People in the tech industry like to yammer on about how every new cellphone or tablet is revolutionary, but the fact is that the last revolutionary consumer technology was Apple's original iPhone (many would even argue against that ). In all cases, our mobile world is dependent on an antiquated technology – the battery, and its dismal power storage and bulkiness.
When it comes to the design of all our cool mobile gadgets like cellphones and tablets, they are held hostage by a technology that, for the most part, hasn't changed in years. Sure, things like lithium-ion have helped to improve the length of time that we are able to use those gadgets before having to park them to recharge.
As much as we like to think our technology has been transformative, the fact is that the batteries that we need to power our toys are the very thing that holds us back from any real serious technological change. It is this bottleneck that desperately needs to be addressed, so it is nice to see that researchers are doing some serious work on new battery form factors, like the ones at Northwestern University and University of Illinois.
Researchers Yonggang Huang and John A. Rogers recently demonstrated a stretchable lithium-ion battery that can be stretched, folded, twisted, and work for eight to nine before it needs be recharged, which can be done wirelessly.
Even when fully stretched, the power and voltage of the stretchable battery is similar to a normal lithium-ion battery of the same size—with the exception being the flexible battery can be stretched up to 300 percent of its original size.
This is the type of thing that could truly revolutionize our technological world should it become practical.
via Science Daily