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Bluetooth Keyboards With a 10-Year Charge Promised

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I'll-wait-for-11 dept.

270

angry tapir writes "Broadcom is working on a Bluetooth chipset that will give wireless keyboards a battery life of up to 10 years. If they had a battery life of as long as 10 years, that Bluetooth-based accessories could potentially never need new batteries, the chip maker said. A set of two AA batteries would be enough to power a keyboard using the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip to connect with a computer for its entire lifetime, Broadcom said."

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Ha! (5, Funny)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297572)

Hahaha...whew, that's a good one.

Now tell me we're gonna have flying cars 'within the next 15-30 years'.

Re:Ha! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297612)

We're gonna have flying cars 'within the next 15-30 years'

Re:Ha! (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297924)

We're gonna have flying cars 'within the next 15-30 years'

Technically the batteries will last 10 years, it just has an aggressive sleep mode!

It goes to sleep after 0.5-0.75s of no activity and takes 2-3 seconds to wake up again :)

Re:Ha! (2, Informative)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298328)

I don't think current battery technology lasts that long, especially store bought AA's.

Sounds good to me. (5, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298508)

About ten years ago, I bought a Memorex wireless keyboard at Pic-n-save aka "Big Lots".

I think I paid about $10.

Much to my amazement, its still running on a pair of "Everready lithium" batteries I put in when I first got it.

I put those batteries in everything that I have a tendency to ignore maintenance on, like remotes. I have never seen one of those lithium cells leak yet.

Its been one of those things with me that alkaline cells, regardless of who made them, leak. Even if they aren't dead yet.

I rarely use the keyboard, but when I do, it works. It only transmits ten feet or so, but its enough. It feeds an old P166 I have loaded with DOS and WIN95 to run my old DOS stuff.

What impressed me so was that the keyboard had no on-off switch. For ten years, the keyboard has been sitting there waiting for me to press a key.

My hat's off to the engineer who designed the thing.

I would not mind paying more for this keyboard's electronics in a sturdier mechanical design, but for ten bucks, I thought I got a really nice little gadget.

Re:Sounds good to me. (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298618)

What impressed me so was that the keyboard had no on-off switch. For ten years, the keyboard has been sitting there waiting for me to press a key.

Maybe it acts like TV remotes, being on only when a key is pressed. That's still an amazing achievement, I agree.

Re:Ha! (5, Insightful)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297774)

Actually, as long as chips keep getting smaller and need less power, something like this is almost inevitable. However, at some point it will be possible to dispense with batteries altogether, and just build solar cells into the keyboard. If you have enough light to see it, then you will have enough light to run it. Someday, even your smartphone or tablet (or combined unit) will be built that way.

Re:Ha! (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297866)

Or generate tiny amount of electricity from the key press.

Re:Ha! (1)

gznork26 (1195943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298516)

An idea I first heard from Tom Digby at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society about 1980. Why not?

Re:Ha! (5, Informative)

Arrepiadd (688829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297914)

You mean one day in the future we'll be able to have one of these [amazon.com] ?

Boy, can't wait...

Re:Ha! (5, Informative)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298244)

Sarcasm aside, i picked one of those up when Amazon had a sale, and i've been rather amazed. It was an impulse purchase without any prior research done. I figured with both Logitech and Amazon's names attached it couldn't be a complete scam, but i though i'd probably have to be careful to make sure to put it under bright light every so often to keep it charged up or something, or that the signal strength might be a little weak to compensate. Or something anyways, never having to replace the keyboard batteries again just seemed too good to be true, as trivial as that seems.

In actuality the signal strength is fine, better than my wireless mouse certainly, and not once when i've thought to check has it been below full charge despite being kept in our regular living room lighting conditions, which can be pretty dim at times. One of the coolest bonuses is a button you can press to launch a light meter app on your computer, which will tell you the lux [wikipedia.org] level the solar panels are currently being exposed to. It's been great fun to move the keyboard around and vary the lighting conditions to see how the value changes. It really brings home something everyone familiar with SF or photography is intellectually aware of, that the sun delivers a couple more magnitudes of light than we actually need to see comfortably with.

They keyboard is also incredibly light and thin. My only complaints relate solely to the the way some of the keys and their functions are placed/handled, but that's pretty obviously an issue with design choices and nothing to do with the basic hardware. And despite those quibbles it's still leaps and bounds above my previous Microsoft keyboard. (Silly me, when i bought it online as the only wireless keyboard option for my PC package i was putting together i figured "it's just a keyboard, how badly can Microsoft screw it up?")

