Bendable batteries have been invented!

Flexible battery demonstration

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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Here are our favorite wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Samsung CEO says its foldable phone will double as a tablet

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Product Review

Razer Phone 2 fixes everything wrong with the original

The Razer Phone had a great screen, strong speakers, powerful performance, but a mediocre camera, no water resistance, and a high price. With the Razer Phone 2, Razer has improved on the predecessor in every way.
Emerging Tech

Boston Dynamics is trying to make fetch happen with its new working robot dog

Boston Dynamics wants to see Spot in the workplace, but not as part of take-your-dog-to-work days. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the technology company believes its extraordinary robo-dog is now ready to start work.
Emerging Tech

With cameras that know dogs from Dodges, Honda is making intersections safer

Honda and the city of Marysville, Ohio are working on creating a smart intersection. The goal would not only help better direct the flow of traffic, it could also help save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.
Emerging Tech

Regular paints and plastics will soon be able to ‘heal’ like skin

Imagine if paints, plastics, or other coatings could heal up like human skin in the event that they suffered damage. Thanks to researchers at Clemson University, such technology is almost here.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how Microsoft’s Hololens is helping NASA build the new Orion spacecraft

Lockheed Martin is turning to Microsoft’s mixed reality Hololens smartglasses to help build NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day help rocket astronauts as far afield as Mars.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Emerging Tech

This intelligent parachute system can bail out clumsy drone pilots

Parachutes can save drones when they unexpectedly fall from the sky. Among a number of such systems, Austrian firm Drone Rescue is this week showing off its latest design that automatically deploys when it senses trouble.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Emerging Tech

Tokyo robotic warehouse needs almost no human workers

Uniqlo has unveiled its first robot-powered warehouse that requires 90 percent fewer human workers to operate. The Japanese clothing giant plans to invest close to $1 billion dollars to convert all of its warehouses worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Emerging Tech

Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. Check out Skynet's future pet as you've never seen it before.