One of the new but relentless frustrations of modern living is the dead smartphone battery. You know the sinking feeling you have when your phone is dead and you need to call an Uber after a long night or you need to text your significant other that you’re on your way home. Luckily, there have been many technological breakthroughs in the science of batteries for smartphones. Here is a look at these developing technologies.
A battery that quickly replenishes is the first of many technological advancements for smartphones that is on the horizon. According to The Guardian, a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment company called Huawei Technologies has developed a battery that charges from zero to 48 percent power in just five minutes. These batteries have a catalyst built into the battery’s anode that hastens the conversion of electrical energy into chemical energy without shortening the battery life or reducing the long-term storeable energy.
While processor speeds and other smartphone technologies have advanced at a lightning pace, battery technology has lagged behind somewhat and the amount of tasks any single smartphone is performing has increased dramatically.
Near field communication (NFC) has been serving as a low-power alternative to Bluetooth for some time. However, NFC devices are also capable of charging without actually being plugged into anything. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge already comes standard with wireless charging devices. ExtremeTech explains that NFC charging works on a principle of resonance, an electromagnetic system that can operate at an efficiency of 35 percent if the physical separation distance is no more than a quarter of the wavelength.
What does this mean for the future of batteries? If more devices incorporate the NFC chip, airports could offer a long bar of NFC charging plates rather than the awkward plug clusters that populate terminals. Car manufacturers could incorporate smartphone holders that serve to wirelessly charge your phone while sharing your music, calls and texts through your stereo system. Since NFC can transmit data in the same way as Bluetooth, your smartphone could seamlessly integrate with every part of your home, vehicle and travel equipment without ever being at a loss for power.
Longer Battery Life
Finally, the time a battery can hold a charge is reaching a new threshold. UK-based company Intelligent Energy claims that a seven-day lifespan battery is on the horizon, and Digital Trends reports that it could be out in as soon as two years. Fast charging and wireless charging don’t mean a thing if you have to go off the grid for a while, but a seven-day battery life would mean that smartphone users could break away from needing to charge for much longer periods of time.
While fast-charging batteries that refill power in just a few minutes are a necessary breakthrough for continued smartphone growth and development, it is possible that the future will see an age in which smartphone batteries are capable of pulling a full charge from an outlet in just a minute or two and running for a week on that charge.