It's taken Sony a little while to get around to telling us, but apparently since June the company has been shipping a massively improved rechargeable battery using "Olivine-type Lithium Iron Phosphate" as a cathode.

We only got a D for A-level Chemistry, so we're going to have to take on trust the company's claims that this is a massive improvement which should deliver four times the lifespan of conventional batteries. Impressively, they can recharge to 99% of capacity within half an hour, too, and stand 2,000 recharges while still retaining 80% of their original juice.

Currently, they're only available in Sony's power tools, but the company says that it'll be rolling it out over time into other electronic devices. Presumably that'll mean mobile phones, mp3 players, games consoles and cameras that don't need recharging anywhere near as often.

Or alternatively, we'll just find ways of using the juice in them more wastefully, like persistent wireless communications, so that we use up the extra power twice as fast.