Of course some people might not like the fact that it's not ergonomically shaped, but i prefer the old fashioned rectangular slabs :)

I wonder if they could make a solar powered mouse to match? You'd have to use curved solar panels that didn't feel too weird while you were actually using the mouse...

Re:Ha! (3, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297880)

Yep. I call shenanigans. I doubt there's a commercially available AA battery that'll reliably keep its charge for 10 years, much less power something.

Re:Ha! (3, Interesting)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297992)

Yep. I call shenanigans. I doubt there's a commercially available AA battery that'll reliably keep its charge for 10 years, much less power something.

My alarm clock (seven-segment hh:mm:ss display, radio controlled) is running on one single
AA battery since at least late 2004, so it is going into its 8th+ year now. It is a completely standard
1.5V AA cell made by TDK (or at least sold under their name).

No, I haven't checked the battery for radiation yet. Yes, it is beginning to scare me a bit.

Re:Ha! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298424)

I made a LED fllashlight about 17 years ago with a single bright (for the time) red LED and two AAA batteries. I seldom used it, and the batteries lasted about 14 years. So alkaline batteries can have a long shelf life.

Re:Ha! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298290)

They do make lithium batteries in standard form factors, they just have different voltages.
The smoke detectors in my house use lithium batteries with a 10 year lifespan. Since your supposed to replace the detectors every 10 years anyway they are set and forget. I never have to test them either because my Wife keeps setting them off while cooking.

Re:Ha! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298400)

Actually, the lithium AAs are only about 1.75V at full charge. I put some in my Nikon F4s back in `1999 or 2000, and it still works fine on the same set.

solar panel? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298212)

If the current draw is that low then you could just use a solar panel to recharge from room lights. Just like the calculators do. problem solved.

Re:Ha! (1)

crdotson (224356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298524)

Kick ASS -- a nuclear powered keyboard!

Lithium batteries (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297584)

With specialty lithium batteries that cost near as much as they keyboard :P Alkaline
The shelf life of an alkaline battery is only about 7 years.

Re:Lithium batteries (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297904)

With specialty lithium batteries that cost near as much as they keyboard :P Alkaline
The shelf life of an alkaline battery is only about 7 years.

The article mentioned nothing about Lithium batteries, but did explicitly mention "A set of two AA batteries", which presumably means commercial off the shelf batteries.

Keyboards are easy.

Nothing is happening on the keyboard unless keys are pressed. Pressing any key can also fire up the radio to send a pulse. There does not need to be constant communication, and the radio does not need to be running all the time, as long as the receiving end bluetooth stack is set to not time out. All you need is a fast power-up chipset.

This wouldn't work with a mouse (at least not a laser mouse).

Re:Lithium batteries (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298104)

I believe the bluetooth spec requires constant communication. You could theoretically disconnect/reconnect each time, but that usually takes a few seconds at the very least.

Re:Lithium batteries (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298182)

The bluetooth spec is extensible.
You don't have to have constant communications, you only have to answer polls, but only as often as the other side sends them.
With just a small profile change you could minimize that to once an hour if you wanted.

It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297600)

...to increase battery life of course....and when they fail in 3 years instead of the promised 10, you get to go out and buy a whole new keyboard. (It lasts 10 years so why allow the user to change the battery).

We're seeing this with point and shoot cameras now. As recently as 2-3 years ago models that ran on AA batteries existed and some of them had decent battery life (a couple of hundred shots with flash). Now every new camera model is tied to a different proprietary lithium battery. This is for the good of the consumer of course, not so the camera manufacturer can gouge on batteries and make it more cost effective for the customer to replace the camera every 2-3 years. Makes me want to spit.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (2, Insightful)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297684)

I'm not sure what kind of camera you use, but the rechargeable, proprietary battery that came with my Canon DSLR has worked well for years and gone through hundreds of charge / discharge cycles without any noticeable reduction in battery life. While not as cheap as AA batteries, I just looked up replacement cost and found that I could get a new battery for about $30 -- not that I have any need to at this point. And while the battery is proprietary to canon, it's used in a number of their DSLR cameras, so there's a good chance that if I replace my camera I'll be able to keep the old battery as a spare.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297786)

I'm not sure what kind of camera you use, but the rechargeable, proprietary battery that came with my Canon DSLR has worked well for years and gone through hundreds of charge / discharge cycles without any noticeable reduction in battery life. While not as cheap as AA batteries, I just looked up replacement cost and found that I could get a new battery for about $30 -- not that I have any need to at this point.

