Friday, December 09, 2005

NEC's ORB: Organic Radical Battery

First there was Epson's inkjet-based ultra-thin circuit boards. Then came the almost paper-like displays called EPDs. So what else do we need to produce the ultimate wearable computer? Ah, yes, an ultra-thin power source.

NEC unveiled a new kind of battery that isn't just thin and flexible, it could be recharged in about thirty seconds. ORBs use a special (and, well, radical) organic plastic compound called PTMA as the active cathode material. They've already experimented with this compound to create batteries for UPS systems earlier this year. You could read the research paper (in pdf) from the NEC Journal of Advanced Technology for the more technical details, if you're the kind of geek who likes reading research papers (or in my case, the kind of geek who pretends to like reading research papers).