges start at 19 CAD (US$18.40) for a single battery without an accelerometer, when and if they reach production.
More information is available in the pitch video below.
Ed note: This article originally mistakenly referred to the batteries as being Wi-Fi-controlled, and has been corrected.