And while the battery is proprietary to canon, it's used in a number of their DSLR cameras, so there's a good chance that if I replace my camera I'll be able to keep the old battery as a spare.

Try getting that proprietary battery in another 5-10 years. There are vintage cameras operating today that are many decades old. This will not be the case in future.

Also some manufacturers are worse than others and have a new camera per camera or set of similar cameras. Others re-use the same battery.

What is needed is a set of standard sized Lithium batteries...There's no reason for the current mess other than planned obsolence and price gouging. Heck Sony has even started chipping their cameras the way printer manufacturers chip their cartridges to prevent 3rd party batteries from eating into their overpriced originals.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297894)

You make a good point -- I think that Canon is a lot better than some other manufacturers in this respect, but I just checked and their newest DSLRs are using a different battery which doesn't look like it'll work with my current camera. I think that having standardized battery types would be great -- it would be nice if batteries were as interchangeable as, say SD or CF cards. I see no reason why that isn't possible. That said, getting a hold of a CF card in 10 years may be tricky as well; guess we'll have to wait and see.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

GrpA (691294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297906)

This is an important point.

I have three digital cameras, all less than 10 years old, sitting on a drawer for this very reason. Now I will not buy a camera that does not take AA batteries.

However, in the context of keyboards, I do not keep a keyboard more than 10 years. I think the longest I ever had one was 9 years and the keys eventually broke. Great keyboard ( PS2 original ) but they have their limits.

GrpA

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298466)

I won't use a keyboard newer then 2003. I loathe windows keys. The keyboard I'm currently typing on was made in 1995 and will probably keep working until I'm ready to retire, assuming I can still get motherboards that take PS2 keyboards. I even have to use an adapter because all my keyboards are the large 5 pin DIN connector. I have a bunch of spares just in case but I haven't had a keyboard die on me ever. I just take them apart and clean it throughly every year and they look good as new. It's not like I don't use the keyboards much either, I'm a programmer so I spend my days typing.
I suppose if I get desperate and I can't use my stash of good keyboards I'll have to order one of the expensive specialty keyboards with USB and no Windows keys. I hope that day never comes.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297976)

Heck Sony has even started chipping their cameras the way printer manufacturers chip their cartridges to prevent 3rd party batteries from eating into their overpriced originals.

Yeah, but knock-off printer cartridges don't explode [engadget.com] because they were made without protective circuitry.

The problem with standards... (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298172)

is that there are so many to choose from. When cameras were larger, you had more room for batteries, but as there's increasing pressure to make them smaller and more power-hungry, that fails.

If 2.4v is enough, you can use two AA batteries (most rechargeables only do 1.2v, but they hold a lot more power than 1.5v disposables), but it takes up a fair bit of space.

3.6v and 3.7v LiPo rechargeable technology is becoming a widely available standard, with a range of different sizes and capacities, but needs an extra chip or two for power management (since they're very sensitive to over-charging and over-draining - dropping below 3.0v tends to kill them.) Since it's a bit below 5v, that means a standard USB is the obvious power supply interface for charging as well as data, and cellphones and similar devices use them.

Also, while I can see that you might need to replace the charger for a camera, why would you want to use a point&shoot digital camera that's old enough that you can't find batteries for it? Resolution has been improving rapidly, and prices have been dropping rapidly. Using a bigger camera with real lenses on it, sure, but any point&shoot I can buy today is a lot better than the good one I got a couple of years ago.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (5, Informative)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297738)

We're seeing this with point and shoot cameras now. As recently as 2-3 years ago models that ran on AA batteries existed and some of them had decent battery life (a couple of hundred shots with flash). Now every new camera model is tied to a different proprietary lithium battery.

Yes, but the batteries are smaller, denser, and last longer. What is the problem, exactly?

LOTS of problems, actually (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297844)

We're seeing this with point and shoot cameras now. As recently as 2-3 years ago models that ran on AA batteries existed and some of them had decent battery life (a couple of hundred shots with flash). Now every new camera model is tied to a different proprietary lithium battery.

