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New battery tech could mean weekly smartphone charge

A new battery tech breakthrough could mean an end to nightly smartphone charges, among other things.

For some time now the biggest laggard in consumer technology components has been the battery. While our phones, wearables, and computers get faster and smaller, most still can’t last beyond a day of solid usage.

Now researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea (via Engadget) have made a notable breakthrough.

They have come up with what they call a miniaturised solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), which combines porous stainless steel with thin-film electrolyte and electrodes of minimal heat capacity. The result is a massive increase in performance and durability (an important factor with portable devices) over current lithium-ion batteries.

What kind of increase? “With this fuel cell, drones can fly more than one hour, and the team expects to have smartphones that charge only once a week,” explains the team.

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These new SOFC batteries could potentially replace the lithium-ion batteries in our current smartphones and drones, and could even be scaled up for use in electric vehicles, vastly extending their range.

No time scale has been provided as to when we might see this new battery technology implemented in consumer tech. But we have to say, the prospect of only charging our phones every week has us rather excited.

Excited by the prospect of better battery life, or are there other basic components that need improving first? Let us know what you think in the comments.