In addition to making rechargeable gadgets safer, the technology will also extend the life of batteries that would have been damaged by overheating.
To accomplish this the researchers created a thin elastic film with conductive spiky nickel particles that surrounds the battery. When a battery heats up it expands. When that happens, the conductive metal particles move away from each other and it shuts down the battery. As the battery cools, the film contracts and the nickel particles begin to touch again, the battery turns back on.
If this polymer makes its way into all batteries, it'll cut down on burns associated with electronics that overheat. And of course make those things we're calling "hoverboards" safer for Missy Elliot videos.