InstaLoad: No-Wrong-Way Batteries From…Microsoft?

By  |  Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Here’s evidence of just how diversified an outfit Microsoft is: Today, it announced InstaLoad, a technology that allows devices to be built that can accept batteries in either orientation, so you don’t need to worry about whether you’ve stuck a battery into the compartment with the positive end touching the positive contact. The basic idea looks both clever and pretty simple: It’s a contact unit that incorporates both a positive contact and a negative one.

Microsoft has signed up a bunch of third parties to endorse the technology, and intends to license it for use by other manufacturers. (It’ll license it for free for use in products for disabled people who might have particular difficulty with standard battery compartments.) Oddly enough, it’s not making any announcements regarding using InstaLoad in its own products which could benefit from it, such as mice and keyboards.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. ohio cyclist Says:

    I have a suspicion, that there is a chance that the battery can be shorted out,
    during the process of loading it. That is, in certain cases, prior to the battery
    being in its final position, the battery may be shorted. This could prove especially
    troublesome with higher-current capacity cells. And if someone should be interrupted
    in the midst of loading the battery, and leave it partially in place, while shorted …
    the results could be disastrous. How have these potential safety issues been addressed?
    If someone is too simple-minded to properly insert a battery, they are similarly too
    simple-minded to be certain to never leave the battery partially inserted.

  2. the Goat Says:

    This is a solution looking for a problem. Just key the battery shape so that it only fits in with the one proper orientation. Producing batteries with duplicated symmetrical contacts means higher manufacturing costs. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

  3. Murph Says:

    Remember: Murphy's Law rules! If you think you can avoid the worst outcomes, or provide less bad results, go for it, and good luck to you! But paying close attention to what you are doing can't hurt, either.

  4. N8nnc Says:

    MS is rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, I fear.