Smart phones are now the computers of the past. These slim plates of plastic and silicon are now more powerful and capable than many generations of personal computers. But what good is that technology if like most, your battery is always dead or in dire need of a charge? For some time now, battery technology has been one the frontier tech areas that we are in desperate need of an advancement. The chemical limitations of our current lithium-ion batteries are essentially holding us back from the future. If the battery crisis could be solved we would have a viable alternative to fossil fuels for automobiles and mobile tech could start to grow in leaps and bounds.
In this instance, the future may be now. Israeli company StoreDot is on the verge of bringing a brand new battery technology to the market. Based on nanodots made from the same peptide molecule that seems to be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease, this two nanometer (two billionths of a meter) crystal has an extremely high capacitance and the ability to hold an electrical charge. The result of the high capacitance is the ability to take and hold an electrical charge extremely quickly. StoreDot has developed this into a usable battery that can be charged empty to full in 60 seconds! Unfortunately at this stage in development there are a couple of drawbacks. The first is the fact that the current generation battery which is the same size and weight of a current lithium-ion battery is only capable of one third the life or about 4 hours of use. This means that carrying the charger with you is a requirement, which brings us to the second drawback. In order to charge the battery a special charger was needed which pumps up to 80 amps of current into the nanodots. This type of amperage has the potential to be very dangerous.
Currently StoreDot is in talks with 15 different smartphone manufacturers and is hoping to make a development deal with 2-3. If a deal can be reached a new smart phone will need to be adapted to the nanodot battery and charger and hopes are to have a safe consumer ready product as soon as Christmas 2016. As a consumer we can expect to pay a $50 premium for this new battery an amount that is negligible if the technology can really deliver on it’s charging claims.
The future is wide open for StoreDot which feels that with further investment they can not only create a new generation of smartphone batteries, which will reach the longevity of our current lithium-ion batteries, but will target electric vehicles as well. 5 minute charge on your Tesla anyone?