Dyson backs ground-breaking tech that could improve your phone’s battery life

Sakti3 CEO Anne-Marie Sastry
Sakti3 CEO Anne-Marie Sastry Sakti3
Given the reliance of cordless vacuums on portable sources of power, it may not come as a surprise that Dyson is investing $15 million in Sakti3, an eight-year-old University of Michigan spin-off firm that’s developing technology that promises to double the capacity of many batteries. Intriguingly, Dyson has also agreed to commercialize the new technology, potentially paving the way for a quantum leap in battery technology, the likes of which the battery industry hasn’t seen for decades.

Despite improvements in longevity, the lithium-ion batteries commonly found in gadgets haven’t much changed since their introduction by Sony in 1991. The problem has largely been one of volume: Most modern-day designs rely on liquid electrolytes to transport electrons within the battery and subsequently produce electricity, but this requires a sizeable enclosure. Satki3’s technology, conversely, uses solid lithium electrodes that can be packed densely, allowing future batteries to hold much more energy in a thinner, lighter package.

In addition to being cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and easier to make than conventional batteries, Sakti3’s technology is associated with few of the drawbacks of other proposed successors to lithium-ion batteries. Those include sulphur-based batteries, which have historically proven unsafe.

The terms of Sakti3’s joint agreement stipulates that its batteries will appear in Dyson products first. However, Dyson joins other investors, including Khosla Ventures, General Motors, and others, looking to incorporate the technology into gadgets of their own. Alternative energy cars from manufacturers like Tesla especially stand to benefit. Currently, top-of-the-line electric cars max out at a range of around 300 miles.

“This is a very significant event for the company,” Sakti3 CEO Ann Marie Sastry said in an interview with the Guardian. “Dyson is a multibillion-dollar global design, engineering, and manufacturing company — and they have the will, the need and the capability to […] scale quickly.”

Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Mobile

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.