A gripe I share with many Android users is that although my battery will last quite a long time, if I’m away from home there’s the possibility of it dying and my phone becoming a useless brick of metal and glass. But what if our phones had batteries that would never run out? Batteries that last forever, or can be charged through the air, charged from the heat in our pockets – the means of charging doesn’t really matter in this post: what I’ll be focusing on is what could we do with such limitless power.
Online services such as Google Voice which integrate well with Android could be used a lot more now that battery usage isn’t an issue. And as these services get tuned more they’ll make usage of our phones a lot easier.
The hardware used in Android phones are limited a lot by battery performance, slowing down any massive jumps in hardware advances. Without the constraints of a finite battery, the specs of Android phones would be able to improve at a drastic rate – we already have a phone with a quad core processor. Phones more powerful than your computer at home would be possible.
But what could we use all this power for on our phones? Could the phone be used to power other devices? With the likes of Ubuntu for Android coming out, maybe the monitor that is connected to your phone could have its electricity provided by the phone itself.
Dual core processors? Quad core might'n even cut it!
I’ve an extremely bright flash for the camera on my phone that doubles up as a handy flashlight in times of darkness. Its a massive drain on my battery, though, and at the end of a night out when I could be using it, sometimes I have to battle on in the dark as saving the last few percent of my battery life is more important! I’d have nothing to worry about with an infinite battery. With improving technology it might even be possible for your phone to power the lights of your bicycle while you cycle to work or college.
We’d also be able to play games with amazing graphics – you’d no longer have to worry about spending a few hours gaming before having to charge your phone again.
Exploring the World
Your phone is the modern day Swiss army knife
Most Android phones have extremely accurate GPS built in; combined with the likes of Google Maps and our infinite battery and we would be set to travel the world! We could send our location in real time, too (providing a more accurate last known point of location in case of emergencies). And as it’s our beloved Android we’re taking with us, we’d have a massive array of apps at our disposal, for travel info and for access to our social networks to stay in contact with friends and family.
These real time updates of location would be useful for more than this; it’d useful for businesses and authorities to keep tabs on your whereabouts. This could make any current privacy issues about location even worse – with businesses knowing they can monitor their employees 24/7 some may start requesting such actions. Authorities doing the same is another possibility. Whether this is good or bad is something that needs to be discussed.
Infinite Battery Life = Possible Opportunity to Save a Real Life?
Distributed computing could be mobile
Unlike now, when your phone is lying (mostly) idle in your pocket when not in use, resources that aren’t being used by your phone could be used by services such as Folding@home, maybe even by nearby institutes (found using your GPS) who need massive amounts of computing power to diagnose patients or simulate drug effects. The possibilities are endless, much like your hypothetical battery supply.
If your data plan allows, you could stay constantly connected to the Internet. Your social networks could keep you in touch with friends and family at all times. Your everyday means of communication – email, RSS readers, Twitter – could all update instantly, keeping you updated on everything that’s happening in the world.
Of course, this may all feel like too much, and you’ll have to make the conscious decision to turn it off.
We’re not quite there yet with regards to having a seemingly-infinite battery life, and we may never be. I tried to keep the uses of this battery outside the realms of science fiction – though imagine your phone powering your whole car, and house!
What uses do you see for your Android if it had an infinite battery? Would you use it any differently?