May 31, 2014
As users of mobile handsets move away from traditional landlines to cell phones, it is becoming very important for the manufacturers of mobile telephones to come up with ways of improving the charging capability of mobile phones as well as the lifespan of their batteries. We’re starting to see batteries enter the market capable of getting fully charged in just 30 seconds. Yes, you heard that right — less than a minute.
Check out the YouTube demo:
StoreDot is the company tasked with making this a possibility and bringing these batteries into the market. Displaying their future wares recently at a technology convention, the firm really caused a stir among users of smartphones and other mobile devices.
During the conference, StoreDot showcased the new battery explaining that it is capable of moving electric current at the speed of lightning. This is way faster compared to the batteries that we currently have in the market.
As any user of smart mobile devices will tell you, the long hours it takes to charge batteries for their gadgets is a very serious concern. Another thing that consumers often complain about is the very short time that it takes for the charge to run out.
Unfortunately, not much has been done to solve these problems. In fact, a majority of current efforts tend to focus only on using solar energy. But, mobile handset cells with the capability of charging in 30 seconds are on the way.
According to StoreDot, its much-anticipated battery is based on nanodots. These are made using an ingredient that is surprisingly organic, yet also incredibly common. StoreDot utilizes tiny crystals that are only two nanometers long. According to the manufacturers of these batteries, the crystals are not only organic and affordable, but they are also excellent when it comes to storing a charge.
Through a self-assembly process, these crystals are able to form the nanodots. They possess a natural glow, something that could be used to illuminate the display of the handsets. This, according to StoreDot, will be equivalent to the kinds of displays that are currently in use.
There is one drawback bout this technology, though. These futuristic batteries must be charged just as frequently as current ones. However, each charge will only take 30 seconds of the user’s time.
At the moment, the battery design is only in the prototype stage. However, according to Storedot’s Chief Executive officer Doron Myersdorf, they are very confident that in about two years, these magic batteries will be hitting the stores.
The pioneering progress of Storedot’s battery was demonstrated at the Think Next symposium organized by Microsoft in Tel Aviv. During the demo, the battery was able to charge a Samsung S4 Smartphone in just 26 seconds from being fully drained.
Dr. Myersdorf said that his company aims to disrupt many industries and not just the battery. According to Myersdorf, this is new approach, new physics and new chemistry.
The prototype that was demonstrated during the Tel Aviv conference is too large and needs to be compatible with slim mobile devices of today before it can hit the stores. When fully developed, these batteries will be expected to sell at a retail price of £18. This is nearly twice as much as the cost of a phone charger.
It is an open secret that despite relatively incremental strides made in the Li-ion battery technology in the last few decades, not much has been achieved to help the batteries keep pace with the new generation of mobile devices that are literally power hungry, according to Australian mobile phone retailer, UniqueMobiles.
Some of these technologies that have failed to address the phone battery problems are wearable gadgets like Google Glass and smartwatches. Until now, the only notable efforts to enhance the battery life have involved efforts to passively harness energy from the nearby environment, like touch screens containing built-in solar cells, wireless charging and piezoelectric systems that are designed in such a way that they can absorb kinetic energy.
There are, however, some questions that still remain unresolved. The breakthrough aside, researchers still need to solve some issues before the technology can be adapted to commercial markets. According to Jared Newman, a Time Magazine columnist, one of those issues is that this nanodot battery will be able to charge faster but might not last very long on the charge.
He argues that in the recent demo, the battery appeared much larger compared to that inside Samsung Galaxy S4, yet its capacity was smaller. Although it can charge faster, chances are that it won’t last very long on the charge, argues Newman.
Although the nanodot battery will not reduce the rate at which gadgets are charged, it will make the process of charging them both less time consuming as well as less hassle. Not many researchers have trodden this path, and this has been attributed to the battery technology’s inherent limitations.
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