If there’s one common complaint shared across Android and iPhone users it’s that battery life could always stand to be better. Though there have been advancements in lithium-ion battery technology over the years, the software we run these days is much more complex than it was during the early smartphone era days. In other words, battery efficiency is having a tough time keeping up with how rigorously we use our devices.
No matter how advanced our gadgets get from year to year, the fact remains that battery technology isn’t able to keep up. Just look at the Apple Watch, a smartwatch that’s going to be more powerful than the first iPad, but which will need constant charging. Similarly, many mobile devices that are already available in stores aren’t able to meet the battery needs of all consumers either, even though handset makers are constantly devising ways to improve battery life.
One such battery project belonging to MIT startup SolidEnergy might provide a solution for significantly increasing battery life on mobile devices starting as soon as this year. More →
Researchers from the University of Tokyo in cooperation with the University of Kyoto and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science are studying a new technology that would significantly improve charging times for Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which could then be applied to various products including electric vehicles as well as smartphones and tablets. More →
The LithiumCard isn’t the only credit card-sized battery for mobile devices seeking crowd-funding, as there’s also a TravelCard project that offers iPhone and Android smartphones exactly the same perk: a credit card-like device that packs enough energy to bring life to a dying smartphone. More →
LinearFlux on Thursday launched its Indiegogo funding campaign for a very interesting external battery charger project for mobile devices – the LithiumCard, “the world’s only ‘Rechargeable HyperCharger.’” The LithiumCard has about the same size of a credit card, while being slightly thicker, and thus it can be carried around in a regular wallet. The battery can hold a charge of 1200mAh, and, most interestingly, sports a fast charging technology that the company claims can charge devices faster than similar products from competitors. More →
As nice as razor-thin gadgets with incredibly dense screens are, battery tech hasn’t really evolved much in the last decade. While software optimizations can be made to help manage power consumption on today’s Internet-connected devices, very few smartphones, tablets and computers can go days on end without needing a charge. Early last week, a startup claimed it could double smartphone battery life and now a new breakthrough by researchers at Rice University has announced it’s figured out how to triple lithium-ion battery life using crushed silicon anode. More →
Scientific American reports that a team of scientists from Rice University in Houston and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium have been working on a “spray-on” battery that’s deployed through an aerosol can. Although the idea has a vague “They called me mad, mad!” sound to it, Scientific American says that the invention could conceivably transform any surface into a potential energy storage device. The magazine says the spray is layered like most batteries with “a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector.” Team member Neelam Singh says that the technology he’s helping to develop could even lead to “paint-on solar cells” that could transform entire houses into “solar-energy capture-and-storage devices.” More →
Chrysler’s Mopar division plans to become the first car manufacturer to eliminate power cords from cars. The company on Monday announced its new in-vehicle wireless charging technology, which will be available in the 2013 Dodge Dart. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,”said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those connected customers who are always on the go.” The wireless charging system is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The unit features a built-in charging grid that is activated when a user places their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or compatible MP3 player on it, and will begin to charge when the vehicle is started. As with other wireless charging options, a separate phone case will be required. The in-vehicle wireless charging system will be available for $199.99 plus installation, and the 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Chrysler’s press release. More →
Leaked iPad 3 parts suggest larger battery, 4G LTE, and Retina Display in same form factor as iPad 2
The next-generation iPad will feature a larger battery and a new camera, according to RepairLabs. The website obtained what it claims to be the rear shell of the upcoming iPad 3 from an industry insider in China. After examining the shell and comparing it to an iPad 2 case, RepairLabs noticed the mounts for the logic board were quite different, meaning the board itself will likely be a different shape. The rear case also apparently reveals that the iPad 3 will include a larger battery pack, in line with earlier rumors. The device is also expected to have a “different camera” as well, and the site suggests the front display will also be new. There has been speculation that the next-generation iPad would be slightly thicker, but the site claims that could be false after examining the rear case. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 next month. More →
Nokia said on Twitter Wednesday that a second software update will roll out to Lumia 800 devices over the next two weeks. It is largely expected that the update will help fix the poor battery life that has plagued some, but not all, Lumia 800 users. Nokia has already addressed the battery issue, which limits the capacity of the battery, and has even recommended that those with the problem send their devices in for replacement phones. More →
Samsung understands that battery life is a big problem when it comes to smartphones. The company is looking to fix that, however, promising that all Samsung smartphones coming out this year will last all day on a single charge with average to moderately heavy use. “When you wake up to when you go to bed, we don’t want you feeling anxiety about your battery life,” Samsung VP of product innovation Kevin Packingham said in an interview with CNET. Motorola recently announced the DROID RAZR MAXX, a variant of the DROID RAZR featuring a massive 3,300 mAh battery. Samsung will also move to larger batteries, though the company plans to focus on optimizing different aspects of the phone as well, according to Packingham. The changes will come from the way a phone acts when searching for Wi-Fi, to the way it connects to 4G LTE networks. Packingham acknowledged that Samsung “wasn’t quite there yet,” in regards to the company’s first 4G LTE smartphone, the DROID Charge. Despite these upcoming improvements, Packingham noted that power users will always face problems with battery life. More →