The more we rely on mobile devices the more we rely upon one small technology. Batteries. Have you ever reached for your smartphone to look something up or to get directions and discovered that it has died? Well, in a few years, that may be something you don’t have to worry about.
A Better Battery on the Way?
Thankfully, a better battery might soon be on the way, thanks to the work of a team of engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University. A recent story reports that researchers at this Big 10 university are trying to make a battery that lasts longer and can recharge itself within minutes. Smartphone users around the world ought to be thankful.
Northwestern’s researchers have found a method to lengthen the charge of lithium-ion batteries by more then 10 times the present lithium-ion battery life. They’re even boasting that after 150 charges, which they believe represents about a year of operation, the new lithium-ion battery will be 5 times more efficient than batteries at present.
A Charged Battery for a Week
Here’s the bottom line: The new cell phone battery could stay charged for over a week and then charge itself in just 15 minutes. This is best part about it for you: It could mean that your iPod won’t run out of juice while you’re working the treadmill at the gym. But the new, better battery might have a much greater impact: According to the Northwestern story, this new battery technology could result in smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars. This may help the United States—and other countries—cut its reliance on fossil fuels.
Batteries Powering Technological Change
The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, but the Northwestern researchers say that it could hit the market in 3 to 5 years. This is a big step. When we look at developments in technology, we tend to forget about the batteries that power our latest gadgets. Battery limitations are one of the factors holding back an even greater technology revolution. The hope is that the research done at Northwestern University can change this.