New 'Batteriser' could help your Magic Mouse & Trackpad batteries run 8x longer

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
A small, steel-and-silicon sleeve designed to slip over standard alkaline batteries promises to let those disposable cells run up to eight times longer, saving consumers money and frustration.




The Batteriser --?which will cost $10 for a pack of 4 when it hits shelves this fall --?appears to be a miniaturized version of a boost converter. Boost converters raise the output voltage of a power source at the expense of current.

Batteriser's developers claim that their device will help consumers tap into the power remaining in standard alkaline batteries once their voltage has fallen below 1.35 volts, which is required by many electronic components. They estimate that as much as 80 percent of a battery's energy potential is left after it is considered "dead," and that energy can still be harvested.

"The Batteriser has boost circuitry that will boost the voltage from 0.6 volts to 1.5 volts and will maintain voltage at 1.5--which is a brand new battery," inventor Bob Roohparvar told PC World. "There's actually no IP [intellectual property] in the boost circuitry. Our technology is really a miniaturization technique that allows us to build the sleeve. We have some IP in some of the IC circuits that are in there, but the key is we've been able to miniaturize the boost circuit to a point that no one else has been able to achieve."

Roohparvar says that the sleeve is small enough to fit in nearly any device that accepts disposable batteries, including Apple's Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse, notorious power hogs. Apple even sells its own rechargeable battery kit, based on Sanyo's Eneloop technology, to cope with this issue.

Batteriser's claims seem too good to be true, but the company says its results have been independently verified by the physics department of San Jose State University.

"We tested the Batteriser sleeve in our lab and we confirmed that the Batteriser taps into 80 percent of energy that is usually thrown away," SJSU's Dr. Kiumars Parvin said to the publication.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    While this may be accurate/true, it has all the hallmarks of being some kind of a scam. "Too good to be true" stuff I usually avoid.

  • Reply 2 of 58
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    While this may be accurate/true, it has all the hallmarks of being some kind of a scam. "Too good to be true" stuff I usually avoid.

    The only things I still use AA's in (besides remotes) are Wii Remotes and my MessagePad 2100. I definitely wouldn't trust the MP with these.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,055member
    While the use/discard rate is slowed with this idea, it's still forestalling the inevitable (landfill/recycling).

    I also wonder if the slight increase in diameter due to the sleeve would preclude its use in some devices.

    I converted to Eneloops a while back, a superior product.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    scottyltdscottyltd Posts: 29member
    Put it in the iPhone please!!!
  • Reply 5 of 58
    prokipprokip Posts: 171member
    Spam, you really have a need to be noticed, don't you?

    If this thing is a scam it will fail at the first hurdle.
  • Reply 6 of 58

    Remember those cell signal booster stickers?  I don't think they worked.

  • Reply 7 of 58
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,284member
    Sounds fishy to me as well. There are already devices that have these types of converters built in to provide a stable voltage for the circuitry under changing battery conditions, and they don't last any longer.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,341member
    A voltage booster is a great idea. As long as batteries do not leak due to over discharge, it's a valid concept.

    Edit: After more thought, this idea has its ups and downs dependent on the application. There are many conditions that go with attempting to use a product like this. Use it on a rechargeable battery and you may only get one charge total due to over-discharge. The Batteriser would have to have a safe minimum-voltage limit and it could vary by battery chemistry.

    This idea is not usable for built-in batteries for laptops, cell phones, etc. Why? Because they automatically use the battery to the safe minimum voltage (if designed properly). There is no more [I]usable[/I] energy in your MBP when it says it's at zero percent charge. Any more discharge, and the battery will be damaged reducing its life.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    shouldn't Bluetooth 4.0 have accomplished the same thing?
  • Reply 10 of 58
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post



    Sounds fishy to me as well. There are already devices that have these types of converters built in to provide a stable voltage for the circuitry under changing battery conditions, and they don't last any longer.



    In principle this should be entirely feasible. If you look at the area under the V - Ah discharge profile for typical AA batteries, the voltage drops below 1.35 V after providing only around 0.4 Ah. There is another 1.5 Ah or so left before the voltage drops below 1 V.

  • Reply 11 of 58
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member

    The next trillion dollar idea is some kind of fuel cell that is tiny, lasts for unbelievably long periods, and can be manufactured cheaply. It is hard to believe how long this has taken, given the billions of devices that need portable juice.

     

    Get on this, nerds!

  • Reply 12 of 58
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

     



    In principle this should be entirely feasible. If you look at the area under the V - Ah discharge profile for typical AA batteries, the voltage drops below 1.35 V after providing only around 0.4 Ah. There is another 1.5 Ah or so left before the voltage drops below 1 V.




    Sounds like a very thin DC-DC boost converter. Neat, if true. The picture on their website appears to show a small circuit board at one end of the battery.

  • Reply 13 of 58
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Wait and see how well it works. I suspect it'll work well with low-current devices such as computer mice but not high-current devices such as flashlights.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    hodarhodar Posts: 337member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by formosa View Post

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

     



    In principle this should be entirely feasible. If you look at the area under the V - Ah discharge profile for typical AA batteries, the voltage drops below 1.35 V after providing only around 0.4 Ah. There is another 1.5 Ah or so left before the voltage drops below 1 V.




