​Electric origami: Flexible battery tech heading to wearables

Flexible tech could turn supercharge smartwatches and clothing
Folding battery is wearable gamechanger

Getting batteries into wearable garments is one of the biggest challenges facing smart clothing brands, but a new flexible battery unveiled a the Wearable Expo in Japan has the potential to solve the problem

Essential reading: Best smartwatches for 2015

The Jenax J.Flex is a battery designed for wearable devices, and is so flexible that it can be folded up like a piece of paper, as well as scrunched, crumpled and twisted into shape. It can hold six times the charge of a traditional smartwatch battery, with comparable capacity to a smartphone.

Flexible tech, such as the J.Flex, has huge potential for future devices – especially in wearables. Aside from smart clothing, where a battery like this could be hidden inside the fabric and offer days of battery life rather than hours, there are huge possibilities for smartwatches, fitness trackers and even smartphones.

Smartwatches stand to benefit the most, and with flexible tech the entire strap could become a battery, which will boost longevity, reduce the size of current devices dramatically and solve the problems of comfort experienced by existing smart straps.

“Screens can bend, and some companies are making flexible circuits as well,” EJ Shin, Jenax’s planning team manager told Tech in Asia.

“Now, the battery can bend with the rest of a device. The next generation of smartphones can be completely changed by using J.Flex, as the shape will be up to a designer’s creativity.”

The device has already passed South Korea’s testing benchmarks, and the battery can be folded over 1 million times in its life cycle, which gives us hope that it won't simply disappear into the ether, like so many other battery innovations.

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