An invention that scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are working on, has the potential to change the way future phones and devices could be used. Daily Mail reports that the scientists have developed a flexible battery, which can be bent and twisted. This could pave the way for flexible mobile phone handsets and tablets. The team of scientists, led by Professor Keon Jae Lee, have developed a 'high-performance flexible all-solid-state battery'. As per reports, the flexible battery, as it has been known is “stable enough to power our phones while still remaining stable”.
The report further adds that although we have been introduced to the concept of flexible displays in the past, unless the battery was made flexible, nothing much would change with the phone. The team at KAIST said, “The technological advance of thin and light flexible display has encouraged the development of flexible batteries with a high power density and thermal stability. Although rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have been regarded as a strong candidate for a high-performance flexible energy source, compliant electrodes for bendable LIBs are restricted to only a few materials, such as organic materials or nano/micro-structured inorganic materials mixed with polymer binders”.
In the video below, you can see the flexible battery in action. The battery powers a blue-coloured LED while it is actively being bent.
Samsung has been toying with the idea of using flexible AMOLED screens in smartphones for a while now. Samsung had shown demos of some prototype displays during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. Then came the Galaxy Skin, which featured a single display that can be folded to make it more compact. The company has named the flexible AMOLED screen technology ‘Youm’, which we hope to see in its upcoming smartphones.
Recently, there were reports of Korea’s second-largest display panel maker, LG Display planning to manufacture a new 60-inch, flexible, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. Reports indicated that LG Display was chosen by the government to lead a project to develop the transparent and flexible OLED display. This project is a part of the Korean government’s ‘Future Flagship Program’ to promote technologies of the future. This ultra-high definition display may take as many as five years to arrive, with the company aiming for a launch in 2017. LG will lead a complete consortium that also includes Avaco, an equipment manufacturer for display production of flexible OLEDs. There are plenty of applications for such displays. The transparent, flexible OLED displays are likely to be used for showing information at bus stations, aquariums and even retail stores. Advertising hoardings are definitely going to be a part of the plan as well.
The researchers are hopeful that with the advent of the high performance, flexible thin-film battery, there will be faster development of 'next-generation fully flexible electronic systems'. This will be in tandem with flexible components such as display, memory and LED that currently exist.