Absolute Power

by Imran Ali

With the last few days breathless reporting of Nokia and Apple's various product launches, it's easy to overlook one of the most important factors for mobility...power! There's been a pair of interesting battery developments in recent weeks.

First up, Trevor Baylis (inventor of the clockwork radio) launched the Eco Media Player, an iPod-esque handheld portable digital media player that gives 40 minutes of audio playback from a minute of winding (imagine what kinda power MPEG clips'll need!).

The fact that wind-up technology is finding its way into mobile technology is noteworthy, particularly as sporadic power is one of the key issues for users of mobile handsets in the developing world. However, Baylis' talents might have been better spend creating a universal wind-up charger for existing mobile devices...would you rather have an Eco Media Player or an iPhone with an optional wind up charger?

In other developments, researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have fashioned a combination battery/super-capacitor from carbon nanotubes and paper which means the batteries can be 'printed' into any shape with no loss of efficiency and indeed 'stacked' to enhance output...and get this, it can also be fueled by blood, sweat or urine!

Find out more at...
  • Paper battery offers future power

  • A paper thin battery the size of a postage stamp