In the future, we may judge phones by how bendy they are. Flexible screens have already made the rounds and it looks like batteries are learning to move with the groove as well. Researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have successfully created a lithium ion battery that can be bent while maintaining and delivering a charge. Seen in the video below, the battery is shown charging a blue LED light. This is a far cry from powering an entire smartphone or computer, but it’s a good start.
The research has been published in Nano Letters, a science journal. The article synopsis claims that the flexible batteries could lead to “bendable, implantable, and wearable electronic systems.” Rollable displays are also specifically mentioned.
The rechargable batteries are printed on a film, allowing them to be almost paper thin and partially foldable. Still, we imagine that it would take many layers of thin battery film to power anything substantial, which might not make it quite as flubber-like as you might hope. Nevertheless, bendable means that it’s somewhat moldable, so you could see smartphones or other devices that better contour to the body.
There is no word on the cost of this technology or exactly how feasible and ready it is for the commercial market. It will likely be a few years before we start seeing devices powered by batteries like this, if not longer. Still, who wouldn’t want a bendable phone? At the very least, it could be a fun gimmick. Remember those eye glasses you could bend? I do.