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NEC's paper thin, rapid recharge batteries, "ORB"

Liam McNulty
Liam McNulty|December 8, 2005 5:10 AM
nec paper batteries

NEC has debuted some ultra-thin and flexible quick charging batteries named ORB, for Organic Radical Battery. We're having a hard time deciding what is the coolest part about these; their 0.3mm thickness that allows them to be flexible, or the fact that they can be recharged in about 30 seconds. The organic radical materials inside the battery are in an "electrolyte-permeated gel state," which is supposedly about halfway between a solid and a liquid. This helps ions make a smooth move (no, the other one), reducing resistance, allowing the batteries to charge faster. 1 square centimeter will give you about 1 miliwatt hour. That's not enough to power your laptop, but according to NEC, one recharge of this battery allows an active RFID tag to transmit tens of thousands of signals. NEC plans on further developing the technology so it can one day be used in IC cards, RFID tags, electronic paper, wearable computers, and other such technologies stepping up to the plate in the coming decade.