Yes, but the batteries are smaller, denser, and last longer. What is the problem, exactly?

Several problems:
- Forget to charge your battery? You're out of luck! You won't be able to get a standard replacement alkaline battery for a couple of bucks at the corner store
- Looked after your camera for many years and want to sell it or show your children a vintage camera? You're out of luck! Your battery is too old to hold charge and they don't make batteries for that model camera any more
- Have a lot of different cameras, and want to share a couple of sets of batteries between them? You're out of luck. Each camera you own uses a different battery. You need at least one per camera
- You're a camera enthusiast and want to buy spare battteries? You'll have to decide which camera you need a spare battery for. You can't afford $30 x number of spares x cameras

I've seen a lot of silly justifications ranging from the technology keeps improving so why would you want to use the old camera to who owns lots of cameras. But I promise you for me and many others these things matter. We talk about recycling and reuse, have shopping bags too flimsy to hold our goods that we are now charged for, conserve water, and use less than optimal lighting solutions to conserve energy, but the moment a company stands to make a profit by making something throw away or selling you a whole bunch of junk when one item would suffice, well the environment goes out the window. It's moronic to be this wasteful.

Re:LOTS of problems, actually (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297962)

I don't know... Having MULTIPLE $500 cameras... And hundreds more in accessories, and complaining that an extra $30 rechargable battery or two is kind of silly.

Of course that's why companies feel they can gouge:). I do think that when they get into chipping batteries there are issues with how you make the thing work in 10 years... I know plenty of people with 10 yr old SLRs that keep going...

Re:LOTS of problems, actually (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298066)

No its not -- its bullshit greed, pure and simple. I'm and sick and tired of proprietary shit. It's inefficient, and wastes MY time trying to find the "proper" battery for device X.

Why do you think we have _standards_ such as AA, AAA, C, D batteries for? Or USB that allows devices to charge.

We need _standards_ for lithium-ion batteries as well.

Re:LOTS of problems, actually (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298260)

We have them already [wikipedia.org] . (sort of, at least. I don't think they are formal standards [IEC or EIA or whatnot], but they are at least de facto standards.)

Every laptop battery I've taken apart is just based on 18650 cells. Why the laptops don't just take the cells alone is something I may never understand. Probably because they only have $10 worth of cells, and they'd rather sell you a $50+ battery.

It would be nice if they standardized some of the flat, polymer batteries though. like the kinds used in mobile phones and other flat, portable devices.

External 4xAA battery pack, USB port (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298362)

It's obviously clunky, but it shouldn't be hard to set up an external battery pack with four AA rechargeables and a USB output. If you want to get fancy, add a voltage regulator chip as insurance, in case your camera doesn't have one built in, or just trust that 4x1.2 - 4x1.5 is safe.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298076)

It's because AA batteries are an inconvenient form factor for a device that should be small and mostly rectangular...

You can still get them, but they're bulky compared to ones made with a boxy battery - http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_a1200 [canon.com]

Give it some time and we may see a standard emerge there. Digital cameras are still not a mature product yet.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298608)

"xyzzy" Nope, still at work.

A hollow voice says "fool."

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297776)

I used to be a big fan of AAs in cameras, but I'm pleased with the performance of my Li-Ion in my new camera. Battery management is a lot easier. I also picked up a spare battery for $5 off Amazon.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297782)

This was my first thought too. 'never need to change the battery' is newspeak for 'no user-replaceable battery'.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298144)

As recently as 2-3 years ago models that ran on AA batteries existed and some of them had decent battery life (a couple of hundred shots with flash). Now every new camera model is tied to a different proprietary lithium battery. This is for the good of the consumer of course, not so the camera manufacturer can gouge on batteries and make it more cost effective for the customer to replace the camera every 2-3 years. Makes me want to spit.

Some of Canon's A series Powershots still take AA batteries. Pentax is known to make AA powered DSLRs. The latest one, Pentax K-r came with Li-ion battery, but you can buy a special adapter to use AA.

Re:It's a trap: Next step: Proprietary battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298612)

Pentax is known to make AA powered DSLRs.

So do Canon. I have a 5D (mark 1) and a 50D. For both of them, I also have the battery grip, which comes with a cassette: fill the cassette with six AA batteries, slot it into the grip, and away you go.

