Top up from the tap?
The development of fuel cells for portable devices has been painfully slow, but Samsung’s latest breakthrough is enough to get our juices flowing again…
Patented at the back end of last week, the Korean giant has announced fuel cells powered by that most common, stable and cheap of all materials: water.
Naturally enough the company hasn’t gone into specifics at this stage, but it has disclosed that the process involves exposing water to metal to create hydrogen (the usual staple of fuel cell technology). Sammy was also good enough to say its early samples have lasted long enough to power a mobile phone for 10 hours of continuous usage or five days based on typical call patterns. Sadly without knowing what type of phone is used and what features are running (WiFi? Bluetooth? GPS?) this data is virtually impossible to apply to a real world device.
Still, the idea of topping up your handset at the tap or from your average bottle of Evian is very appealing (as long as you don’t spill any) so we can’t wait to see if Samsung can make good on this potentially revolutionary concept. Samsung’s initial estimates suggest commercial availability as soon as 2010, but when it comes to fuel cells we’ve learnt its best to take a cynical stance.