At some point in an install job you have to use tools, whether it’s a screwdriver to put a rack together or a drill to put something into the wall. Tools are the lifeblood of the industry and many would argue that “a workman is only as good as his tools.”

Black and Decker is hoping that its latest line-up of power tools is the best; and to do that, it has one trick up its sleeve, or rather in its battery.

While there is not an inherent need for ‘smart tools’, Black and Decker’s ‘smart’ solution was to put a USB port inside the battery pack that you would plug into one of its tools.

Pricing for the UK has yet to be announced, but in the US the ‘smart’ battery costs $20 more than a standard 3V lithium-ion pack sold by Black and Decker.

A USB port may not sound a particularly useful feature on a power tool, but the company believes that it will be a lifesaver for many workmen, as it means they can charge their phones when the battery isn’t in use.

Installers often need juice in their phone to ensure they can stay in contact with the outside world, whether it is to call clients or to check CE Pro Europe for the latest installation news, meaning Black and Decker’s battery pack could be a life saver.

A USB port is just the beginning for this battery packs smarts however, as it can also connect with a smartphone wirelessly. It does this via an App which enables you to manage several different batteries all at one time – you can even rename each battery pack so you’re 100% sure which one you’re managing.

The App will then enable you to check the battery level, remotely disable the battery or locate it with a feature similar to Find My iPhone.

Black and Decker says that its smart battery will launch in the Summer.

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