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Here’s an awesome new battery technology that will never make it into your phone

Published Jan 23rd, 2017 7:12PM EST
better batteries

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an awesome, revolutionary, life-changing battery technology was just developed by researchers, allowing smartphones to last longer with less degradation over time, and maybe it’ll end up in your next device. Cool, right? This latest breakthrough in battery design comes from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, where professor Christopher Wolverton has devised a new method of designing lithium ion batteries that helps manufacturers determine the perfect cathode coating material to use. In theory, the new system would make batteries more reliable as they age, with less degradation in charge capacity. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never benefit from it, because mobile device battery technology is cursed.

I have a confession: I can no longer write stories about new battery breakthroughs with any kind of genuine excitement. It’s not that I don’t want my smartphone battery to be better than it is today — on the contrary, I’d love to be able to forget my charger for at least a few days at a time — but no matter how fantastic the discovery, concept, or design is, it never seems to make it into production.

Seriously, look at all these awesome battery breakthroughs from recent months:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you go back a couple of years or more you’ll see even more example of battery breakthroughs that remain completely absent from our lives.

Don’t get me wrong; if the new system developed by Northwestern’s bright minds manages to actually spawn more reliable, longer-lasting batteries for retail devices I’ll be happy to eat my words. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever have to.