I just read a story about a start-up company that is developing a phone battery which can be recharged (are you ready...) in 26 seconds. Seriously, 26 seconds. And no, the article was not in The Onion. In another story I tracked down on the company, the author describes watching a demo, so it's not just company hype.
The company, StoreDot, is based in Israel, just outside of Tel Aviv. I wish I could explain to you how the technology works. Mind you, I wish I could at least understand the explanation enough to give you even an idea of how it works. But I can't come without a hundred paces of translating the basic concept. Okay, here's what I mean. This is the company's explanation --
“These nano- crystals are uniform in size, two nanometers in diameter, and consist of bioorganic peptide molecules. They possess multi-functional intrinsic properties such as: unique fluorescence within the visible region; electrochemical, charge trapping, piezoelectric, nonlinear optical and others.”
Personally, I think they're just pulling my leg. They probably don't know either and are just making up words and expressions. The thing is, they're very good at that because the various articles I've found about StoreDot use the same descriptions, incomprehensible though they may be. The word "nanodots" pops up everywhere.
To be clear, the battery isn't ready for the big time yet. This article here on the London Loves Business website explains that the company thinks will be able to integrate the battery into smartphones within a year, and have a “commercially ready device” ready in three years.
If you're interested, here's another article on the company (they're developing more than just batteries, but also semiconductors, displays, storage, image sensors and even bio-medicine applications -- all using those whimsical nanodots, which I believe are something akin to magic beans) in the Wall Street Journal. As I said, they're real. Whether they can bring to market what they're closing in on, time will tell.
By the way, as my techie friend Bill Goldstein noted, an additional, if not more important question is if it could be scaled up in the future to work on cars. If so that could the world significantly. It's one thing to charge a phone fast, but to imagine being able to charge your electric car in the same or less time than required to fill up at the gas station. The market for electric cars would turn upside down.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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