A Brief History of Power Bank — What Has It Replaced and What Has Failed to Replace It
Power banks aren’t perfect, but they’ve become a necessary part of people’s life nowadays.
Like all technology, power bank has also evolved over time. In the past ten or more years, power bank developed from a simple combination of a control circuit and a few AA batteries to more complex ones with multiple functions such as LED flashlight and wifi. This passage takes a quick look at where power bank has been over the years and what the future is for it.
What it replaced
If you’ve only been using cell phones for the last decade or so, it can be easy to take power bank for granted. The initial mobile phone most people use would have been a Nokia, Motorola or other brands with a black and white screen. The less than 1000 mAh battery can surprisingly support more than one week of working time. Cellphones at that time are equipped with isolated batteries which can be taken off to be recharged. People tend to bring a separate battery as replacement when their cellphones run out of power.
Most cellphone batteries at that time are nickle-cadmuim rechargeable battery whose memory effect largely shortens the battery life. The breakthrough lies in the birth of 18650 cell which overcame the problem of memory effect and therefore largely improved the battery life. Later, the application of Li polymer battery brings a longer life, higher charging efficiency, higher conversional rate and green friendly power bank.
The embryonic and development stage of power bank was 2001-2009. It was first invented in 2011 Las Vegas International Consumer Electronic Show. As some professional teams started to research and develop the core technology of power bank it gained its precise definition: the framework of a power bank consists of mostly complete managing circuit, a chip and a battery.
The polymer battery technology made a breakthrough of power bank in around 2006-2009 and gave birth to some of the standard concept of power bank, such as capacity, conversion rate and compatibility, enabling customers to make a comparison and choice among different power banks. Generally speaking, with strong involvement of suppliers, the control technology, application of batteries as well as the port accessories, every part of the whole power bank industry chain gained its manufacturer, making the lukewarm market hot.
What failed to replace it
In 2007, when Apple introduced iPhone, its fashionable design and strong software enabled it soon subverted the smart phone market and became the first smartphone brand in the world. However, due to the large power consumption and inability to replace the built-in lithium battery, iPhone can only be used up to 4 hours. Battery cases soon was invented and claimed that it “will double your iphone’s battery capacity”. Yes it did, at the sacrifice of the original slim and light design of iPhone. What’s more, the capacity of most iphone battery cases was no more than 3000mAh, which can only provide power to one device at a time. Compared to a power bank that has different capacity for people to choose and will not alter the appearance of the cellphone, battery cases obviously failed in both capacity and design.
Apart from portable battery cases, all kinds of chargers including wall charger, car charger and desktop charger also have a piece of the pie in this particular market. In addition, a growing number of chargers nowadays have multiple ports to charge multiple devices simultaneously. However, these chargers need to be placed in a fixed position for charging, they cannot help when you are out for a long period such as a business trip or picnic while power banks do help.
As the number of different kinds of digital devices people have grows, their thirst for power grows, and therefore the market of power bank is largely expanding. People who use smart phones are the backbone of power bank consumption. People have greater needs for charging service in airports, hotels and other leisure facilities. Besides, with its function and special design, power bank also becomes a hot choice as gifts. In short, the power bank market is rapidly expanding nowadays.
To meet various needs of different customers and to win a larger market, power bank manufacturers start to offer more features and functions for their product, they are gradually equipped with other functions such as USB or emergency flashlight or even wifi. What’s more, to improve the conversion rate and charging efficiency, some of the power banks have two or more ports and apply smart technology, which can automatically identify the input of connected devices and charge them accordingly at full speed. Besides, while the capacity of power banks grows massively, the size of it becomes smaller on the contrary. To avoid less mess and hassle, some of the power banks are designed with a built in cable. Thus, you will not need to bring an extra cable with you. One of the most advanced power banks from Amazon’s best seller list is EasyAcc PB10000CF which is a perfect representative of a compact size, colorful design and smart technology.
From 2001 to 2015, the 14 years’ development makes the power bank industry boom and soon it spread worldwide like wild fire. With the development in the craftsmanship of exterior material and in the technology for the battery inside which are still in the process of improving, we can expect that there will be a bigger and higher standard of power bank in the near future.
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