Scientists create a BENDABLE battery

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Scientists have developed a bendable battery that could pave the way for a generation of flexible smart devices.

The high-performance power cell can be twisted and bent while still storing large amounts of charge.

The technology could one day lead to paper-thin smartphones that you can roll up and clothing that connects to the internet.

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Scientists have developed a bendable battery that could lead the way for the creation of foldable phones and smart clothing. The high-performance flexible power cell can be twisted (pictured) and bent while still storing large amounts of charge (top right)

Rigid batteries have proved a major hurdle to technology companies looking to build flexible gadgets, including bendable handheld devices (artist's impression)

Samsung is rumoured to be developing a range of flexible smartphones (artist's impression)

Rigid batteries have proved a major hurdle to technology companies looking to build flexible gadgets, including bendable handheld devices. Samsung is rumoured to be developing a range of flexible smartphones (artist’s impression pictured)

The bendy cells could also be integrated into the straps of wearable devices like smartwatches, greatly extending their battery life.

A prototype holds 85 per cent of the charge of a normal cell, but the researchers, from Columbia University in New York, say they are working to improve this.

It was designed after the bendy structure of the human spine, scientists said.

Hard components that store charge are flanked by softer components, much like each of the spine’s vertebra are cushioned by soft tissue to keep us flexible.

No matter which way you bend it, the battery offers stable voltage and high-energy density, according to the researchers.

Study lead author Dr Yuan Yang said: ‘The energy density of our prototype is one of the highest reported so far.’

Pictured is the battery powering an Android smartwatch while being twisted

The prototype holds 85 per cent of the charge of a normal cell, but the researchers, from Columbia University in New York, say they are working to improve this

The prototype holds 85 per cent of the charge of a normal cell, but the researchers, from Columbia University in New York, say they are working to improve this. Pictured is the battery powering an Android smartwatch while being twisted (left) and bent (right)

‘We’ve developed a simple and scalable approach to fabricate a flexible spine-like lithium ion battery that has excellent electrochemical and mechanical properties.’

‘Our design is a very promising candidate as the first-generation, flexible, commercial lithium-ion battery.’

Rigid batteries have proved a major hurdle to technology companies looking to build flexible gadgets.

Hard components that store charge are cushioned by softer components (top right), much like the spine's vertebrae are flanked by soft tissue (top left). Layers of conducting strips (bottom left) are wrapped around bendy material (bottom centre) to create the battery (bottom right)

Hard components that store charge are cushioned by softer components (top right), much like the spine’s vertebrae are flanked by soft tissue (top left). Layers of conducting strips (bottom left) are wrapped around bendy material (bottom centre) to create the battery (bottom right)

The bendy cells could also be integrated into the straps of wearable devices like smartwatches like the Apple Watch (pictured), greatly extending their battery life

The bendy cells could also be integrated into the straps of wearable devices like smartwatches like the Apple Watch (pictured), greatly extending their battery life

Developing a battery that can bend and flex is a key step toward phones you can twist or roll up, as well as smart clothing that can read your vital signs or project a display onto your sleeve.

Samsung is rumoured to be developing a flexible phone with a display that bends like paper.

The firm showed off two versions of the handset, which has a 7.3inch screen, one folding in, and one folding out, at CES in Las Vegas last month.

Developing a flexible battery  is a key step toward handheld devices with curving displays, such as the Samsung prototype smartphone pictured

Developing a flexible battery is a key step toward handheld devices with curving displays, such as the Samsung prototype smartphone pictured

WHAT IS SAMSUNG’S ‘GALAXY X’ FOLDING SMARTPHONE?

Samsung is rumoured to be developing a phone with a bending display. 

The radical gadget, expected to be called the Galaxy X, will have a 7.3-inch flexible OLED screen which folds inwards like a book.

When folded, it will work as a phone, and can be unfolded to operate as a tablet. 

According to Korean site  ETNews, Samsung will develop the foldable displays by March, manufacture panels in September and start manufacturing the phone itself in November.

This would mean the handset could go on sale in early 2019.

Samsung is yet to make any official announcements about the folding device.

Patents for the device show a book-like handset that can be opened to transform into a tablet. The Korea Herald says the firm is showing off two versions of the handset behind closed doors in Las Vegas. Both have a 7.3inch screen, and one folds in, and one out.

Samsung’s Galaxy X will have a 7.3-inch flexible OLED screen which folds inwards like a book. When folded, it will work as a phone, and can be unfolded to operate as a tablet. Pictured is a Samsung patent showing how the device will work

Developing a battery that can bend and flex is a key step toward  smart clothing that can read your vital signs (bottom left), project a display onto your t-shirt (right) or read your pace during a run (top left)

Developing a battery that can bend and flex is a key step toward smart clothing that can read your vital signs (bottom left), project a display onto your t-shirt (right) or read your pace during a run (top left)

The radical gadget, expected to be called the Galaxy X, will have a 7.3-inch flexible OLED screen which folds inwards like a book.

When folded, it will work as a phone, and can be unfolded to operate as a tablet. 

According to Korean site  ETNews, Samsung will develop the foldable displays by March, manufacture panels in September and start manufacturing the phone itself in November.

This would mean the handset could go on sale in early 2019.





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