Its funny how capitalism leads to consumerism and that it turn, in a free democratic society, is fueled by our “NEED” for more and more services. What this translates to is the fact that we want more and more “things” which we request from our technology. So everyday we come up with things we want our phone to do for us. First, the beeper simply sent us text messages for us to get to a landline and call. Then it allowed us to answer text messages. Soon after came the cellular phone and we didn’t have to go to a landline, we could simply call on the mobile phone. But then we realized we had too many friends and so we asked for speed dial. Then we realized it would be good to keep certain info of those contacts on the device so we got Address Books for quick and easy access. As computers matured, we got more computer like functionality such as calculators, cameras and other such features on our mobiles. Once the internet came of age, we demanded internet service on the phones which as the internet itself evolved, that internet-like functionality of mobile phones has gotten more complex. Yet we are still disappointed by the fact that our battery now lasts half as much as it did back then, when mobile phones were nothing more than a couple of “stringless” cans!
I just came across this article; http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/27/apple-iphone-4s-battery-life-suck-less/ where users are complaining about battery life on the latest iPhone 4S. The funny thing is that the very technology which has made us impatient and insatiable with response-time to our user requests, the internet and its related technologies such as computers, is the one responsible for our disappointment in how that technology behaves.
Yet the answer does not lie in that industry, for the infamous portable energy problem has affected so many other industries that have been unable to find a better solution for it. Moreover, the portable energy problem is what shaped humanity as we know it today. Think about it, since the nomads roamed the earth, their whole purpose in life was to follow a moving source of energy, food! They decided to settle down and start building a more stable homestead but they soon learned that home had to be near some sort of energy depot, which is why most main cities are built near rivers or ports. So we settled for quite some time and were happy having done so. Nowadays we find ourselves roaming again but this time we want to take our energy sources with us instead of following them around.
It has been quite some time since so many other industries have tried to solve this problem:
1) Airplanes need weightless and endless fuel to travel longer without the weight of the fuel itself to bog them down.
2) Space travel is limited because such a powerful fuel source contained in a small enough space is non-existent or non-portable.
3) Solar power can sure be harnessed but not stored in any one container enough to power houses reasonably.
4) Our own bodies still need to eat 2 to 3 times a day if not more.
5) And now our phones which prove to become evermore complex, need the lightest and longest lasting energy source.
Can the mobile communications industry be the drop that will spill the idea jar on how to solve this problem?