LG developing flexible smartphone batteries

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LG's chemical technology division has developed new batteries that aren't tied to the traditional rectangular form factor, opening the door for a new wave of flexible and bendable smartphones and tablets.

LG has already shown off its flexible smartphone displays, but is also developing bendable batteries.
(Credit: Nick Hide/CNET)

LG Chem, the company's chemical development arm, announced that it has succeeded in developing three new categories of battery that are more modular than any existing template.

Seemingly perfectly suited to the new Samsung Galaxy Round or LG's own G Flex, LG Chem's curved battery uses a patented 'stack and folding' tech that alleviates the stress placed on traditional battery cells within a curved enclosure. The batteries are already in mass production, and LG says they will be used in the next generation of the company's smartphone line-up.

Also already available, and used in the LG G2, LG Chem's stepped battery stacks multiple cells in a dog-leg design, using any empty space within the body of a smartphone to expand the available battery size. LG's stepped battery apparently increases the battery size of the G2 by 16 per cent, giving it an extra three hours of battery life.

Most novel is the cable battery, which seems like a perfect fit for a new generation of wearable technology and fitness tracking devices. Designed for low-power applications, the cable battery can be twisted on itself and tied in a knot without fracturing. LG sees a future for it in smart watches and other personal electronics, but the cable battery is still a few years off.

LG's G Flex smartphone is set for a November launch, and will likely use one of LG Chem's curved batteries to accompany the device's curved plastic OLED display. LG is taking on Samsung's Galaxy Round with the Flex, while the Korean companies are also going head-to-head with competing curved OLED TVs.

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