Thinner Batteries May Mean Electronics That Can FoldAvaya
One of the greatest problems in mobile devices is also their greatest strength: portability. But a recent announcement from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, from Professor Keon Jae Lee, may open the door to even more portable hardware than we currently have, thanks to a flexible, solid-state battery technology.
Professor Lee’s discovery shows how the batteries in question can actually be folded in half, as they’re printed on a thin film. The resulting battery doesn’t lose power when folded, and since it’s a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it can operate essentially like a normal internal battery, only so thin and flexible that it can be folded, or even rolled up.
While Professor Lee expects this battery technology to be involved in “next-generation fully flexible electronic systems,” actual commercial launch dates weren’t quite so clear, meaning it may be a while before that ebook reader that can fold up and ride along in a pocket may be some time out yet. This is an excellent representation of the problem of many of our more “mobile” devices, in that they simply weren’t all that mobile.
Trying to put a tablet, or an ebook reader, in a pocket was a recipe for disaster, meaning in many cases it would have to be carried, either exposed outright or in its own case.
Some certainly turned to messenger bags or purses to stash the larger electronics, but when it’s necessary to sling that particular item over a shoulder to move it around, it loses its portability advantages somewhat over a laptop.
Professor Lee’s advance in battery technology, meanwhile, would make these devices truly portable, as they would be able to fit in a pocket every bit as easily as a paperback book would. This in turn would make the devices a lot more useful, and might very well fuel their buying if the overall quality remains in play.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of advances Professor Lee’s flexible battery finally turns out, and what impact these designs have on society. Either way, we shouldn’t have too much longer to wait until they start making appearances.
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Edited by Braden Becker