To this day, the name Bluetooth brings back bad memories of the wireless cell phone earpiece that was more personal statement than practical tool. It seemed as if every small-time baller had to show he was successful enough to own one and in demand enough to keep it on him all the time, even when out to dinner with his girlfriend’s parents.
But Bluetooth has come of age. It has become the muse of several start-ups and established companies that are finding new and creative ways to take advantage of Bluetooth’s drastic uptick in efficiency, from the Nike Fuelband to the Pebble Smartwatch, which we previously featured on “This Could Be Big.”
This week we spoke with a start-up out of Southern California called Tethercell, whose founders, Trey Madhyastha and Kellan O'Connor, are former rocket scientists who designed mechanical and fluid systems for the Falcon 9 rocket.
They were at CES this year, showcasing their new technology, which brings the tried-and-trusted AA battery into the 21st century. I think in general we look at the AA battery like a good piece of fruit, something that is fine as it is and best left alone. But where we saw a peach, they also saw a grill and some vanilla ice cream.
Tethercell is a plastic case the size of an AA battery, embedded with Bluetooth 4.0, which is then powered by an AAA battery that fits inside the plastic case. The Bluetooth-enabled battery is then synced with an app on your phone that allows you to turn the device on and off, set a timer and even monitor the amount of power remaining.
Trey and Kellan see this first version of Tethercell as a test bed for future applications and an opportunity to get the technology in the hands of the public. If you want one, you’ll have to wait until May or June, but you can pre-order now on their indigogo fundraising page, which continues through February.