At last, a cellphone battery with 7-day life in offing

10 February 2016

Probably the biggest grouse against cellphones is the need to charge them frequently your phone always seems to die when you need it most! Now, a power technology company called Intelligent Energy has done a deal with a smartphone manufacturer to bring new battery technology to handsets.

The British fuel-cell developer was the first to put the technology harnessing the power of hydrogen into London's distinctive black cabs. Now it is focussing on a small hydrogen fuel cell that could make batteries last up to a week and is so thin it fits inside the existing iPhone 6.

The company unveiled a prototype smartphone in November and the deal could bring fuel cells for phones into the mainstream.

Although external batteries using this technology are on the market, they are usually costly and cumbersome.

Fuel cells produce energy rather than store energy. It is a similar approach to how eco-cars are run and means that, as well as making our lives a whole lot easier, they are environmentally-friendly and produce energy without pollution.

The energy is created by mixing hydrogen and oxygen, with only heat and water emitted as waste.

This means phones using fuel cells will need to be fitted with vents to enable to by-products to escape. Where exactly the excess water will go is as yet unclear but one hopes it won't be our pockets!

Julian Hughes, acting managing director for Intelligent Energy's consumer electronics division, said: ''We have been working with the [manufacturer] over recent weeks, demonstrating to them what our hydrogen fuel cell technology can achieve when embedded into a smartphone.

 ''We believe embedding fuel cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life and with consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up,'' Hughes said.

''What we offer is a solution that is clean and efficient and means consumers could be truly mobile and free from the constraints of the grid.''

The deal is reportedly worth 5.25 million but the technology company has only revealed it is collaborating with an ''emerging operator''. That seems to rule out established players like Apple and Samsung, though there was a strong rumour that Apple's iPhone would be the first to get the new battery.

The firm is also working on developing disposable cartridges for smartphones which would attach on to the bottom of the phone and contain enough gas to keep them charged for a week.

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