I use my smartphone so much in the morning that the battery, at this point, rarely lasts past 5 pm. It's literally running out right now. I'm not joking, I was actually looking around at my co-workers the second before my editor gave me this article to write trying to see which one of them I haven't asked for a charger in the last week. I found no one. So either I double up on a favor from someone, or I will be doomed to a podcast-less commute home today, which is unacceptable.
But there is light on the horizon. According to Sciencealert.com, a new startup is set to release a brand new type of smartphone battery next year, which promises to last twice as long. As Sciencealert explains,
The doubling of capacity in these new lithium metal batteries comes from components that make the energy storage twice as dense as lithium ion, but the developers say their technology is just as safe and equally durable.
I don't know entirely what that means really, but I like whatever it's saying a lot.
The people behind the battery say that not only can this extend the life of batteries, but, because they're twice as efficient, they can be twice as small and work just as well as the ones we use now.
What that means is our phones can soon be getting thinner and lighter than ever before.
Qichao Hu, the CEO of SolidEnergy (the company behind this new battery), used to be a researcher at MIT, and he started his company in an effort to find a way to use lithium metal instead of lithium ion (what we use now) to power electronics — an endeavor researchers have been struggling with for years.
The first of these batteries are coming to the market in November to power drones.
When asked why drones would be their first focus, Hu explained to MIT News, "Several customers are using drones and balloons to provide free internet to the developing world, and to survey for disaster relief.”
As for smartphones, the new batteries will start to become available in early 2017.