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Megabattery tech that charges in seconds, lasts a week and is the size of a fingernail. Oh dang.

Man touching 3D render battery with lightning with his finger

The famous last words of literally (not literally) every smartphone user at one point or another are “Oh cool I’ve got 40% battery left, it’ll be fine.”

Pretty much everyone has been there. Roughly 18 months to 2 years into owning a once shiny new smartphone, the signs begin to emerge. The early battery-related fatigue that, before you know it, has turned into a fully-blown terminal decline and old Mobly is off to see out his days at the mobile hospice. A mobile phone 40% full of battery life turns to brick in a nanosecond – then it’s DEFCON 1.

Well, some clever dudes over at the University of Central Florida reckon all that is about to change. Indeed, should their discovery come to mainstream fruition the entire battery industry will be perma-changed.

A team of UCF scientists have recently published an academic journal which investigates the electrochemistry of existing Lithium Ion batteries, and compares it with a new method of creating flexible supercapacitors. The theory, which has been PoC demoed, is that this energy source can be charged in a few seconds, and you wouldn’t need to charge your mobile phone again for over a week.

“If they were to replace the batteries with these supercapacitors, you could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn’t need to charge it again for over a week,” said Nitin Choudhary who worked on the project.

What’s more, the supercapacitor will have a life of more than 30,000 recharge cycles without degrading, compared to less than 1,000 in most of today’s lithium ion batteries.

This is beyond mere theory, the dudes over at UCF have been demonstrating this technology and are beginning to prove its real-world feasibility. There’s every chance this could change the electronics industry forever, and with it the entire ecosystem devoted to portable power solutions. The capabilities of smartphones can be pushed to their limits if a power source exists that doesn’t feint at the merest hint of effort, and a veritable buffet of consumer electronics or IoT product ranges can be afforded the chance to evolve for the better.

Oh, and finally, the prototype used by UCF is the size of a finger nail. Damn.


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