Hands down the most annoying thing about your phone (apart from maybe that Keep Calm And Carry On case) is that it always runs out of battery. Every day, when you need it the most, it is out of battery. When you need an Uber, when you’re lost and need CityMapper, or most importantly, when you’re hungover and need a pizza – it’s never there.
Every time this happens, you bemoan the days of the good old Nokia 3310, when you could embark on a month-long trek across the Himalayas, with your phone constantly connected to the talking clock and when you got back you’d still have battery left over for a ten-year long game of Snake.
Thankfully, those bemoans(?) are soon to be a thing of the past, as tech-heads are saying that week-long batteries might be just around the corner. With the launch of Nokia’s brand spanking new version of the 3310, which proudly boasts a battery that will last a month, the technology appears to be heading in the direction of smartphones too.
The research is being led by a team at the University of Texas, headed up by 90-year-old Professor John B. Goodenough (who invented the lithium-ion battery, in case you were wondering). So, to use an incredibly out of date reference that nobody remembers: Here comes the science bit…
Basically, at the moment, phones house lithium-ion batteries that use liquid electrolytes to transport charged ions between the negative anode and position cathode. Yeah? Cool. However, this team of researchers are using glass electrolytes (we could have told them that ages ago), which are better, or something.
It’s not something that’s going to immediately come into production and save all our lives straight away, but it’s certainly something that could happen in the future. Due to the safety, cost-effectiveness and even their resistance to sub-zero temperatures, they also hope to use the same technology to power other things, like driverless cars and pneumatic ice-dildos.