Researchers have developed a flexible battery that can be twisted, bent, or shaped with scissors. The pricey prototype created at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is only one piece with carbon nanotubes and an electrolyte embedded in the paper, and is black on one side and white on the other. Professor Robert Linhardt said he would like to “scale this up to the point where you can imagine printing like a newspaper. That would be the ultimate.”
We just hope that the “ultimate” would be a product that we don’t have to worry about being recalled.
Read More | The Examiner
Those clever folks at PC Magazine have devised an iPhone Death Watch for those of you who are worried about your new toy’s battery and are already fretting over its expiration date and possible withdrawal while you exchange it. Simply enter the date of purchase and the calculator will tell you when to plan for the end and its subsequent replacement.
Apple claims that after 400 charges, an iPhone retains only 80%. Since this was all the info the mag could get out of the company, they just used one of their own to estimate how long between charges, added in the length of trickle charging over a USB port, and came up with 1.5 days. They also stretched the amount of charges to 450, multiplied the two together, and voila, the Death Widget was born. If you get too paranoid about the countdown and take the issue too seriously, we suggest that you take off another couple of days to account for all that calendar reassurance.
Read More | PC Magazine
We wonder if the D-Cell battery suffers from low self-esteem, as it’s never been as popular as rivals AA and AAA. Another blow to D’s self-image is the Battery Converter, a plastic case the size and shape of a D-cell with connectors that allow you to slip in a AA…and use it as a D battery. Ouch. Since both AA’s and D’s have the same voltage, it’s an easy conversion—just don’t expect them to last as long as bona fide D-cells. At $5 USD for two, we think the Battery Converter has potential, especially for your flashlights during blackouts.
At CES this year we got a chance to meet with Andrew Kular, CEO of Ecosol Technologies. Ecosol has won the CES Innovations award this year for their Powerstick, a portable power solution for gadgets. The Powerstick is a small device that looks like a thick USB memory key, but does something far more valuble to the geek on the go: provide power for empty gadgets quickly and efficiently.
The Powerstick features a standard USB plug on one end, and a custom multi-port on the other. When you plug the Powerstick into a powered USB port it’s internal Lithium-Polymer battery charges up (and it’s LCD fuel gauge fills up) enabling you to plug a gadget into the other end via an adapter to power it up later.
According to Andrew the Powerstick will nearly double the life of most cell phones, iPods, portable media players, and other gadgets. If you have ever run out of power at the worst of times the Powerstick sounds like it’s for you - the convenience of disposable charging solutions, but reusable for 500 charges. Check the video for the full scoop.
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
The Duracell PowerFM package is a simple lithium-ion battery expander for your iPod nano or video. It will easily double the battery life for your device, but includes a few cool features that set it apart from similar products in the market already. As per its name, it includes an integrated FM transmitter, that allows you to specify which frequency you wish to transmit on. It also includes a pass-through dock and headphone port on the bottom of it, so you can still use other iPod accessories or charge it in a normal charger/docking station (if its able to accommodate the extra depth). Oh, and they throw in a silicone case for the hell of it, to keep your nano shiny and fresh. My only real gripe with the design is that its emblazoned with DURACELL’s copper-top logo, both on the front of the device itself, and on the FM configuration screen itself. It seems to detract a bit from the cool, minimalistic Apple approach, while turning you into a walking battery ad at the same time. Still, integrating FM transmission into a significantly expanded battery life for just $79 is a nice touch. Available now.
Read More | Duracell Direct
The NW-E005F Walkman is Sony’s latest flash-based Mp3 player in their E000 series. At a weight of .8 oz and dimensions of 3.1 x 0.8 x 0.4-inches, it has a storage capacity of up to 2 GB and a battery life of up to 28 hours. The Walkman features a built-in FM tuner, a one-line OLED screen, and a USB thumb drive. It comes with earbuds and is available at a MSRP of $120-151, depending on where your Santa shops for stocking stuffers.
Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are everywhere in today’s world. Air bag sensors, G-Tech vehicle performance systems, inkjet printers and DLP TV’s are just some of the mainstream uses of MEMS technology. The concept is, take something you know works well on a large scale, and shrink it down as much as possible. Well, MIT researchers are trying to use this technique to replace today’s concepts of personal power sources such as batteries, and more recently fuel cells, a MEMS device.
This new device is a miniature turbine engine. As with most MEMS projects, this idea is based on current “real size” technology. One of the methods employed by power plants is using large turbines to generate power for its customers. These MEMS devices will accomplish the same task, but on a much smaller scale. It will be a “Personal Power Plant” if you will. The turbines will spin at speeds of around 1.2 Million RPM (20kHz) and it has been estimated that due to the quality of the device and materials used, they should be able to achieve better efficiency numbers than the current turbines used in power plants. What does all this mean? Well, for now, not much, but for the future, this may be a step in the right direction to creating cheaper safe power for millions across the globe.
Read More | MIT
Being in love with mobile technology and gadgets, the one thing we all have in common is our dependence on batteries. What most don’t know is that there are quite a few varieties of batteries out there, each with it’s own pros and cons. In this episode, we show you a few different batteries, chargers, and hook you up with some knowledge to stay powered while on the go.