Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Is This the End for Dead Cell Phones?

There are two types of people in the world. Those who frequently forget to recharge their cell phones, and those who never forget to recharge their cell phones. Needless to say, the latter are constantly feeling annoyed by the negligence of the former. I am of the latter variety. I am fairly smug about it, too. That makes up for the aggravation I must endure when someone I need to reach has a dead cell phone. But dead cell phones could soon become a thing of the past.

Technology Review features an article describing "Flexible Batteries That Never Need to Be Recharged." Combining a thin-film organic solar cell with a new and flexible polymer battery produces a battery that can be fitted onto a round-shaped cell phone and will recharge itself when exposed to indoor light or sunlight. Result? A cell phone (or other device) that never needs to be plugged into a recharger. The developers say that the maturity of the battery technology and the imminent commercial release of the solar cells means that the solar-battery could be available as soon as 2008.

Now, I don't mean to be a pessimist, but I wonder if the first type of person will somehow manage to kill their cell phones even with this new technology, say by storing it in a dark dresser drawer for a week or so. We'll just have to wait and see.

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