    Sounds like a very thin DC-DC boost converter. Neat, if true. The picture on their website appears to show a small circuit board at one end of the battery.

     

    Because that is pretty much EXACTLY what it is. A clever idea, well patented - and coming out soon.

    My ONLY concern is the Alkaline batteries tend to leak corrosive materials when they discharge.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    shaminoshamino Posts: 481member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View PostWhile this may be accurate/true, it has all the hallmarks of being some kind of a scam. "Too good to be true" stuff I usually avoid.

     

    As with anything, we'll find out when these things ship, but the description seems perfectly valid.  Boost converters have been around for a long time.  I had an ancient cassette recorder with one built-in, so it wouldn't slow down as the batteries wore out, but would instead work perfectly until the battery completely died, at which point it would suddenly stop.

     

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by formosa View Post

    Sounds like a very thin DC-DC boost converter. Neat, if true. The picture on their website appears to show a small circuit board at one end of the battery.


     

    That's what the article describes.

     

    The only "gotcha" I can think of is that with such a device, your power-remaining indicators will be useless.  They will read 100% right up to the moment that the device stops working.  You'll have to keep spares on-hand at all times, because you will have no advance warning when they start to run out.

  • Reply 16 of 58
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    I had to throw my external track pad away after a battery leaked and fused the insides. :(
  • Reply 17 of 58
    I never post on forums. I find it more entertaining to read the comments. I will break my rule however to comment on the Batteriser.

    In a nut shell, this product WILL NOT increase your battery life anywhere close to 8x or 800%. YES this product may increase your battery life, but only a little.

    Do a google search for "alkaline battery capacity graphs" and look for graphs of Voltage vs AHr (capacity). These graphs show how much energy is left in the battery for any given voltage on the battery. You will notice that for most of the capacity range the voltage is around 1.2V then as the energy is used up (right side of the curve) the curve RAPIDLY drops off to 0.

    Essentially when you think your battery is dead (0%), it may have 10% or so of the energy remaining that it originally had. The Batteriser will theoretically help you recover some of this energy by boosting the voltage high enough for your electronic device to use it, but there it is only on the order of a 10% increase in battery life.

    I'm sure another Electrical Engineer who has more time to post than I do can elaborate further on my explanation
  • Reply 18 of 58
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member
    While this may be accurate/true, it has all the hallmarks of being some kind of a scam. "Too good to be true" stuff I usually avoid.

    You know I was thinking the same thing.

    Things like the Apple keyboard does not have an onboard power supplier or converter, therefore, the power going to the electronics have to be maintained at a mininum voltage from the battery, otherwise they do not work. This is why the Apple keyboard and mouse get flacky as the battery voltage gets low. I personally switch to rechargables but I had notice the keyboard says the battery is dead even though when you check the voltage it still have enough voltage to be useful. But it only take a minute to swap out the rechargables and charge them up for the next time.

    If all this is doing is forcing the output voltage to stay at 1.5 voltage as it drains the battery to below 1 volt then this could be useful and would not be a scam.
    as an eample using Alkaline batteries on a flash light what you notice is the bulb becoming less bright until the battery is completely dead. I recently switch to LED flash lights and noticed the light gets flakey before the batteries are completey dead. Yes the LED flash lights last longer than regular light bulbs but they do not run down gracefully like a regular light bulb. The LED lights will flash on and off then eventually you can not get them to turn on anymore even though the batteries are still good.This is because the voltage it too low to turn on the LED anymore.

    The issue it when things are Digitally only they need a fixed voltage to work unlike the analog world when things will work on a lower voltage but not as efficently as they could. Old style battiers really do not work well in the digital world unless they have builtin power regulator and most low end electronics take this cost out.

    These old guys figure out how to take $0.50 of parts and sell them to us for $10. If you do not want to pay them $10 just get rechargable batteries.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shamino View Post

     

    The only "gotcha" I can think of is that with such a device, your power-remaining indicators will be useless.  They will read 100% right up to the moment that the device stops working.  You'll have to keep spares on-hand at all times, because you will have no advance warning when they start to run out.


    Good point. The discharge curve will look more like Li-Ion.

  • Reply 20 of 58
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 511member
    Roohparvar is desperately trying to raise capital to move forward. There is good reason he is desperate. The performance claims are not solid and the usefulness of the technology moving forward is highly questionable. The technology is not new. Voltage boosters have existed before. He does seem to have packed it into a smaller package though.

    All the tech/start up/small VC operations have turned him down cold. With projected advances in battery technology and types, this is viewed as having a very short life span as a technology even if it is viable. I think they are correct. He is 30 years too late. Roohparvar, if he can get this moving forward, may make some money over them short term, but that's it and he clearly does not have the needed capital on his own.

    Roohparvar has made claims the offices were broken into in an industrial espionage escapade trying to get his technology. The story sounds very suspicious and flimsy, perhaps designed to get interest going and help him raise money. Check out the PC World article.
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