Microsoft has announced a new battery technology called InstaLoad that lets users install batteries in any direction, without regard to polarity. "Never again will people have to squint to see battery installation diagrams - the device simply works regardless if the battery is installed positive-side-up or positive-side-down," the company said.

Along with making life easier to consumers, Redmond believes InstaLoad could be handy in many industries, including law enforcement, military, construction, outdoor sporting, and camping. The technology is compatible with popular off-the-shelf disposable and rechargeable batteries in sizes such as CR123, AA, AAA, C or D.

Microsoft is offering a royalty-free license program to suppliers and manufacturers of accessibility products for people with hearing, vision or learning disabilities. You can find more information on other licensing options in the press release. Third parties are supposedly "lining up to endorse the technology" for use in their own products.

Two such companies are Duracell and flashlight-maker AE Light. There's no information on when we'll see InstaLoad used in products by those companies - or any others for that matter.