Now, engineers at Microsoft have developed a mechanical battery contact system that should ensure that, in the future, such scenarios never take place again. Called InstaLoad, it enables users to insert commonly used batteries into a device in either a positive or a negative direction.
Unlike existing electronic solutions designed to address battery-polarity installation, InstaLoad’s mechanical battery contacts can be designed into most battery compartments.
Such an InstaLoad battery compartment would include a set of positive and negative contacts at both ends, instead of a single positive contact at one end and a single negative contact at the other end.
Microsoft said the design is compatible with popular batteries used in products such as flashlights, toys, battery chargers, lighting and most other consumer electronic devices that use CR123, AA, AAA, C or D size batteries (disposable or rechargeable) or similar barrel-type battery form factors.
Microsoft is offering commercial licensees of its technology both a license to the InstaLoad technology itself, as well as use of its InstaLoad logo for use on product packaging and marketing materials, which will help users to identify those battery-operated products that feature the InstaLoad contacts.