Everything from smartwatches to smart clothing and smartglasses could do well with these new power sources.
One of the greatest challenges faced by the wearable technology industry is in powering them with a battery that is strong enough to last, but that is small enough that it will allow the device to be lightweight and compact enough to be appealing to consumers and to avoid the problems with looking clunky and chunky when worn.
A new type of flexible battery was unveiled in Japan at the Wearable Expo, with some considerable potential.
The battery called the Jenax J.Flex has been designed with wearable technology devices in mind. It is very flexible, to the point that it can be folded in the same way as a piece of paper. It can also be twisted and crumpled while still working as it should. It is currently able to hold a charge that is about six times greater than that of the current typical smartwatch battery. Its capacity has been compared to that of a smartphone.
The J.Flex and other flexible tech has the potential to greatly improve the design of wearable technology.
Flexible battery tech could be quite easy to tuck into fabrics and other types of thin, narrow, or curved wearables, while still offering days of life on a single charge, instead of hours, as is the case at the moment. This represents a considerable possibility in the design and development of future fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses, and even types of smartphone.
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Within the wearables category, it is devices like smartwatches that have the ability to gain the greatest benefit from this type of flexible battery technology, as it could – in theory – transform the entire strap into a battery. This would make the size of the current devices much smaller, it would dramatically lengthen the amount of battery time that it would provide, per charge, and it would solve a number of the comfort and style problems that the sector currently faces.
The planning team manager at Jenax, EJ Shin, explained that with this type of flexible battery in mind, it opens up a world of additional opportunities for wearable technology, as “Screens can bend, and some companies are making flexible circuits as well.”