Microsoft Unveils InstaLoad Battery Installation Technology

REDMOND, Wash. — July1, 2010 — How is it a common, everyday activity, such as replacing batteries, can quickly escalate into an extremely frustrating task? The concept is simple — properly align the positive and negative ends of the batteries as outlined in the diagram on the device, whether it be a battery charger itself, flashlight, child’s toy, digital camera or any innumerable number of devices.

Unfortunately, add poor lighting, adverse field conditions, unclear diagrams, multiple batteries or other factors, and the frustration quickly evolves into a significant problem — a problem that’s often compounded on devices that risk potential damage by improper battery placement. A problem that’s as old as modern batteries themselves and hasn’t been effectively solved, until today when Microsoft demonstrated its long-standing commitment to meet the needs of manufacturers and end users by unveiling InstaLoad battery installation technology.

InstaLoad is a hardware solution patented by Microsoft that enables users to insert batteries into a device without concern for properly aligning the positive and negativity polarity. During manufacturing, the InstaLoad battery configuration of positive and negative contacts at both ends can be installed in the device’s battery port, instead of the traditional single positive contact at one end and a single negative contact at the other end.

Simply, the device will work regardless of how the batteries have been inserted. Equally important to manufacturers and users, InstaLoad does not drain battery power or require expensive electronic circuitry.

InstaLoad Battery Configuration Illustration

The technology is compatible with popular off-the-shelf batteries, including CR123, AA, AAA, C or D size batteries (disposable or rechargeable), or similar barrel-type battery form factors.

Imagine the possibilities for devices that require frequent battery swap-outs, are used in less-than-ideal environments or use several batteries — specifically law enforcement, military, construction, outdoor sporting and camping, and other industries. The InstaLoad technology can provide an additional usability benefit for battery-operated accessibility devices that are designed for people with hearing, vision or learning disabilities.

Duracell Smart Power is all about making the lives of consumers easier and more efficient as they depend on battery power for the mobile devices that keep them organized and connected while away from the grid,” said Dan McCarthy, director of Global Marketing for Duracell. “After evaluating Microsoft’s InstaLoad technology, Duracell is excited about the possibilities of incorporating this simplified battery installation technology into future Duracell products, delivering a better experience for our consumers.”

Microsoft InstaLoad Logo

Microsoft is offering battery and device manufacturers a license to the InstaLoad technology and a license to the InstaLoad logo for use on product packaging and marketing materials. This logo program will help users identify those battery-operated products that feature InstaLoad technology. A no-charge InstaLoad evaluation kit, which includes a detailed design specification and demo unit to help device suppliers quickly start their product prototyping, is now available.

Battery power is prolific, from flashlights, camera flash units and toys to more advanced devices like digital cameras and portable navigation devices. With InstaLoad, Microsoft is helping to make powering these devices and the others to come a bit easier.

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