LG to launch flexible batteries -- is bend the new black?

The Korean company unveils three new types of smartphone batteries that are said to be able to bend, curve, come in various shapes, and even be tied in a knot.

LG is mass producing flexible display smartphone screens and it appears the next bendable component the company is working on are batteries. Nick Hide/CNET

To get a truly flexible phone, you'd need a flexible battery, right?

LG thinks so. That's why it's unveiling the first of its kind series of bendable or modifiable batteries. The company announced Tuesday that its LG Chem branch was successful in creating three new types of batteries -- curved, stepped, and cable.

The curved battery is said to be able to fit in smartphones, smartwatches, and smart glasses. LG Chem said it has patented a "stack and folding" technology, which is crucial for getting the batteries to power a curved screen or flexible design.

The stepped battery is made of two separate batteries that are joined together in a step-like design. The idea is that this battery can fit into different small spaces and compartments that normal rectangular batteries can't. This battery is also said to have increased capacity by 16 percent -- giving more longevity to the battery's life. LG Chem said it's working on other types of stepped batteries that include three- or four-step designs.

Finally, the cable battery -- the most high-tech of the three new shapes -- is said to bend any which way and can even be tied into a knot. The battery uses low electricity, so it shouldn't overheat, and is waterproof, so it could be used in everyday wearable gadgets like smartwatches.

Flexible smartphones have dominated the news the past few days. Not only did LG announce that it's readying its curved display smartphone known as the G Flex; but Samsung also said that it's about to launch its bendable smartphone called the Galaxy Round .

The advantage of flexible displays is that they're difficult to break, crack, or shatter; and for smartphones, they can curve with a user's body movements so that they fit comfortably in a pocket. By adding flexible batteries to the mix, it seems the whole equation gets even easier.

LG Chem said that it has already begun mass-producing the curved and stepped batteries. The stepped battery is slated to power the LG G2 smartphone and the curved battery will be for LG's next lineup of smartphones. Production for the cable battery is still forthcoming.

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Mobile
Phones
About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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