Colour to make buying batteries easier?
Duracell has announced new and improved alkaline batteries and a novel way of working out which type of battery you need to buy Ė colour coding. Duracell is the dominant brand in the £309 million UK alkaline battery market.
If you havenít already noticed them, Duracellís new Plus and Ultra M3 batteries are now reaching UK stores. The new batteries are claimed to have around 10% improved capacity and can be identified by colour coding on the batteries themselves and packaging.
According to Duracell, around 1 in 5 of us go into a store and think about buying a battery but end up not making a purchase because we arenít confident we know the correct size and type to buy. Colour coding is the answer, according to Duracell.
The most popular battery on the market is the AA, also known as an HP7, LR6 or MN-1500. Itís the most popular size of disposable battery used in digital cameras. The chosen colour code for AAs is yellow. Here is the full list of battery sizes and colours Duracell has adopted:
AA - yellow
AAA - green
C - red
D - purple
9V PP3 - blue
Inevitably, the question of suitability for colour blind people was raised at the press conference and a someone in the room piped up to say that despite his own colour blindness, he had no problem distinguishing the different colours.
Duracell isnít restricting its colour coding system to itself and is even hoping device manufacturers will adopt the colour coding system in their products.
A note on the use of alkaline batteries in digital cameras
A lot of digital cameras that can take disposable batteries do not work well with them, even the high power alkaline types. So-called Ďultraí alkaline batteries do work better with high drain digital cameras, but make little economic sense compared to NiMH rechargeable batteries. These are less convenient as you need to remember to recharge them, but when used dozens of times, their cost is quickly re-couped when compared to disposable batteries. Nevertheless, if you need to use disposable batteries in an emergency, itís best to aim for the high drain Ďultraí alkaline battery type.