Google's research lab has its sights set on batteries.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google knows the world needs better batteries for powering consumer electronics, so it tapped a former Apple employee in 2012 (who is described as a battery expert) to test batteries for use in Google devices. It also created a group to look at battery technologies that it might develop.
The former Apple battery expert is Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, while the battery group is part of the Google X research lab. It's a small group comprised of just four members. Dr. Bhardwaj has reportedly told industry executives that his group currently has at least 20 battery-dependent projects in development.
Google hopes to improve battery life in Google Glass. The Wall Street Journal quoted a venture capitalist who suggested Google is likely also interested in batteries to gain greater control over its supply chain. The company is also dabbling in drones, self-driving cars, etc, all of which require improved batteries.
Dr. Bhardwaj's group wants to advance current lithium-ion technology and solid-state batteries for devices, such as Glass and Google’s glucose-measuring contact lens. For the contact lens, newer technology would apparently be safer because it doesn’t take advantage of flammable electrolyte liquid.
Google also wants to see how solid-state, thin-film batteries could be used in wearable devices or the human body as an implant. The company is even working with AllCell Technologies LLC on batteries for hardware projects like Project Loon. Google isn't alone in its effort to better batteries, though...
Apple and Tesla are reportedly also working on emerging battery technologies, with Tesla getting ready to reveal in April a pack of some sort that could power homes, it's claimed.