The Networked Future of Batteries

By Alexis C. Madrigal

More batteries are coming to your life -- and they're going to have to get a whole lot smarter.

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Batteries have become a strangely integral part of our lives. Every single person with a cell phone has to constantly manage power in a way that no one did even 10 years ago. The mobile revolution has brought with it a sea change in the way that people use and think about stored electricity.

In a sense, the constant presence of batteries in our lives is the biggest change in the way we relate to energy since the ubiquitous grid power came into American lives in the first half of the 20th century. Socket electricity is an essentially limitless resource for an average person. Batteries are different. They only hold a finite amount of power. They degrade over time. And they are absolutely essential to modern communications devices.

But Ryan Wartena, CEO of Growing Energy Labs, Inc, believes that this is only the beginning. Batteries are only going to show up in more places and become more important. He's got a vision for the future of batteries, and his company wants to be the software layer that sits between your grid power and your battery power. In these two videos, he discusses the future he sees on the horizon. And make sure to check out his introductory video from earlier this month.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/the-networked-future-of-batteries/260470/