A research team from Arizona State University has created a flexible and stretchable battery, which it hopes could power future smartwatches and wearables.
The idea for the battery came from kirigami, similar to origami, but involves cutting as well as folding, according to Embedded Computer Design. The design means the batteries can stretch 150 percent without breaking or losing functionality. In the creases of the battery, a plastic rolling technique is used to prevent fracturing when the battery is cut and folded.
Read this: A newbie's guide to wearables
The demonstration below shows the battery design sewn into an elastic band. The battery manages to provide a constant supply of power to the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch while being stretched.
The battery in the demo only has a capacity of 80 mAh, but the team said in it's Scientific Reports article, if it was scaled up to the size of the wristband, it could achieve about 700 mAh. and the density of the battery is similar to the lithium-ion batteries found in current smartwatches and phones. That could more than double the battery capacity of the original Samsung Gear 2, and more than triple the Apple Watch's.
Battery life is a constant problem in wearables, and some of the biggest names like NASA and Microsoft are trying to address it. Whether it's changing the way wearables use power, or how much power they have, this problem is hard to ignore.
When this issue is solved, it's safe to say the wearable industry will quickly and completely change for the better.
What do you think the solution is? Better batteries or less power-hungry phones? Or both? Let us know in the comments or over on our Forum.