Batteries & Chargers - Time for a new standard?

Back in the good (and bad) old days, batteries were standardized: pretty much every consumer device used AA, AAA, C, D, or 9V cells. People could pick up fresh ones anywhere, or even swap cells between devices if they were in a pinch. But then things got fancier - smaller devices, rechargeable batteries of various kinds - and suddenly every device has its own custom cell and its own custom charger. Now, designers Theo Richardson, Charles Brill, and Alex Williams believe we should return to a standardized battery and charger - they call the concept Green Cell, and it was the 3rd-place winner at the Greener Gadgets conference. Their pitch graphic points out that standardization has worked well when it's been accepted elsewhere - the AA battery, USB, and AC plug are excellent examples - and the green implications of a single charger and universally usable (and reusable) are certainly compelling. The likely downside? Since devices won't be able to use custom-sized cells, they won't be able to be quite as slim or sleek - industrial designers will instead have to design around the available standard. But if you ask me, a few millimeters of extra bulk is worth both the convenience and the environmental gain!
[via ecofriend, inhabitat, and Gizmodo]

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