Lithium Ion Battery Blues! If Gordon Moore’s Law was anything to go by, the extraordinary technological advances in smartphones and other mobile gadgets have proved absolute game changers: Except for the one big hindrance – lithium battery! Whereas micro chip technology is galloping exponentially, development in the field of battery has for long remained stagnant: Or maybe not! Only until recently, the de-facto standard lithium ion battery was undergoing what looked like an endgame!
And going by additional innovations at 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, smartphones and tablets were boasting even greater speeds, sharp display power hungry apps, thus making the lithium ion battery look like a mockery of the decade. Only several years ago, phone batteries lasted weeks, and charging was never a constant pain. With smart gadgets ruling the world today, contemporary lithium ion batteries can hardly stretch beyond twelve hours of constant use. Added features and continued user dependence on gadgets are contributing factors to the predicament of lithium ion.
Owing to popular productivity and entertainment apps, both offline and online, business and home users now spend longer hours on their smartphones and tablets. With reduced battery capabilities, gadget owners find themselves at a loss, and having to exercise discipline in order to match-up the inadequacy.As a result, battery optimization practices based on manufacture and user power saving guidelines has become a behavioral pattern. This means that gadget owners have to contend with stressful power saving routines in order to remain connected.
Users now have to carry along spare batteries, keep spare battery charger and use power intensive apps sparingly. Enhanced internet speeds like 3G and 4G have to be turned off when not in use, GPS services and apps have to be switched off, and listening\watching to\of mp3\video files is kept at a minimal. Now, this beats the very purpose of modern smartphones and tablets!Future Of Smartphone And Tablet Batteries Can we therefore believe that the best in lithium ion battery technology has been optimized and that nothing more can be sucked out of this raw material?
Not really. Attempts are being made to enhance the lithium ion battery as is, and make it evolutionary. A number of optimistic ‘innovations’ aim to either supplement or totally revamp energy storage in mobile gadgets. I will mention two below.1 Photovoltaic Thin Film Photovoltaic thin film makes use of light to charge a mobile gadget and therefore the lithium battery. This innovation was brought to world attention during the January 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The technology uses a specialized transparent and almost un-noticeable film that is attached to a smartphone or tablet screen.
This film attracts light rays and should enable the connected battery to start charging. The creation of this transparent film is the invention of a French company called WYSIPS (What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface). The slight disadvantage with this charging is that it will not be as quick and efficient when done in-doors, but will be slightly faster when done out-doors.
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