Microsoft Unveils InstaLoad Battery Installation Technology That Allows Batteries to Be Inserted in Either DirectionJuly 06, 2010 by Jeff Shepard
Microsoft Corp. announced a new technology aimed at improving the battery installation process called InstaLoad battery installation technology, which allows users to easily install a battery without regard to positive and negative polarity. According to the company, never again will people have to squint to see battery installation diagrams – the device simply works regardless if the battery is installed positive-side-up or positive-side-down. InstaLoad is a patented battery contact design now available for license by third-party device suppliers, with companies like Duracell already lining up to endorse the technology for use in their own products.
InstaLoad technology can be incorporated into devices that require frequent battery swap-outs, are used in less-than-ideal environments or use several batteries. According to Microsoft, 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.
The InstaLoad technology can provide an additional usability benefit for battery-operated accessibility devices that are designed for people with hearing, vision or learning disabilities.
"Microsoft is pleased to offer a royalty-free license program to suppliers and manufacturers for this class of accessibility devices," said Rusty Jeffress, Corporate Vice President, Specialized Devices & Applications, Microsoft. "We believe the InstaLoad feature can make a difference in the lives of those people who need and use these products on a daily basis."
InstaLoad is the latest addition to the Microsoft Hardware Intellectual Property Licensing program. The Microsoft Hardware IP Licensing program was established five years ago and has successfully licensed Microsoft technology to many global manufacturers and retail brands in the mouse, keyboard and webcam industries. InstaLoad is the first technology offering by Microsoft Hardware for licensing to a broader industry, across a variety of battery-operated devices.
Microsoft is offering commercial licensees both a license to the InstaLoad technology and a license to the InstaLoad logo for use on product packaging and marketing materials. This logo program will help users identify those battery-operated products that feature InstaLoad technology. In addition, Microsoft offers a no-charge InstaLoad evaluation kit, which includes a detailed design specification and demo unit to help device suppliers quickly start their product prototyping.