Korean scientists invent material to create flexible batteries

Though the concept of bendable display has been around since long, we saw it regain the hype at CES this year. Owing to Samsung and its Youm branded flexible displays, there have been speculations about devices with flexible displays to enter commercial market. Samsung showed the potential of these displays at the biggest tech event, but it isn’t clear whether we will see these displays being implemented in devices for commercial use. There needs to be an ecosystem to support such devices and Korean scientists claim to have taken a step towards it. Korea Joongang Dailyreports that scientists have invented material to built flexible lithium-ion batteries, which can be eventually used to build bendable electronic products. The team of scientists is led by Lee Sang-young of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.

This display can bend; won't break if dropped

Samsung showing its bendable display at CES 2013

This new approach of building batteries replaces liquid electrodes (from traditional batteries) with fluid-like yet solid polymer electrolytes that don’t require a case. Traditionally, batteries are built by pouring liquefied electrolytes into solid cases. However, reports say that these scientists are still a long way from elastic Nokia Morph concept, but could help bendable display makers in many ways.

Samsung had demoed the potential uses of its flexible OLED line-up in the form of different devices. Talking about Samsung’s flexible OLED line-up, Brian Berkeley, Senior VP, Samsung’s San Jose Display Lab said, “Youm doesn’t just bend the rules of display technologies, it completely rewrites them.”Berkeley went on to show curious attendees a prototype of the flexible OLED display, while claiming it wouldn’t break even if dropped. Berkeley added how his team had readied a prototype of high-resolution display on extremely thin plastic, instead of glass. Showing just how flexible the prototype display actually is, Berkeley bent it from side-to-side, amidst a whole round of applause.

Samsung also showed a nameless phone prototype, but TheVerge who got an hands-on with the device revealed, “the prototype isn’t truly a phone — it lacks a radio, operating system, camera, and most any other feature you’d find in a phone. Instead, in its current form, the prototype is more like a touch-capable digital picture frame that uses a low-power processor to cycle through images of a mocked-up UI. The phone certainly feels like a prototype: it’s poorly made of plastic, and it felt completely hollow within. We’re skeptical of the utility of a flexible display on a phone, but it certainly makes for a cool tech demo.”


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