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Tethercell makes any AA battery-powered device controllable via smartphone


January 9, 2013

Tethercell is the size of a AA battery, but it draws power from a AAA battery

Tethercell is the size of a AA battery, but it draws power from a AAA battery

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Someday we may control a variety of household objects and appliances with our smartphones. That future may be not be fully realized for several years, but one Indiegogo project wants to give you a head start. Tethercell is an adapter that lets you control any AA battery-powered device with your smartphone.

Turn on, tune in, shut down

Tethercell's concept is simple: use it in place of a AA battery, connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and control the object's power. You can power on and off, find out when a device's battery is low, or set timers for automatic startups and shutdowns.

The accessory is a Bluetooth-enabled adapter that houses one AAA battery. When your phone sends the signal, it cuts off power. Since devices need all batteries to operate, you only need one Tethercell per device.


Tethercell could come in handy for parents who only want their children to play with toys during set hours. Little Jimmy's playing with his remote controlled car after 8 PM? Fire up the companion Tetherboard app, and power down the hot rod from the comfort of your armchair.

As ingenious as Tethercell's concept is, it targets a niche audience. Apart from restrictive parents, who else would need this? Most AA battery-powered devices can be shut down with the flip of a switch. Do you really need to do it from your iPhone?

Perhaps, like many new technologies, its applications won't be clear until imaginations have had time to wrap themselves around it.


At the time of publication, Tethercell has raised US$5,908 out of its $59,000 goal with 44 days remaining. If funding is successful, the founders plan to ship to the first backers by June.

If you're wanting to enforce toy time – or have thought of other uses for Tethercell – you can watch the founders' pitch below.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

Basic idea is OK, but the suggestion is that it only works from an iphone is completely crazy when there are at least 5 times as many android devices out there !


professore - There may be 5 times as many android devises, but there are also that many android operating systems. iOS devises all use the same iOS programming and are all compatable with each other. To do the same with android, a developer would have to do 10 times the work. By focusing on the iPhone first, they can cover more of the market in less time and far less cost. Hope that economy of scale less helps.


Mom wastes her 'I-diot' phone battery, calling or data plan while little Timmy puts in a regular battery...the fun for him continues, mom wonders why she wasted her money.


Forget batteries, put this control into a mains plug and you have something much more versatile. e.g. house lighting / heating turning on when your home

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