Life on Charge: A Look at Rechargeable Devices

We live in a society obsessed with cable-free technology, but just how much do we rely on chargeable devices?


Apparently each person has on average 3.9 devices that requiring charging. This might sound quite a lot, but let’s look at what that could include. You might be surprised.


The first thing you think of is a mobile phone. I charge my iPhone every night, as do most smartphone owners. I also have a Mophie Juice Pack case attached to it, so that gets charged too.

Landline phones can also be cable free too; mine is a portable DECT handset that sits on a base station when not in use to charge it.


If you have a laptop, this will need to be plugged in to power it and to charge the battery. My MacBook battery lasts about 3 hours, so it needs to be charged at least once a day – but newer laptops, netbooks, and ChromeBooks can offer up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Desktop computers, while reliant on a power supply, could have some wireless features such as Bluetooth or infared keyboards and mice. These could require charging or at least batteries that would need replacing from time to time.

Tablets & eReaders

Along with mobile phones, your beloved Android tablet, iPad, Kindle or Nook also need charging. Tablets generally are used for more so will need charging more often than an ereader that is used only for reading books.


Music Players

Not everyone uses their mobile phone for playing music. Some like to use a separate MP3 player such as iPod, Sony Walkman, SanDisk Sansa or even something older – such as a MiniDisc player or even a portable DAB set which most of the time require charging.

Handheld Games Consoles

Portable game consoles such as the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP range give you excellent gaming on the go. Both of these have built-in rechargeable batteries.

Charging packs were available for portable consoles such as the original Nintendo GameBoy, Sega GameGear, and Atari Lynx in the late 80s and early 90s. However, in 2003 the GameBoy Advance SP was the first to offer a built-in rechargeable battery.

Games Console Controllers

Home console systems have had third-party wireless controllers since the late 80s; the oldest I could find was one offered by QuickShot for the Sega Master System in 1989. These usually required a receiver to be plugged in to the front of your console.

With the introduction of the Microsoft XBox 360 in 2005 and the Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii, both in 2006, wireless controllers have become standard.


While the Wii and XBox 360 takes regular batteries; both have the option of using rechargeable battery packs. The Playstation 3, however, has rechargeable controller by default – charged via USB.

Headsets/Audio Accessories

For drivers or people out and about, Bluetooth headsets paired with their mobile phones allows wire-free conversations – and is yet another thing that requires charging.

For hardcore gamers, you can buy Bluetooth headsets aimed at gaming allowing you to communicate with others online who are playing the game you are.

Camera/Video Cameras

I know most people these days use their mobile phones for capturing those magic moments – but some of use do still own a regular camera or video camera.

My Sony camera has a built-in rechargeable battery as does our Samsung MiniDV digital video camera. Both of these, however, haven’t been used for a long time.

Power Tools

Not every rechargeable device is for audio/visual/telecommunication purposes. Black & Decker, DeWalt and Bosch offer high powered portable power tools that have huge chargeable batteries offering wire free use.


Vacuum cleaners also no longer need to be huge plugged in devices to get excellent cleaning power, with the likes of the Dyson DC16, DC30 and DC58 handheld vacuums or the autonomous cleaners such as Electrolux Trilobite, Roomba iRobot.

One of my favourite pieces of kit is my powered Bissell ‘Supreme Sweep Compact’ carpet sweeper – a modern take on the push sweepers of the late 19th century featuring a rechargeable battery powering a small motor which rotates a small brush, scooping dirt in to a tray for direct disposal.



Keeping yourself looking neat and tidy can also be done with rechargeable devices with facial/leg hair shaving devices from Remington and Philips and even hair cutting/trimming tools from the likes of Wahl and Braun.


Kids enjoy wire-free play too. My son has a tiny handheld helicopter that is charged via USB, and in the past we have had miniature remote controlled cars that fit in the palm of your hand and are charged via clicking them onto the remote to charge them.

Ride-on toys for toddlers can be battery powered too,- having large batteries that require overnight charging.


Forget kids ride-on vehicles, electric alternatives to petrol/diesel driven cars have been around for well over 100 years, with the first being developed by Thomas Parker in 1884, but electric cars were surpassed by the internal combustion engine.

In the UK in the middle of the 20th century, electric powered milk floats were very common for delivery rounds, but their limited power and speed as well a decline in delivery sales has all but seen them disappear.

However, advances in technology and with a focus on the environment, electric vehicles capable of matching that of their petrol/diesel driven counterparts for the general public have become popular in the last decade. The Renault-Nissan Alliance, Tesla and Mitsubishi are the biggest names in highway capable passenger vehicles.


These require charging either at home or in on-street chargers and so count as rechargeable devices.


One final – and not so obvious addition – are batteries them self. Disposable batteries are very expensive and can be worn down relatively shortly so Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries can be a great alternative.

In My House

I have a total of 10 devices that need charging – with a staggering total of 41 in my house – and I am pretty sure I could find a few more if I did some further digging.


In this modern world, we seem obsessed with being able to walk around with a device in your hand, but it comes at a cost of having to plug things in overnight.

Have a look in your house and count the number of rechargeable devices you can find. You might be surprised.

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