Okay, it's not standard, in the sense that you have to buy the grip to get that ability. But if you're buying a $1500 DSLR, an extra 10% for the grip (which gives you more than just the ability to use AA batteries) isn't that much to pay.

Drop the battery all together (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297618)

I wonder about the potential for greener computing. If the power usage is so low, drop the battery all together and add a solar cell with a low leakage super cap.

Re:Drop the battery all together (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297688)

The key presses can power it!

Re:Drop the battery all together (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298010)

That will suck for gaming, at least FPS style.

Re:Drop the battery all together (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298186)

Actually, it would be better for FPS than any other use. You have 2 options, either each keypress creates lots of electricity (makes keyboards harder to use), or make lots of keypresses (FPS is *definitely* a contender there).

Re:Drop the battery all together (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298568)

The only way this is good for FPS is if you can keep the button pressed down for any reasonable amount of time. Sometimes you just gotta keep running and not stop. It would be crappy for you to have to let go and press the key again to keep running.

Re:Drop the battery all together (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297968)

I wonder about the potential for greener computing. If the power usage is so low, drop the battery all together and add a solar cell with a low leakage super cap.

You mean like this? http://www.logitech.com/en-au/keyboards/keyboard/devices/7454 [logitech.com] . It's not bluetooth, but I think it'll work with tablet with full fledged USB port such as the Acer Iconia, or the GTab with usb adapter

Re:Drop the battery all together (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298114)

I checked all my keyboards. They range from 5V 50ma to 300ma. Odd in itself. Now I am off to build an LED array to power the solar cell. That should do it...

Aww shucks (4, Funny)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297622)

I just built a kernel specifically without the bluetooth modules in an attempt to save power on my laptop. Damn you progress.

Re:Aww shucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297740)

Why would you need a bluetooth keyboard for your laptop?

Re:Aww shucks (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297802)

If the computer is used as a desktop at home, that means one less cable to disconnect when going portable (assuming like most consumers, you don't have a docking station).

Re:Aww shucks (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298196)

Or just a USB hub.

Re:Aww shucks (4, Informative)

hechacker1 (1358761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298142)

Are you sure that's saving you power? Sometimes you have to initialize the device in order to activate the power saving features. It happens in Windows as well with wireless cards. The default state is "max power."

Battery Shelf Life? (1)

uberbrodt (1064400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297666)

I didn't think alkaline batteries would last that long on the shelf, let alone in use.

Also, 10 years is nothing for a keyboard! I've got an IBM Model M that's at least from the mid 80's and works fine.

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (2)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297860)

"I've got an IBM Model M that's at least from the mid 80's and works fine..."

Since they plan a ten-year battery life, they probably do not provide means of replacing the battery. In short, once you go to this type of keyboard, you are tied to never-ending replacements on a ten-year cycle. This isn't a feature, it's planned obsolescence.

Hang on to that Model M.

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298218)

You're assuming the battery actually WILL last 10 years. After a year, most warranties run out and there's nothing the consumer can do about it anyways. If advertising a keyboard as lasting 10 years results in a 25% increase in sales and 10% of them are returned a year later (most people don't bother returning defective products after 3 months unless they cost over $100), that is considered a success.

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297864)

Good alkaline batteries can have a 7 year shelf life. I'm not sure what "shelf life" is technically defined as, but assume it means that at least the majority of charge is still available. i.e. after 7 years, they're still useful, and not dead.

In any case, how much 10 year old computer equipment do you still have in use, especially $50 stuff (cables excepted).

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297938)

usually the shelf life means after x years the battery will still contain 90% of its capacity

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (1)

uberbrodt (1064400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298116)

Admittedly, not much; most of it I wouldn't want to use (floppy disks, mice with physical trackers). Keyboards seem to be one of the few pieces of computer hardware that have gotten worse and not better over the years, though.

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297916)

Note the lack of not-a-wire coming out of it.

Also, given that it's a Model M, I'm guessing you can also note the not-a-sound you are hearing right now from the deafness of using that keyboard for that long.

Lithium AAs can have a shelf life of a decade or more.

Re:Battery Shelf Life? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297920)

I'm pretty sure that this hypothetical 10-year keyboard would be the ghastliest of laptop-feel membrane crap.

