Log In

Enter your username and password below

You’ve Never Seen a Battery Like This Before

When we launched the Tech & Innovation Daily website on December 18, 2012, one of our very first articles focused on the progression of a trend that’s steadily gaining more traction as technology continues to advance.

Creating flexible mobile devices and consumer electronics.

For example, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, we saw Samsung (SSNLF) and LG (LPL) unveil the world’s first Ultra High Definition (4K resolution) curved televisions.

Samsung’s prototype 85-inch “Bendable TV” allows users to switch between the regular flat screen into a curved display whenever they want.

Here’s a picture of it that our team took at this year’s CES…

“What’s the point?” you ask? Well, the enhanced depth and picture quality is a particularly unique feature to have for events that are well-suited to such curved, high-def technology – like sports, or movies.

A Samsung executive calls it a “truly immersive experience” – akin to watching in 3-D, but without the goofy glasses.

Later this year, the company will sell flexible 4K televisions that don’t have the ability to switch between a flat and curved screen, including a monster 105-inch offering.

Not to be left out, Samsung’s South Korean rival, LG, also launched its own flexible OLED TV at CES – a 77-inch model that’s also able to switch between flat and curved and “has to be seen to be believed because it defies description,” according to CEO of LG Home Entertainment, Hyun-hoi Ha.

Well, we saw it at CES – and here it is…

Great technology, no doubt.

However, while these flashy launches from South Korea’s tech giants have received plenty of press recently, a fellow group of South Koreans are working on another groundbreaking innovation that could benefit Samsung and LG even more…

The World’s First Foldable Battery

At the University of Ulsan’s National Institute of Science and Technology, Lee Sang-Young and his team are working on the world’s first flexible lithium-ion battery. One that can be folded, twisted, or bent… yet continues to function normally.

As you can imagine, such flexibility represents the next generation of battery technology – and could prove extremely valuable for the many tech companies that put batteries in their consumer electronics and mobile devices.

So how does it work?

Well, the key component is a liquefied polymer that’s unaffected by the temperature volatility in conventional lithium batteries.

As Sang-Young states, this polymer has “high performances of thermal resistance and mechanical flexibility. So there are no security risks, like swelling or explosion, even if the cell is exposed to high temperature. And the battery works when it’s bent, or even crumpled because it’s been developed to sustain the flexibility.”

Here’s how it works…

So are we on the cusp of revolutionary new battery technology for our electronics?

Well, a malleable battery could literally give designers much more flexibility in terms of how they create our mobile devices and a host of other products that need batteries.

And for manufacturers like Samsung and LG designing flexible television displays, it would represent a major breakthrough. Right now, while the screens can flex and bend, static batteries can’t do the same.

Until now, says Sang-Young. And it goes even further. He says, “As an important power supply, this kind of battery will contribute to the development of the upcoming wearable era for mankind in the future.”

Ahead of the tape,

Martin Denholm

Martin Denholm

, Managing Editor

View More By Martin Denholm