Duracell held a press conference in Toronto this past week to announce Duralock, a new power preservation technology that will keep properly stored batteries fresh for up to 10 years. The announcement was part of a pre-centennial party to celebrate 90 years of providing portable power to consumers and industry.
To showcase just how widespread portable power has become in recent times, Duracell had on display a range of toys and technology gadgets that consume battery power, starting from the year the company was founded, 1922, all the way up to present day. Included in the mix were a number of my personal favourites, the classic portable gaming handhelds Nintendo Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, and Sega Game Gear.
Classic video games handhelds on display at the Duracell Pre-centennial Party
I did a survey around my home to see how I consumed battery power, and just in my gaming peripherals alone I use AA batteries in my Wii Remote, Xbox 360 controller, Guitar Hero guitar and DJ hero turntables. When you add in batteries for all the remote controls I have laying around, it amounts to quite a bit of battery usage.
As every gamer I'm sure can attest to, when you're in the midst of a gaming session the last thing you want to have happen is to pop in some batteries only to find they're out of juice because you left them in storage for too long. Which is why having battery power you can trust is so important.
The new Duralock technology is being called the "biggest innovation since the CopperTop", says Duracell. Available starting now, the new Duracell batteries with Duralock are immediately recognizable by their new Duralock ring, seen here:
The Duralock power guarantee will be given to the entire portfolio of Duracell batteries, including Ultra (AA/AAA), CopperTop (AA/AAA/C/D/9V), Rechargeables (AA/AAA), and Hearing Aid and Coin Button cells. Duracell did note that the Duralock power preservation guarantee does vary by battery type, with the 10-year lifespan given only to their Ultra, CopperTop and Lithium Coin products. The guarantee for CopperTop 9V is five years, Rechargeables and Alkaline Coin Button are three years, and Alkaline Hearing Aid are four years.
Three main technological improvements to how Duracell batteries are now being made were given for the improved power preservation capabilities Duralock offers. Firstly, the power core is now made from ultra pure zinc which provides the fuel for creating the chemical power. Next, the anode and cathode (i.e. the +/- electrode) are now protected with a separator that protects against shorting. Finally, a new triple corrosive protection exterior prevents acid leaking for up to 10 years.
Victoria Maybee, Communications Manager for Duracell Canada, says she knows that consumers don't typically spend a lot of time thinking about batteries, so with Duralock's 10-year guarantee they can now rely on batteries to keep good while in storage.
Duracell Canada's Victoria Maybee on stage announcing Duralock
While recent portable gaming machines such as the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS use an internal rechargeable battery for power, we can expect the next generation of gaming consoles to continue to use portable batteries since the Wii U is compatible with current Wii Remotes, which use AAs. There's also been a strong revival of classic gaming in recent years, so it's likely many of you out there still use devices such as a Game Boy, Game Gear or Neo Geo Pocket.
Future Shop sells a range of Duracell batteries both in-store and online (see here for the online list) so keep your eye out for the new Duralock batteries.
Here's some more photos from the Duracell Pre-centennial Party:
Collection of toys and gadgets powered by batteries
Pac-man and the red ghost
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