A new battery technology known as lithium metal could double the battery life of smartphones by as early as 2017.
With twice the capacity of current lithium-ion offerings, the new battery type comes via MIT spinoff SolidEnergy Systems, and could also mean thinner smartphones.
Since the new type is scalable, manufacturers could choose to maintain the same amount of battery life as lithium-ion batteries while scaling the actual cell down to half it’s usual size.
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That would leave much more room to reduce the form factors of smartphones without compromising on charge capcity. Alternatively, manufacturers could choose to double the charge capacity while maintaining the same battery size.
As the MIT News report states: “The battery essentially swaps out a common battery anode material, graphite, for very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil, which can hold more ions — and, therefore, provide more energy capacity.
“Chemical modifications to the electrolyte also make the typically short-lived and volatile lithium metal batteries rechargeable and safer to use.
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SolidEnergy Systems has already demonstrated the tech working in a prototype half the size of an iPhone 6 battery, and plans to bring the batteries to smartphones and wearables in early 2017.
The tech will first be made available to drone makers this November, but the firm also has ambitions to bring the batteries to electric cars in 2018.
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Let us know what you think of the new battery type in the comments.