The only other thing the average person never leaves his or her home without, aside from a phone, is a charger for that phone. If researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cross the last hurdle in a recent smartphone battery development breakthrough, then that modern annoyance will soon become a thing of our tethered past. The secret to this leap of convenience? Tiny expandable balls.
Dr. Ju Li's team recently confirmed the development of a new smartphone battery with the potential to charge in just six minutes, lasting for as long as three (!) days. This life-reinventing battery stores electricity in tiny balls that expand and deflate to appropriately house the amount of energy absorbed or expelled, providing the necessary framework for far more power density than conventional batteries.
However, Li's team faces one significant hurdle in achieving the transition to mass production. According to the Daily Dot, the battery's use of aluminum nanoparticles (as opposed to the previously favored graphite) spawns a relatively expensive aluminum-to-nanoparticles conversion process. Aluminum is relatively inexpensive when purchased in bulk, but the conversion is described as currently "prohibitively expensive." Li's team, fearing no obstacle toward a sleeker future, is working tirelessly to figure out a way to reduce the potential cost of producing the required nanoparticles.
In short, R.I.P. to "sorry, my phone died" as anyone's go-to social excuse.