An MIT company has developed a new battery that could double your smartphone's battery life

Battery researchers scientistsYouTube/Qichao HuSolidEnergy Systems employees.

A company that was spun out from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a new type of battery that it says can last twice as long as normal smartphone or laptop batteries.

The MIT news office published a summary of the battery, which uses thin lithium-metal foil instead of graphite to extend the capacity of the battery. That means that it can either store twice as much charge, or take up half the room and offer the same lifetime.

SolidEnergy Systems, the company that developed the battery, previously raised over $12 million (£9.1 million) from investors. It says that it intends to release the first versions of its battery in early 2017 for smartphones and wearable devices, then a larger capacity version will be released in 2018 for electric cars.

The chart above shows the different generations of battery that SolidEnergy Systems has gone through, from an initial dangerous prototype to the current version with its thin metal foil.

Founder Qichao Hu told the MIT news office that developing a rechargeable lithium battery like his latest prototype is a “holy grail for batteries.” He explained that “with two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long.”

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