EDITORIAL: Enough stuff to charge already

Sure we’d love it if you would consider this cool charging station. But unless it’s going in an emergency kit, you have to be pretty hard core to need to charge 5 devices. But more and more of us are finding that everything we use needs to be charged every day.

Set the wayback machine to 2004. That wasn’t even that long ago. Your watch battery lasted YEARS. Your cell phone went a week on a charge. Keyboard? Mouse? Game Controller? All wired so they never needed charging. You’d probably lose the remote before you ever had to change the battery. Does that sound like heaven or what?

Today we’ve turned into a “charge every day” kind of culture. Face it, who among us hasn’t dashed toward an outlet at an unfamiliar airport, terrified we’d lose power to the phone just when you need it? We charge our phones, our tablets, our headphones, our e-readers… maybe that’s part of the reason I don’t want a smart watch… who wants another thing to charge?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, battery technology just hasn’t kept up. Sure batteries are about 40% better than they were, but computer chips are about a million times faster. And improvements in power efficiency can only help so much. We could really be at a tipping point where our desire for more cool stuff has to be weighed against the desire to attach one more USB cord. We could be getting to the point where we are literally charging something 24 hours a day.

So, a plea to all those Android Wear makers desperately trying to bring you the next “must have” gadget… PLEASE make sure I can use it for a good long time before I charge it. Otherwise, it just isn’t worth my time.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.