Model Ms don't need active cooling or anything; but they pull a few hundred milliamps at 5v, wired, so I'm guessing that good, honest, real keyswitches are not the choice of champions when it comes to low power devices...

doubt it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297670)

what kind of batteries will not self discharge in less than 10 years even without a load ?....

Re:doubt it (5, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297730)

Couple the keyboard with a battery charger (powered by its own batteries)

Re:doubt it (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297750)

The hypothetical ones PR guys use for cheap press.

Re:doubt it (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297850)

Lithium? Don't know exact chemistry / type, but I've got a few button-cell Lithium batteries around the house that have been powering something (backup memory, RTC), are much older than 10 years, and still output >2V (3.2V or so start value).

Re:doubt it (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297996)

according to the datasheets energizer lithium aa's have 90% capacity after 15 years, alkalines have 80% after 7 years.

A better idea. (5, Insightful)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297696)

Why not put wires on the key board (perhaps even a USB connection), and the battery is not even needed. Wow.

Re:A better idea. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297744)

You do realize there are many times a wireless connection may be preferred, right?

Re:A better idea. (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298024)

Indeed I do. I think that it would be great to have fewer wires lurking about and having the perceived simplicity of wireless. Over the years, I have tried several wireless keyboards, from various manufacturers. Not one has ever made the cut. Finally, in great despair I went back to wired keyboards.

But in the end, while a wireless connection may be *preferred*, I suspect that it almost never required.

Re:A better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298230)

The line between preferred and required is thin.
Sure, you can have a 20 foot usb cable for your HTPC's keyboard. Or you could go wireless.
It is not "required" per se, but using a wire is a luxury.

Re:A better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298498)

Why is it that most of the people that I encounter seem to have been shat from the Sphincter of Mediocrity?

Birds of a feather flock together?

Re:A better idea. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297882)

Why not put wires on the key board (perhaps even a USB connection), and the battery is not even needed. Wow.

Added bonus - the kids and wife are less likely to walk away with it and misplace it. I don't know how much of my life I've wasted looking for remote controls.

Re:A better idea. (3, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298012)

The two year old running around my house is the reason I now have a wireless mouse and keyboard. Just because there is a cable attached, doesn't mean a child won't try walking away with it.

Re:A better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297892)

A 10 foot USB cable running across my living room floor is no good.

An even better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298184)

Why not put electrodes into your fingers and power the keyboard with your nerves.

10 years? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297708)

Most stuff nowadays is cheap shit made in India or China or whatever? None of it is going to work in ten years time. You'll be lucky if you're still using it in 2 or 3 years. And that's if we've not moved onto another even better standard than Bluetooth, which doesn't seem to have taken off outside of headsets.

Out of interest, why exactly don't *all* TVs/DBD players etc use bluetooth? It would be quite handy to be able to use any phone made in the last 10 years to control them all using free, intuitive software, rather than a pile of ugly plastic crap, all of which need battery maintenance, all work in different ways etc?

Re:10 years? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297912)

Most stuff nowadays is cheap shit made in India or China or whatever? None of it is going to work in ten years time. You'll be lucky if you're still using it in 2 or 3 years. And that's if we've not moved onto another even better standard than Bluetooth, which doesn't seem to have taken off outside of headsets.

I have plenty of cheap newer stuff that has lasted me for a few years and I imagine will make 10. I have too many old wired keyboards at my house and don't have the heart to throw them out since they all work.

Out of interest, why exactly don't *all* TVs/DBD players etc use bluetooth? It would be quite handy to be able to use any phone made in the last 10 years to control them all using free, intuitive software, rather than a pile of ugly plastic crap, all of which need battery maintenance, all work in different ways etc?

For one thing interfeerence. Too many bluetooth devices will saturate your 2.4GHz band very quickly. You can also get interference from microwave ovens. Still IR has it's issues too. I'd like to see something on a different band that doesn't require line of sight.

Re:10 years? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298046)

Because when you lose/break your dvd remote they want to be able to charge $50 for a replacement when it only cost $70 to buy the dvd player in the first place, and I guess IR is still cheaper and not many people watch tv without line-of-sight.

Re:10 years? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298062)

This response is being typed on a 1987 vintage keyboard that came with an IBM PC-XT-286. It's still going strong, and as long as I never drink coffee in this room, expect it to keep going.

Of course that takes it out of the "stuff nowadays" category. Remember way back when solid state electronics were being sold as being more reliable?

