What are Next Generation Batteries?

Two long-term trends are converging to make it possible for the first time to imagine batteries that charge incredibly quickly, last for days, and can be recharged thousands of times with no loss of efficiency. The first of these trends is in the development of low-power-consumption processors, LED lights, and other high-efficiency technologies. Coupled with a recurring cycle of advances in lithium battery technology, this is resulting in devices that require less power and have significantly longer-lasting, high-efficiency batteries. Among these are advances that are improving the safety of lithium technology while increasing the capacity of the batteries using it, such as solid state and polymer batteries. While the impact of such a technology on learning is currently challenging to measure, it is easy to imagine that as users feel less of a need to be tethered to power supplies, they will be using their devices more — anywhere they want.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Battery life, stills remains one of the logistical challenges of educational technology. Necessitating students to carry with them chargers or battery packs in this day and age still seems an antiquated notion. Taking digital cameras/videos on excursion always necessitates taking two batteries, or using smartphones and using up battery. Improving speed of recharge and longevity, could help take one 'bump' out of the road. Added to this the cost in schools to include 'charging bays', secure power points in sufficient quantity adds to the hidden costs of supporting technology.
Battery life also has a direct relationship with increased use of cloud based resources, online environs etc The more we interact the more battery we use.- mtaylor mtaylor Jan 28, 2014
  • The sea of power cords in some classrooms is a serious safety hazard. Also the loss of productivity due to dead batteries... No brainer, if we have better battery technology we have more possibilities in K12 for what students can accomplish. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 1, 2014
  • I'm not optimistic about this one any time soon, but the need is acute, for the reasons mentioned already. Even when/where we do see improvements in this regard, I worry that increasingly energy-hungry devices will erode some of the progress that better batteries bring. We will begin to slowly see benefits from more standardized chargers for many devices over the next five years (a good thing rarely remarked on) and from lower-power devices or device components in some areas. - mtrucano mtrucano Feb 6, 2014
  • Michael makes some excellent points above. If battery replacement is not planned for, laptops become small desktops. This is one of the most significant "bumps" in the use of laptops in the connected classroom. This looks like something that might be several years down the road. Will it be an ongoing race between the ability of the battery to recharge and carry more charge versus the demand for power as devices communicate with the Internet of Things.http://www.neowin.net/news/new-research-could-increase-current-battery-life-by-10-times
    - mike.jamerson mike.jamerson Feb 9, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Improved provision of battery life will change work habits. Currently students run their computers on a very low back light to save charge. Not good from an ergonomic perspective.- mtaylor mtaylor Jan 28, 2014
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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