Feeds

Pret-a-porter: LG boffins' bendy battery can be worn as PANTS

But keep that fire extinguisher close

SANS - Survey on application security programs

You can shrink them, make them skinny, or make them swallow more charges – but unless you're a Maker Faire type, you can’t actually wear a battery. Until now.

Engineering and chemistry boffins working with LG Chem have devised a cable-like lithium-ion battery just a few millimetres in diameter – and flexible enough to be twisted, knotted and bent. LG Chem, part of electronics giant LG, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of lithium-ion batteries.

That means, rather than putting a solid battery inside a device like laptop, iPad, phone or camera, you could wear it as part of your clothing.

The idea is to encourage more flexible personal computing and, possibly, devices that become even smaller and lighter as the battery’s living quarters are eliminated.

In a document here (PDF), the team write of their work: "Instead of mounting the battery inside the device, it could be worn on the wrist, neck, or any other part of the human body, allowing maximum freedom in the device design and a strong boost for the realization of practical wearable electronics.”

They note that with keyboards and screens becoming flexible, greater attention has been paid to polymer electronics and nanometer sized materials capable of conducting current.

The battery is conceptually rather simple. A copper cable was coated with nickel and tin to produce the anode, it was wrapped with a cathode composite and packing insulator, the cable was twisted in to create a spiral – like a spring with the core left hollow – and then the spring was coated with lithium cobalt oxide to make the cathode. An outer insulating coating was added with the electrolyte poured down the middle of the spring.

The capacity of the battery could be increased by adding more stands and making the strands thicker.

The team charged a battery to 4V and were able to power a red LED screen and an iPod shuffle. The battery was then bent, with the current it produced remaining at a constant level.

“Compared with other recent film-type flexible batteries the variation in the discharge characteristics of our battery is quite negligible, strongly indicating that our cable battery will exhibit mechanical robustness in real operating environments,” the boffins said.

They note more testing is needed, especially on safety and standards not least given the sheer prevalence of lithium-ion batteries and their propensity to explode or catch fire.

Brings a whole new meaning to "hot pants". ®

The paper was written by researchers at South Korea's Pusan National University, Kangwon National University, Chungnam National University and the Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), together with researchers from from the battery R&D division at LG Chem, also in South Korea, and published in Advanced Materials.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.