For all the innovative technologies that make their way into smartphones each year, batteries are one area that’s lagged behind, until now.
Whether you’re rocking one of the top smartphones on the market, or yesteryear’s phablet, it’s a fact of life, batteries takes hours to charge fully. Battery technology has undoubtedly moved on since the humble beginnings of the Nokia 3210, as have the chargers that refill them, but it’s still a matter of hours some 15 years on.
Kansas-based electrical engineer and former US Army specialist Shawn West might have cracked the problem of slow-charging batteries however, with a prototype AA cell that charges completely in just 26 seconds.
West’s design does away with the conventional chemical-based innards of your standard AA battery and in its place uses a specialised lithium ion capacitor/chemical hybrid which is said to offer comparable performance and longevity, but at the same time goes from empty to full in under half a minute, using a bespoke charger of his own design.
The engineer’s current Kickstarter campaign was looking for $10,000 to transform his standalone prototype into a range of more professionally manufactured AA, C and D rechargeable batteries which use a small chipset to regulate the charging and discharging process happening on the inside, but by his own admission, the technology could be adapted to suit other battery types such as the lithium ion cells we’re used to using in modern smartphones.
With five days remaining on the project, West has already surpassed his target with the current total funds raised standing at $12,586 (approximately £7,480) and he has said that additional cash will go into improving the design of both the battery and charger.
Imagine if a company such as Apple or Samsung were to adapt West’s prototype into a mass-market product, you could use your phone until it’s well and truly spent and recharge in less time that it takes to boil a kettle.
This is by no means the only push into battery technology that we’re aware of, but it’s one of the most enticing endeavours right now, especially as Kickstarter backers have been promised their super-fast charging batteries before November this year.
Image credit: Shawn West, Kickstarter