A manager I once knew had an axiom: if it’s got a cable, it’s not really a gadget. As our portable devices get more and more powerful, the consume more and more energy. And technical advances have made formerly usable levels of power performance unacceptable–my first Powerbook, for instance, got around forty-five minutes of usage on a full charge… when it was brand new. Now, anything less than three hours is cause for a riot.
The real problem this kind of advance induces is that as batteries reach higher capacities and performance metrics, they get more dangerous. Last week’s recalls of millions of exploding Sony laptop batteries is a blistering, literally in some case, reminder of what happens when the envelope is pushed beyond reason simply to satiate business models.
Yet-Ming Chiang, an MIT scientist and the brains behind a new battery startup, says in this interview with Technology Review that the future has non-exploding laptop batteries for us. It’s a great read for information about the high-tech batteries of tomorrow. Because with great power comes the great responsibility of not burning people’s pants.
How Future Batteries Will Be Longer-Lasting and Safer [Technology Review]