As we all know, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. You can usually tell when an idea is a winner because it seems so obvious that somebody should have made it already. And the Tethercell is one of these ideas: it’s a remote control battery that will let you switch any AA-powered device on and off from your iPhone.
The Tethercell, currently seeking funding on Indiegogo (the poor-mans’s Kickstarter) is a device the exact size and shape of an AA battery. Inside is low-powered Bluetooth circuitry, along with a hole for a smaller AAA cell. Pop this bad boy into a lamp, a speaker, a baby monitor or any device you like and you can power it on and off from afar.
You can also use a timer to sleep and wake the device as needed.
Clearly you’ll lose a little battery capacity, both to the device itself and because of the smaller battery, but you could end up saving juice too, thanks to better power management. For instance, I go crazy when my Bluetooth keyboard wakes up in my bag and keeps switching on my iPad, wasting both the iPad’s and the keyboard’s batteries. Using the Tethercell I could just tell it to stay switched off when I’m not working.
One cell is enough for a device that uses more than one battery, and the Indigogo campaign is asking for $35 to get you a single unit (plus a copy of the iOS app). $54 will buy you two of them, and there are other options too. I like the reusable aspect of this, but I’d love it even more if the Tethercell could also recharge the battery within. Still, the idea is great, and I hope the Tethercell folks acheive their funding goal of $59,000.