Charged as Beauty

For all of the beauty of mobile, one of the points of contention that I continue to have with it is that devices are very inefficient in terms of battery life. Now, I don’t mean that they don’t do more. But, that they don’t last longer when they are doing less. To me, there is a beauty that these devices can empower and unveil in us if they stay charged. And to some extend, this week’s announcements of new mobiles by Nokia and Motorola point to an acknowledgement of such beauty.

For example, with Nokia’s newest Lumia smartphones, they feature he ability to be charged wirelessly. Like the Palm devices that did this a few years ago, it works like the wireless toothbrushes by placing the device on a dock/plate that uses inductive charging. Now, Nokia went a few steps further and made the charging plate colorful (like the devices themselves) so that it fits like good furniture. Then they also went novel: a charging pillow, wireless speakers that can charge the mobile, and even a Bluetooth headset that can charge wirelessly.

Motorola took their engineering prowess and went another direction. They stuffed a bigger battery in a very thin package. Really neat prospect if you ask me. No wireless charging (yet?) and still an ability to last long enough for work, play, rest, and the implementation of smart modes on the device. Nice work.

I am writing this on my iPad while sitting in my car. My phone needs to be charged and my bicycle charger is broken (again). I think it is a point of beauty that my mode of transportation can charge the device that keeps me connected. I look at what Motorola did and ask “where is my bigger battery?” I see Nokia’s creative use of inductive charging and want that for the cradle of my bike charger.

I think that as we move forward in a resource-limited world, beauty will be defined by these kinds of moments. And yes, there is more to be done. But, nothing about this tech or beauty can be engaged when we are tethered by wire every few hours or steps. There has to be a beauty in movement expressed only when while moving, things work. Being fully charged, is beauty realized.