Revolutionary new mobile battery delivers double the juice

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There aren't too many better sights than a fully-charged battery. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Whether it’s the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch or some other hot piece of tech, battery life is one of the most commonly criticized aspects of today’s devices.

That may be about to change, however, courtesy of a University of Michigan spinoff company called Sakti3, which has developed a new type of solid-state battery capable of storing twice the energy of traditional liquid-based lithium rechargeable batteries.

En route to saving our smartphones, the company has picked up a cool $15 million investment from vacuum company Dyson.

“Sakti3 has achieved leaps in performance, which current battery technology simply can’t,” Dyson founder James Dyson told The Guardian newspaper. “It’s these fundamental technologies – batteries, motors – that allow machines to work properly.”

The technology, which will be commercialized by Dyson, means that companies like Apple will no longer have to choose between long-lasting battery life or beautiful thin designs for their devices, battle that is almost always going to be lost by people arguing for the former while Jony Ive holds so much sway.

Sakti3’s technology uses solid lithium electrodes instead of a liquid mix of chemicals, resulting in the battery’s ability to double the amount of energy it can store — with more than 1,000 watt hours per liter, versus the 620 watts per hour per liter seen in today’s best lithium-ion batteries.

The technology’s not just limited to future-generation iPhones or Apple Watches, either. If Apple does indeed decide to launch a mass-market electric car by 2020, a supercharged battery could be just the crucial ingredient it needs to secure its success with the public.