Categories: Mobility

Panasonic Shows Off Thin, Flexible Battery

Panasonic said it has developed a bendable, twistable battery that it is aiming at wearable or card-type devices that could be carried in wallets or pockets.

The 0.55mm lithium-ion battery retains most of its charge capacity after being bent 1,000 times, according to the company.

Twist-resistant

That distinguishes it from slim lithium-ion batteries of the kind currently used in card-type devices, which degrade when bent or twisted, resulting in shorter battery life and less charging capacity.

The battery, which is about the size and shape of a bank card, could be used in smart cards, card keys, body-worn devices, smart watches or smart clothing, Panasonic said.

The bendable characteristics are possible because of a stacked-electrode construction that is resistant to twisting, as well as a laminated outer layer that prevents leakage and abnormal heating.

Companies including LG and Samsung are pouring funds into research on bendable technology, including batteries, displays and other components, and reports have suggested Samsung is working on a foldable smartphone.

Last year Samsung filed patents for a smartphone that could be rolled up.

Mass production

Industry observers have said bendable or foldable components are likely to lead to new types of gadgets, but they say such devices are still some way off, since all components would have to be bendable.

Panasonic said it would begin sampling its flexible battery by the end of this month and would work toward mass production.

The battery is on display at the CEATEC Japan 2016 conference this week in Chiba, outside of Tokyo, where it is also demonstrating concept a touch-screen for cars with embedded physical controls and the latest version of its transparent television prototype, which resembles a sheet of transparent glass when switched off.

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Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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