Microsoft InstaLoad Battery: Never insert a battery the wrong way again

Everyone knows what it feels like to insert a battery the wrong way. You put the batteries in and nothing happens, take out the batteries and maybe just maybe you can read the + or – sign embedded in the battery slots. Some devices can even cause problems to either the batteries or devices if inserted wrong, but what would you do if you didn’t have to worry about that anymore?

Microsoft has unveiled a new technology today called InstaLoad Battery Installation Technology. This new technology enables a consumer to insert the battery either direction without worrying about the dreaded + or – sign.

Microsoft is already licensing the patented technology to third-party device suppliers and they are offering royalty-free to suppliers and manufacturers of accessibility products. No word yet as to the release, but this will be one welcomed technology to consumers.

Listed as partners that are already planning to make use of the technology are ablenet, AE Light, Black Diamond, Clear Sounds, Duracell, Memory Protection Devices, Muyshondt, Novatac, Serene Innovations, Serfas and Spectrum Brands.

The Microsoft InstaLoad Press Release:

Microsoft Unveils InstaLoad Battery Installation Technology That Allows Batteries to Be Inserted in Either Direction: New ease-of-use feature now available for third-party licensing.

REDMOND, Wash. July 1, 2010 Microsoft Corp. today 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. 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.

Product Applications and Differentiators

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.

Royalty-Free License Program for Accessibility Products

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.”

Microsoft Licensing Program

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. Microsoft offers commercial licensees fair and equitable terms. 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.

More information about the Microsoft InstaLoad technology and Hardware IP Licensing program is available at Microsoft Hardware.

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Lee Whittington is a Tech Reporter and a Developer with the TWC Team. He has been writing for TWCN for several years and has also developed several freeware apps for The Windows Club, most of which have been very popular worldwide.