Control Your Batteries with your iPhone using the Upcoming Tethercell
One of the many interesting products at CES 2013 turned out to be the Tethercell, which is basically an app-enabled AA-sized battery with a twist. The physical product is actually a plastic enclosure with wireless circuitry the size of a AA battery that holds a common replaceable AAA alkaline battery. The AAA battery powers both the Tethercell device and the AA-powered product you insert the Tethercell into.
What makes the whole thing interesting is that the Tethercell unit can manage the on/off state of the battery while monitoring the battery’s charge remotely from an iPhone app. It’s also possible to set timers so devices can turn on and off, allowing certain devices to be turned off completely when not in use. Practical uses that come to mind include hard-to-reach installations such as smoke alarms but as per the usual, the possibilities are endless.
The Tethercell uses low-power Bluetooth Smart (better known as Bluetooth 4.0) technology, which consumes very low amounts of energy at greater distances by using low data cycles instead of persistent data communication. The standard provides for a reach of up to 50 meters (160 feet) of range. One of the only downsides to using the Bluetooth 4.0 technology is that it is only available on newer iOS devices such as the iPhone 5, the new iPad and the iPad mini. Overall, the product seems like it could come in really handy. Those of you who are interested in the product should know that it is planned to be released in June 2013 but the pricing and distribution are still being worked out.