A single AA battery. That’s all that’s wanted to energy essentially the most primary telephone dubbed SpareOne Plus. As you possibly can inform by the identify, this one is meant to be a backup telephone solely for use in case of emergency (it was initially designed for first responders).
Its finest function is that it might sit on a shelf for 15 years and be prepared once you want it. Trendy telephones with their lithium batteries can’t match such endurance – the self discharge charge might be as excessive as 2% monthly, that means lithium batteries lose cost even when the system is totally powered down.
And they’re, after all, very troublesome to swap out. Not so on the SpareOne, which helps you to pop in a contemporary battery simply. You in all probability have already got an AA battery or two on the backside of a drawer, proper?
That is very important as it’s fairly widespread for a robust storm or flooding to knock out the ability grid. Talking of, the telephone’s packaging served double obligation – it’s a water-proof pouch, so you possibly can fish it out of a flooded cellar and the telephone will nonetheless work.
This was an especially primary telephone. It had 2G connectivity solely (two bands), which is an issue within the US – AT&T already shut down its 2G community, T-Cell will comply with swimsuit within the subsequent few months and it is a GSM telephone, so it might’t hook up with legacy CDMA community. The SpareOne first got here out lower than 15 years in the past, by the way in which. Know-how ages quicker than most issues, even when its meant to final over a decade.
You possibly can pre-program the telephone with 9 favourite contacts, or use the keypad to dial any quantity. There’s no show (simply a few standing LEDs), so a voice would communicate the digit you typed. Additionally, the emergency button (the plus) sends out your location to pick contacts in addition to the authorities too – primary as it’s, the telephone helps Enhanced 9-1-1 (utilizing triangulation).
That single AA battery is nice for as much as 10 hours of speak time. And when you wanted to supply your personal SIM card for making calls to family and friends, calling 9-1-1 doesn’t require a SIM. In the event you needed to, you possibly can take out the SIM card out of your (presumably lifeless) smartphone and pop it into the SpareOne. There was a SIM ejector instrument and a microSIM adapter stashed contained in the telephone that can assist you with that job.
A microSIM adapter and a SIM ejector have been stashed into the SpareOne Plus
There may be additionally a weak LED torch on prime, which is able to come in useful in case the ability is out. There’s no FM radio receiver, nonetheless, which might have been good so you possibly can hearken to emergency bulletins.
The SpareOne Plus wasn’t a really profitable product because it price $60 when it initially launched. Nonetheless, nowadays you possibly can choose one for underneath $10 on eBay. However take into account that 2G networks all over the world are shutting down, they’ll actually be gone earlier than the battery expires.
A few years later SpareOne got here out with a 3G model of the telephone (additionally, the 2G modem was upgraded to quad-band). That actually extends the lifetime of the system, although some 3G networks have already shut down, so fairly quickly this telephone will face the identical points as its 2G sibling.
One other improve is that this mannequin featured an precise GPS receiver, in order that it may calculate your location extra precisely than cell tower triangulation. Between the GPS and 3G connectivity, this SpareOne telephone wanted two AA batteries.
These weren’t the one telephones to be powered by customary AA or AAA batteries. Actually, within the early days of cell telephones one thing like this was pretty widespread. However at present we’re within the more moderen gadgets.
Like this chunky factor from Sanyo. It was powered by a single AA battery, a chargeable NiMH battery this time, which was adequate for 10 days of standby or 5 hours of speak time (this was once more a 2G-only telephone).
it, we expect this was extra of a solution to promote Sanyo’s Eneloop batteries than an precise try and promote telephones. It was a showcase of the low self discharge charge enabled by the Eneloop know-how.
The Olive FrvrOn (“ceaselessly on”) was a extra earnest try and promote telephones. And it was a significantly better telephone too. Not superb or something, but it surely had a 1.5” colour show (CSTN) with 128 x 128 px decision. And it did have an FM radio.
There was a 600mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery inbuilt, however the telephone is also powered by a single AAA battery. The FrvrOn was launched in India again in 2010 and had a value INR 1,700 on the time ($37 or so).
AA and AAA batteries apart, loads of bizarre methods have been proposed to energy a telephone. A few of them sensible, others not a lot. For instance, we already seemed again on the Samsung Blue Earth, which had a photo voltaic panel on its again. As did the Puma Telephone.
You needed to be very affected person with these to get even a couple of minutes of speak time. That’s nonetheless higher than the Ulysse Nardin Chairman, which used a rotating weight to trickle-charge the battery from the vitality of your motion (much like computerized watches, which is Ulysse Nardin’s predominant enterprise).
A extra affordable – if simply as impractical – answer was to make use of wind energy with an adjunct just like the iFan. Alas, this was an idea that by no means made it to customers.
There was additionally the Pan Charger, which used a Peltier component to show warmth into electrical energy. Did somebody say coal powered cell telephones?
Nonetheless, our “favourite” methodology ever proposed was dreamed up by South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan College – it was growing a know-how that collected vitality out of your voice to energy the telephone.
Granted, the prototype required 100 dB of sound – that’s as loud as a jet taking off or utilizing a jackhammer – so you’ll have wanted to shout fairly a bit to make a name. We expect we’ll keep on with texting, thanks.