I wonder what the net environmental impact is of removing all lead from solder, once you factor in the shortened lifetimes of electronic equipment, and the percentage of dead stuff that doesn't get properly recycled.
I wonder exactly how much lead it really takes to avoid tin whiskers.

G2 Microsystems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297720)

I wonder if this development is a consequence of Broadcom's acquisition of G2 Microsystems [starfishvc.com] , the Australian ultra low power WiFi people?

Idiots (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297752)

FTA:

A set of two AA batteries would be enough to power a keyboard using the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip to connect with a computer for its entire lifetime

The silly thing is, chances are keyboards using such chip would actually include that set of two AA batteries.

As opposed to sticking a 1 cm^2 solar cell + supercapacitor onto it. Or a mechanism for "tilt back & forth a few times, use rest of the week". Well you get the point: if low-power enough, use that to get rid of batteries, not just prolong their life.

Re:Idiots (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297926)

FTA:

A set of two AA batteries would be enough to power a keyboard using the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip to connect with a computer for its entire lifetime

The silly thing is, chances are keyboards using such chip would actually include that set of two AA batteries.

As opposed to sticking a 1 cm^2 solar cell + supercapacitor onto it. Or a mechanism for "tilt back & forth a few times, use rest of the week". Well you get the point: if low-power enough, use that to get rid of batteries, not just prolong their life.

No thanks. I want to be able to replace the batteries if they die sooner than expected without throwing out the whole keyboard. This is exactly where things are headed. "I'm sorry your keyboard only lasted 2 years sir. You can buy our new improved model for just $79.95 which has been tested and rated to work for 15 years".....all lies designed to make you throw out perfectly functional equipment by crippling it.

Re:Idiots (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298252)

I think you missed his point. If there are no batteries, then you have nothing you need to replace.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298214)

Piezoelectric material under the keyboard and power it from that.

nuclear battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38297760)

how about a nuclear battery, that would last for decades with nontrivial power draw.

Re:nuclear battery (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298540)

I'd like to avoid testicular cancer from having a nuclear device so close to my balls...

Most AA don't have shelf life that long. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297778)

The standard dry cell, based on manganese dioxide electrolyte, zinc as cathode and carbon as anode if I remember my high school physics right, does not last that even if it is not used!

Just as long... (4, Funny)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297812)

Just as long as you don't leave the capslock LED on.

Re:Just as long... (2)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298370)

Why not? It could recharge itself with the light of the caps lock LED ... RIGHT?????

power use... (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297950)

tinfoil hat time!

This bluetooth chip would draw a whopping .057mAh at 1.5v, or .0285mAh at 3v. (Assuming a 2500mAh AA cell type, with 10 years of power draw.)

You can easily generate this using biologically inplanted power sources, or from a standard solar powered calculator's photocell, or even from a thin film thermocoupler.

This would allow for ubiquitous bluetooth devices in a lot of surfaces, including things you would never consider to have need of a network stack.

Hell, you could power this stack on an AM crystal radio!

Re:power use... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298248)

I was thinking of putting Bluetooth in my artificial eye. Then I realized my wife could hack my eye to see where I've been looking.

yay! (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38297966)

Can I have a pony too?

"Leisure" computing... (1)

Blingin' AMD (625054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298304)

Heh.

Who would even /want/ to sit more than 36 inches from their monitor?

Power by keyboard resistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298308)

With that little power draw, I wonder if you could use the keyboard resistance to generate enough juice. When power gets low, just hit the shift key 10 times....

Get energy from keypresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298398)

Can't one make a keyboard which uses the energy of keypresses?

Wasteful wasteful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38298442)

This is all well and good, but how many times has a keyboard wire gotten that much in your way (when at a desk at least). With a wired keyboard you never need to litter the earth with used batteries or consume the resources needed to manufacture them. Wireless keyboards have their uses like living rooms, conference rooms, mobile devices and such, but when 10 million schmoes have one just so they can still sit 1.5 feet from their monitor at a cubicle is stupid. "But I can walk across my cube with it," says schmo_one. Yeah, and now you can't see your screen unless you buy an energy sucking carbon belching behemoth monitor. Good job.

buttons? (1)

jendral_hxr (2263458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298530)

The chipset may ensure 10 years lifetime without replacing battery, but how about the buttons? People tends to slam the keyboard out of frustration.
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