Flexible batteries are coming, wearables demand it. But will the first to arrive be built from the ancient Japanese art of Kirigami?
Much like Origami the art of Kirigami involves cutting and folding of paper. When applied to batteries this results in a flexible power source.
The clever folk in the Arizona State University research team have combined the art and lithium-ion batteries for the ideal wrist worn power source.
This could mean the band of a smartwatch doubles as the battery – allowing for more power and an even smaller form factor. Looking a little further forward it'll be ideal for weaving power into smart clothes that monitor our health.
The initial battery prototype is slightly larger than it could be, meaning it's less flexible too. Despite this the scientists managed to power a Samsung Gear 2 using a flexible band with the batteries inside. This was stretchy enough to move from the wrist to the bicep, and move with flexing, while still powering the smartwatch.
The key here is that this uses current tech but just changes the way it's developed. For that reason it could be mass-produced today. Get ready for thinner smartwatches plus clothing with brains and power built in, soon.