It’s a common problem in today’s mobile technology driven world. You’re on the phone with a friend having a great conversation when you hear or see that dreaded notification… your battery is dying. With the fast advancement of technology, one can’t help but wonder, “Why do I need to charge my electronics daily and sometimes even multiple times a day?”
Technology is only getting more advanced, so, what are companies doing about the batteries that we are becoming so dependent on? Here’s three ways that battery life is changing/will change in the future:
Faster Charging for Mobile Devices
While the conundrum of longer battery life is an ever so present concern, some manufacturers are focusing on faster charging batteries. With larger chips and screens that require more power constantly being introduced to the market, battery technology advancement is hard pressed to keep up. So, rather than recreating the wheel and developing a “new” longer lasting battery, why not make it easier to charge what we already have?
A battery was unveiled in late 2015 in Japan that could reach nearly 50% of capacity in five minutes. A smaller battery could reach two-thirds of capacity in just two short minutes. The eventual goal is to be able to fully charge a battery in the amount of time it would take to snag a cup of coffee.
More “Power Friendly” Apps
In addition to faster charging batteries, smartphones are getting smarter. They’re getting better about telling you which applications are sucking the most power and offering some options for you when your battery life gets low.
For example, the latest Apple iOS has an added low-power mode. While some features may not work in low-power mode, others may just be a little slower. But, once you are able to charge your battery to 80% of capacity, the low-power mode is automatically disabled.
If you prefer Android devices, you haven’t been forgotten! Android 6.0 Marshmallow offers several of its own techniques to save battery life. A couple of options include putting the phone into a “doze” mode when they aren’t being used along with putting applications into a standby mode if they aren’t being utilized as frequently.
7 Day Battery?!
Companies are still, however, extremely interested in making batteries last longer – not just charge faster. Intelligent Energy Holdings Plc, a British company, has funding from smartphone companies to develop a fuel cell small enough to be embedded in mobile phones. This could potentially allow you to charge your device just once per week!
This technology converts hydrogen into electricity and leaves only water vapor as a byproduct. It’s even being used by some larger corporations such as Ikea and Morgan Stanley to power their generators currently. Intelligent Energy has been in the power game for a long time, too – more than 25 years. They have over 1,000 patents and have even worked with Boeing Co. on the first manned aircraft powered by fuel cells.
If all goes according to plan, this type of technology could even be available in just two short years.
They say that this longer lasting battery would be ideal for those with limited access to electricity such as in remote areas like Africa. Though, it’s safe to say that this is incredibly appealing to those with “easy” access to electricity as well.
While we’ve been watching these developments for years, there’s still nothing in our phones or other devices. Is it because everyone is waiting for the perfect replacement before making the jump? Probably. It could also be the commitments to current, cheaper manufactured batteries (if it ain’t exactly broke, why fix it?).
We’ve seen a plethora of battery discoveries coming out of colleges and labs all over the world. Tech companies and car manufacturers are pumping money into battery development. It’s only a matter of time before we see some real progress. And while these developments, won’t completely eliminate the dreaded dying battery, we can rest assured that steps are being taken to make that occurrence a little rarer.