This week, we’re at the enormous tech tradeshow CES 2016 in Las Vegas, bringing you the latest, coolest and most exciting new technology straight from the show floor. Find out more here, and see what we’ve covered so far here.
Loughborough-based Intelligent Energy exhibited an iPhone 6 with a curious array of drilled holes at their CES stand this week. As well as being somewhat strangely eye-catching, the smartphone has been modified to include a hydrogen fuel cell inside its casing, which – with the addition of a hydrogen cartridge – can keep it powered for an entire week without a charge.
The holes are to allow the cell to ‘breathe’, taking in oxygen from the surrounding air to mix with hydrogen inside the fuel cell. This chemical reaction produces power, and the cartridge (not pictured) produces enough to keep the phone juiced up for around seven days at average use.
The company isn’t selling its superpowered iPhone – rather, it’s a prototype to prove to the mobile industry that better power solutions are possible. At the moment, the hole-ridden iPhone would need a case over the top to slot the hydrogen cartridge into, leaving it looking a bit like ‘Quasimodo,’ Apple’s much-maligned extended battery life case:
However, Apple’s version only keeps the phone juiced up for a few more hours. Intelligent Energy’s version adds days.
IE tell us that they’re deep in conversation with several big firms to try and licence the tech to device manufacturers, so in theory we could see some respiring phones appearing in the next few years. They also exhibited a modified MacBook at the show, and say it’ll work for other devices, too.
While we’re not sure how keen phone companies will be to add removable cartridges to their beautifully-designed phones, we can’t deny that it’s a better solution than carrying around bulky portable chargers. And if you only have to change the cartridge once a week, with no charging – that sounds pretty appealing to us.
We’re looking forward to seeing what happens with Intelligent Energy‘s invention – hopefully innovations like this are the next step towards long-life battery tech.