Smartphones with a 7-day battery life will be here within two years, says fuel-cell maker

By midian182
Feb 9, 2016
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  1. Today’s smartphones may have features we never thought possible many years ago, such as high-speed internet access, biometric scanners, 4K video recording, and even limited VR capabilities, but this all comes at the expense of one area that many older cell phones are fondly-remembered for: battery life.

    While plenty of upcoming smartphones are said to have massively improved batteries, such as Samsung’s S7, they still need fairly regular charges, especially with heavy use. But one UK-based company claims that it is developing a system that would allow a smartphone to work for an entire week before requiring a charge.

    Intelligent Energy Holdings Plc said its hydrogen-based fuel cell will be small enough to fit inside a smartphone yet powerful enough to keep it running for seven days, and could be available to the public within two years.

    The company said that one “emerging” smartphone maker is so impressed with the technology that it’s investing $7.6 million in its development, reports Bloomberg.

    “Embedding fuel-cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life,” Julian Hughes, acting managing director for Intelligent Energy’s Consumer Electronics division, said in a statement. “With consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up.”

    Intelligent Energy Holdings Plc has 25 years experience in the energy field and has already worked on a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered black cab in London and a fuel-cell-powered aircraft for Boeing. The technology works by converting hydrogen into electricity, leaving only water as a byproduct.

    Last year, the company revealed a prototype iPhone 6 that used hydrogen fuel cells. The only change to the original design was some tiny rear vents so an imperceptible amount of water vapor could escape.

    There are still some hurdles to overcome, but should Intelligent Energy Holdings’ technology find its way into commercial smartphones, charging our devices almost every day could become a thing of the past.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,331   +1,930

    It sounds good but it also sounds dangerous. Hydrogen is volatile so I wouldn't suggest you get all relaxed around a bong using your phone while trying to BS your boss into a day off.
    That said, they'll try to make it as safe as possible but nothing, absolutely nothing is id!ot proof, and there is far too many of that species roaming this planet.
    p51d007 likes this.
  3. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 106   +37

    I'm still waiting on graphene batteries.
    veLa, Tibeardius and stewi0001 like this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,132   +479

    I'll believe it when I see it.
    amstech, SirChocula, p51d007 and 4 others like this.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,375

    Heard it before, didn't buy it, didn't see it either.

    And as far as technology breaks-through go, Apple is behind the curve these days.
    p51d007 and veLa like this.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,098   +523

    And then the accompanying processor and GPU will bring that down to a day. 8k should be making a push in the smartphone market by then and I don't expect that It'll be light on resources.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,488   +666

    And don't forget a proper tether ..... you don't want the damn thing floating off every time you disconnect it from the charger!
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  8. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 699   +164

    I hate these battery articles. I've heard that new battery tech is on the horizon for the last ten years and guess what? It never shows up.
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 850   +352

    You've been hearing articles on new exciting battery tech for 10 years?
    Try over 40 for me. I remember when Alkaline batteries came around in the 60's?
    Then NiCads, then LiOn and on and on. I've heard about Hydrogen fuel,
    you think you have problems with LiOn "blowing up" when the charging circuits go
    bonkers, get on board an airplane with a hydrogen fuel cell and for whatever reason,
    change in air pressure, defect or what ever...and it goes BOOM, or some ***** terrorist
    wires it somehow to short out and, well, hydrogen is very explosive, even in very small
    Just buy a phone with a BIG battery like I did almost 2 years ago.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,331   +1,930

    Last ten years? The last 20 years is more like it and guess what? Battery tech hasn't changed the slightest in that time and very few are expecting it to do so anytime soon. Hydrogen batteries in a consumer device? It's all pie in the sky as far as I'm concerned.
  11. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 812   +382

    Oh boy! Another battery article; and we all know nothing will come of it.
  12. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,436   +592

    I'll believe it when I see it.
    I just upgraded to an S5 ($205 shipped, NIB) in large part because the battery is replaceable.
  13. Badvok

    Badvok TS Booster Posts: 114   +46

    Knowing all the fun I had pumping liquid butane (-1C) into refillable lighters in my smoking days I can't imagine how much fun it will be trying to pump liquid hydrogen (-252C) into my phone.
    (I suspect they'll actually use something like methanol (liquid at room temp) instead.)

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