Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Claims bendy battery won't burn, is ideal for credit-card-sized gadgets


Panasonic says it's built a bendy Lithium-Ion battery safe enough to be built into “Card devices, devices attached to the human body, smart clothing [and] wristband wearable devices.”

The Japanese company may not have picked the best month in which to launch the device, given the spontaneous combustion of numerous Galaxy Note 7 phablets and reports of Li-Ion-powered smartphones causing fires on planes.

Panasonic says it's got those problems licked because its new “Flexible Lithium-ion Battery” - the marketing department has some work to do - “uses newly-developed laminated outer body and internal structure that make it difficult to cause leakage and abnormal heating during repeated bending and twisting.”

Apparently there's a “newly developed laminated outer layer and newly developed internal structure” that together make it both safe to use and capable of retaining 99 per cent of its initial capacity even after “1,000 bends with a radius of 25mm, or after twisted 1,000 times with an angle ±25°/100mm”.

Panasonic's Flexible Lithium-ion Battery

Construction cutaway of Panasonic's Flexible Lithium-ion Battery

Panasonic's description of how the battery survives all that flexing and gyration is understandably sketchy, because it doubtless doesn't want to give away the secrets of how it makes Li-Ion batteries survive conditions that make rivals go up in flames. Literally.

Credit-card sized gadgets are the most-mentioned application in Panasonic's announcement. It says kit in that form factor is held back by batteries losing capacity, something its bendy efforts have beaten.

Which could mean a revival for the Franklin Rex, the late-1990s personal digital assistants crammed into a PCMCIA Card*.

Panasonic says it's about to start making samples gadget-makers can put to work, in three configurations. ®

Size 28.5mm x 39.0mm 35.0mm x 55.0mm 40.0mm x 65.0mm
Weight Approx 0.7g Approx 1.4g Approx 1.9g
Thickness (Max.) 0.55mm    
Nominal Capacity 17.5mAh 40mAh 60mAh

*While we're remembering PCMCIA cards, let's remember the acronym describing the venerable peripherals-for-laptops standards was often satirised as “People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.”


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021