Mobility Looked a Lot Different Before Lithium-Ion Batteries



What do you think of when someone mentions mobility? If you are like most people, your cell phone immediately comes to mind. You use it to do everything from checking your email to chatting with your friends. You use it to check the sports scores, get the news, and stream movies. Yet there is a lot more to mobility than the phone. Moreover, mobility looked a lot different before there were lithium-ion batteries.

We tend to think of mobility strictly in terms of internet access and its many implications. Thanks to mobile devices and the internet, we can communicate virtually anywhere in the world without needing a direct, wired connection. Mobility allows us to work remotely. It allows us to access the 24-hour news cycle. But all of this is only possible thanks to the humble lithium-ion battery.

Pale Blue Earth, a company that sells USB rechargeable batteries, says modern mobility owes its existence to lithium-ion batteries. How can anyone argue with that?

Lithium-Ion Is Everywhere

Batteries are not new. They been around for more than a hundred years. But today’s mobile devices are only mobile because lithium-ion technology has advanced so much. Think about it. Have you ever seen a cell phone that runs on disposable alkaline batteries? No. Ditto for NiCad and NiMH batteries.

One company tried an alkaline-powered cell phone many years ago. It failed miserably. No one wants a cell phone that cannot be recharged. No one wants to replace spent alkaline batteries every day. Thanks to lithium-ion technology, this is not necessary.

Lithium-ion batteries have proved so valuable that they are virtually everywhere. If you own any of the following devices, you have first-hand experience with li-ion batteries:

  • Cell phone
  • Laptop computer
  • Tablet computer
  • Digital camera
  • Portable music player.

This list is obviously not inclusive. There are literally thousands of products that now run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. It is enough to lead one to wonder what life was like before batteries were a thing.

Mobility in the Old Days

Mobility existed before batteries. It is just that people thought of it differently. Mobility was a different concept from top to bottom. That notwithstanding, how do you think people living 150 years ago did those things you now do using mobile technologies? Here are a few examples to think about:

  • Conversations – Today, we can have conversations on our cell phones. We can talk, send text messages, or turn to text and video chat. Way back when, conversations required face-to-face interaction. Mobility meant getting up and going to meet the person you wanted to talk to.
  • Long-Distance Communications – Communicating long-distance gave a whole new meaning to mobility. You couldn’t just pick up your cell phone and make a call. Instead, you had to write a letter. That letter was carried to the recipient by train, horseback, or leather express. Long-distance mobility took a lot more time.
  • Entertainment – Modern mobility gives us access to limitless entertainment options on demand. There were quite a few entertainment options 150 years ago, but they did not come to you. You had to go to them. If you wanted to see a play or a movie, you went to the theater. If you wanted to catch a baseball game, you had to go to the ballpark.

Mobility existed before batteries. However, it looked a lot different back then. Today, we owe much of what we enjoy by way of mobility to lithium-ion batteries. These marvels power the devices that enable us to take life with us wherever we go. How cool is that?

Theresa Hoag

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