The first individual or firm that gives people a week-long charge on their smartphones will be a very rich man or woman. Mobile tech as become so advanced in the last few years that smartphones often challenge older laptops in computing power. Unfortunately, not unlike a laptop’s battery the smartphone battery is the bugaboo in the room that someone needs to speak to soon.
Whether the solution lies in nanotech, e-ink, or wireless charging won’t matter to consumers as long as it solves the existing issue of not enough battery life for watching hours of Justin Bieber videos….or cats.
Eesha Khare is a Harvard student who developed an award-winning battery as a high school senior. Her invention, a supercapacitor energy storage device, was demonstrated on Conan O’Brien’s talk show last year and showed that using nanotech she was able to produce a device that can store an impressive amount of energy despite its size while also charging mobile devices at a speed unseen prior to her invention.
That’s not to say she’s finished with the product at all. She’s still working on the prototype that that wowed the world and her ” goal is to have a supercapacitor charge a mobile device in less than a minute.” While she has yet to sell her technology to anyone yet she has recently revealed that she was approached by the boffins of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Battery life: Is e-ink the answer?
Yota Devices, a smartphone manufacturer, is approaching battery life in a completely different way. The YotaPhone, that has largely been panned by reviewers, sees another route forward. The YotaPhone is a dual-screen device that has a typical main screen, but what makes it different is the second screen on the back that employs a low-powered e-ink screen. The idea is that users will use the e-ink screen to check notifications, send and receive messages and emails reserving the main screen for video playback, app use, etc.
The end of the year will see the company release the YotaPhone 2 which is expected to make much needed improvements on the original phone while continuing with its predecessor’s two screen approach.
The Cota Project and wireless charging
Ossia Inc. continues to work on its Cota Project that it revealed last year. Cota can wirelessly charge multiple mobile devices at a distance of over 30 feet while comfortably doing so through doors, walls, and the users clothing. If they can make charging stations cheap enough to install homes, schools, and workplaces, the possibility of chucking your charger altogether becomes more and more of a possibility.
That’s not to say that it’s not without faults. The bulk of the energy is still lost between the devices that are meant to be charged and the charging station. They power also has a one watt limit, presumably for safety, that also remains a hurdle for Ossia.