Plethora of gorgeous 3G phones in all shapes, sizes, and platforms: check. 4G development well underway: check. Dismal standby times: check. With battery tech having largely stagnated over the last few years, Japan's NTT DoCoMo has turned their attention to powering all that buttery, broadband goodness via more creative means, showing their direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) recharger last year. The DMFC wasn't a bad first effort, but how about shrinking it by a factor of four, doubling the output, and swapping methanol for water? That's what they've managed to do through a partnership with Aquafairy Co., pumping out a prototype polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) that rocks 800mAh at 3.6V -- enough juice to recharge your average FOMA handset in the same time as a wall wart. The new unit gets shown off this week at Wireless Japan 2006 with production plans slated for next year; availability outside Japan is (as usual) an open question, but with battery life falling to under a day on some modern smartphones, we can only hope manufacturers' hands are going to be forced on this one.
[Via The Raw Feed]