Nikola Labs RF-to-DC smartphone case

3 Battery Innovations That Could Change Everything (or not)

[Editor’s Note: after review and discussion, we’ve felt it necessary to republish this with the added retraction. The claims made about some of this hardware seem to have been a bit overhyped in the press materials, and as with any “game-changing” innovations, should be evaluated based on science rather than being accepted at face value.]
It has been a recurring topic on the Architechnologist: there are two impediments that are holding back the flood of new technology that will come from current innovation–batteries and bandwidth. This article is the second in a new series to discuss the present and future of these two necessary facets of our technological future.

If the bandwidth bottleneck can be overcome, there is another roadblock that needs to be overcome before any substantial leap can be made, especially in mobile technology. Function of any new innovation aside, all require a power source, and the limitations of battery technology will always be a consideration for any new technology.

More Power From Existing Batteries: Batteriser
RETRACTION: Concerns have been brought to our attention regarding the validity of the math used to quantify the voltage (electric potential) versus power (the rate at which energy is transferred). Also in question is the necessity of devices such as the Batteriser at all, as boost circuits are found in many common battery-operated devices. We take our reports very seriously and will further investigate these concerns.

Astonishingly, most devices only tap 20% of a battery’s energy before the device stops functioning and the batteries need to be recharged or disposed of. Potentially upending the disposable battery market is the Batteriser, a sleeve (.1 mm thin) designed to slip over batteries that claims to tap into the remaining 80 percent of energy. The result is AA, AAA, C and D-cell batteries that could last up to 8x longer thanks to Batteriser’s intelligent voltage management and delivery mechanism.

Batterizer Battery Power Extending Sleeve
Batterizer Battery Power Extending Sleeve
Image Credit: Batteroo

When we get a new battery it is 1.5 volts, when we use it in a device it goes down to 1.3 volts under load condition, at that point we consider it to be dead and throw it away. We tested the Batteriser sleeve in our lab and we confirmed that the Batteriser taps into the 80 percent of energy that is usually thrown away.
— Dr. Kiumars Parvin, Professor of Physics at San Jose State University

Retail prices will start at under $10.00 for a four pack of Batteriser sleeves. For more information, visit www.batteriser.com.

Re-recharging Batteries: Nikola Labs

Nearly magical in concept, the cases for the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 from Nikola Labs capture wasted RF signals from the mobile device and convert it back into DC power, sending it back to the device’s own battery. Obviously, it will never re-charge the battery on it’s own, but the recycling of otherwise wasted energy claims to increase battery life of the devices by up to 30%.

Nikola Labs RF-to-DC smartphone case
Nikola Labs RF-to-DC smartphone case
Image Credit: Nikola Labs

Nikola Labs debuted the cases at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in May 2015, winning the coveted “Audience Choice Award,” giving them the opportunity to present in the Startup Battlefield. Currently, Nikola Labs is raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign, which can be found here. For more information, visit www.nikolalabs.co.

Recharging Batteries Faster: Nucleus Scientific

Nucleus Scientific has pioneered an advanced charging technology applied to batteries ranging from smartphones to electric vehicles. Their system does not change the battery or it’s capacity, but rather allows incredibly fast recharging (and therefore, increases the possible number of recharge cycles). For example, a standard smartphone-appropriate battery could be charged fully in only 5 minutes, while extending the cycle lifetime by over 460%.

Nucleus Scientific's High Speed Charging Battery Bank
Nucleus Scientific’s High Speed Charging Battery Bank
Image Credit: Nucleus Scientific

In a demonstration at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, the Nucleus Scientific team charged a standard 10Ah power bank (roughly 5 complete smartphone charges) in 15 minutes… the same power bank would require between six and eight hours to charge without the “Intelligent Energy System.”

For (awesomely hyper-technical) information, visit www.nucleusscientific.com.

Conclusion:

Most innovations are power-hungry, and only through further development is efficiency embraced. Developing better, more efficient means of storing energy for the increasingly connected technology is a real “killer app” that will change the game dramatically.

One thought on “3 Battery Innovations That Could Change Everything (or not)

  1. I wish the Batteriser were true but there’s some unfortunate inaccuracies in their material. There’s a thorough discussion on the EEVBlog on Youtube but what I’d pay attention to is the claim that batteries are useless once their voltage hits 1.3V. Rechargable batteries start (fully charged) with a voltage of 1.2V. By their figures, rechargables would never work. I’ve only ever seen one device refuse outright to work with rechargables.

    Similarly, with the Nucleus Scientific, my understanding is that increasing the speed of the charge reduces the amount of power stored in the battery. They don’t explain how a faster charge will make more Ah appear or why it’s more efficient. In my experience the higher the draw, the greater the heat produced, which has to come from somewhere.
    Sorry to leave a negative reply. I look the GeekDad blog – I’ve read it every day for years. Please don’t stop!

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