TOOL PREDICTION – PREMIUM BATTERY PACKS
Premium battery packs is an idea I’ve been kicking around for at least a couple years now but never put the thought “out there”. Recently Black and Decker released the LBXR20BT battery with integrated USB which was like a kick to the tenders. “Hey I thought of that a few years ago” was my first thought. My second thought was why in the heck I hadn’t written about this sooner.
As written about in this article our Tool Predictions are intended to be a fun look ahead of products we think will be coming to market or tweaks to existing products we think are coming down the pipe.
My Official Prediction on PREMIUM BATTERY PACKS
I think a shift will come in the next year or two with “Premium” battery packs from the major tool manufacturers. The two main features of these premium packs would be a built-in USB port and integrated LED light. Both of these features can be engineered into the pack to require very little precious space. The LED light should be integrated into the front of the pack so it could be used while on a drill or impact for illuminating work but the key will be it’s ability to function as a basic flashlight by itself.
Integrated LED Flashlight.
The above image depicts what an integrated LED light battery pack would be like.
Built-in Single USB Port
This isn’t a future prediction any longer since Black & Decker has already rolled out such a feature on the above mentioned LBXR20BT. Once again I kick myself for not talking about this sooner. Incorporating a USB port is a natural addition since many radios, chargers and flashlight now have them built-in. What a perfect integration when you can just plug a cell phone directly into a pack on a job site to charge. Below is the LBXR20BT showing the USB port which accessible from the top. This a good location from a protection standpoint but I think the port should be accessible from the side near the back. This way the port could be used while fitted to a tool. A rubber dust/moisture cover would need to be added to keep crud out of the port.
The Black & Decker LBXR20BT with integrated USB port.
As with all our predictions we will try and look back at times to see if any of them pan out. Since this prediction is a bit late to the game regarding the USB ports we will have to only look for the integration of an LED light into the packs.