A flexible lithium-ion battery that can be used in a wide array of consumer devices may be closer to market than ever. At the Ceatac technology expo in Japan, Panasonic showed off its new bendable battery, for now designed for "card-type and wearable devices" such as watches and fitness bands—with CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood telling the BBC that this technology could be a precursor to "truly disruptive devices" (though it will likely be awhile before those come to fruition). The Panasonic unit, set to start shipping at the end of the month, is a mere 0.022 inches thick, with a full bend of about 25 degrees, and is said to be able to keep functioning even after being bent over and over.
Per Ubergizmo, the immediate advantage of such a battery is that those who carry around cardlike devices in their pockets don't have to worry about damaging the battery if they sit and accidentally bend them. But it's what these batteries may hold for the future that's generating the most buzz: With major consumer electronics companies like Panasonic, Samsung, and LG putting efforts into developing other bendable technology, including smartphones and displays, these batteries could "provide scope for disruptive new curved designs," Wood says. (Phones powered by portobello mushrooms?)