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Tethercell to bring app-enabled remote control to conventional battery-powered devices

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
At CES, there?s a fantastic amount of well-finished products from big tech vendors like Samsung and Lenovo, and automotive groups like VW and Ford. There?s also an equally large amount of unrefined products, including a sea of cases and inexpensive bluetooth speakers.

Tethercell
Source: Tetherboard


I set out to find the interesting or more unusual products at the edges of the show floor.

We?ve seen an explosion of entrepreneurs come helped along by crowd-funding sites Indiegogo and Kickstarter. What?s grown is the number of these types of projects trying to gain awareness through press releases and other more traditional efforts.

Here at the ShowStoppers CES event, startup Tetherboard set up a booth on the same day it kicked off their Indiegogo campaign. So far, they?ve raised over $4,000 of the $59,000 in target funding.

Tetherboard is the brainchild of Trey Madhyastha and Kellan O'Connor, two aerospace engineers who previously worked on mechanical and fluid systems for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

Tethercell is basically an app-enabled AA-sized battery, but 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 it into.

The Tethercell unit can manage the on/off state of the battery and monitor the battery's charge remotely from an iPhone app. It?s also possible to set timers so devices can turn on and off, so that they?d be available during waking non-work hours, for example. Hard-to-reach installations like smoke alarms would be an optimal use case for Tethercell, but the possibilities are nearly endless. The company notes that a 9V version of the device will also be made available at a later date.

Tethercell CAD
CAD drawing of the AA Tethercell device.


Tethercell uses low-power Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth 4.0) technology, which consumes very low amounts of energy at greater distances, 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 downside is that Bluetooth 4.0 is only available on newer iOS devices likethe iPhone 5, the new iPad and iPad mini.

Tethercell plans to ship the products June 2013, but pricing and distribution have yet to be hammered out.
post #2 of 18

Great. First cables, and now batteries. Is there nothing that Apple won't put a chip in for the sole purpose of artificially hiking up prices¿¡

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Great. First cables, and now batteries. Is there nothing that Apple won't put a chip in for the sole purpose of artificially hiking up prices¿¡

 

So, 'Apple' is your generic shorthand for any electronics/software company?

post #4 of 18
Bluetooth 4.0 is also on the iPhone 4S and iPad 3.

It's also on all 2012-released Macs.
post #5 of 18
^ Yup. 4S was the first mass produced product to have BT 4.0 and is credited with jump starting BT 4.0 accessories. Making accessories is pointless without devices to connect, and what better than a flagship iPhone that sold millions.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Great. First cables, and now batteries. Is there nothing that Apple won't put a chip in for the sole purpose of artificially hiking up prices¿¡

 

This isn't an Apple product. It wouldn't even have to be limited to using only Apple products as the controller, it would just need an app for whatever other platform/device that has BT 4.0, probably some androids that have BT 4.0, though I'm not sure. Try actually reading the article before you have your knee-jerk reaction.


Edited by jonyo - 1/10/13 at 6:37pm
post #7 of 18
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post
Try actually reading the punctuation before you have you knee-jerk reaction.

 

1wink.gif

post #8 of 18
A battery you can turn off. That's original. I am so stoked to thin k up what on earth it would be good for. DogCowabunga, dudes!!
post #9 of 18
What scares me is what it would be "bad" for. The makers of IEDs . . .
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Great. First cables, and now batteries. Is there nothing that Apple won't put a chip in for the sole purpose of artificially hiking up prices¿¡

 

WinPhone 8 devices, as they are not able to handle the increase in functionality, and SteveB would cry ...

 

Cheers

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

1wink.gif

 

Does the "¿¡" means something that I'm missing?

post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post
Does the "¿¡" means something that I'm missing?

 

Yes, the upside down exclamation mark denotes sarcasm, and I made the question mark upside down because the sentence in question needed it. ?¡ looked weird.


We use ¡ a lot here now. Sorry for any confusion.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

We use ¡ a lot here now.

QFT

edit: maybe you can give my Title a couple of leading spaces so that it centers under my UN. TIA (should you read this)
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
…maybe you can give my Title a couple of leading spaces so that it centers under my UN. TIA (should you read this)

 

Had to use the unbreakable "four-per-em" space, but there you go.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

…maybe you can give my Title a couple of leading spaces so that it centers under my UN. TIA (should you read this)

Had to use the unbreakable "four-per-em" space, but there you go.

Welp, another reason to appreciate you more as an Administrator (amongst other things)
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #16 of 18
Ok this is a nice thought but wanting a battery like this is something very different. Who wants to sacrifice battery life for you to measure battery life(I know it sounds weird reapting) and the only batteries planned are AA and 9V they could make a D and C battery easily. This technology sounds good for now, but it sounds like half battery life. I hope that replaceable battery's do not exist in the future.Or at least all rechargeable.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Yes, the upside down exclamation mark denotes sarcasm, and I made the question mark upside down because the sentence in question needed it. ?¡ looked weird.


We use ¡ a lot here now. Sorry for any confusion.

 

Ah, never saw that one before. I'm using to seeing "/s", but the "¡" was new to me. Either way, no big deal.

post #18 of 18

I think the interesting usage here is taking an battery operated thing, even a really old thing, and being able to remotely power it on and off, as well as make it turn on and off via an automatic timer. It's never going to be some widespread thing you're going to want to put in all your devices, but the idea of taking some really old fashioned and adding a remote on/off feature to it without having to alter the thing at all is kind of neat.

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