[CEATEC 2014] The humble and ubiquitous credit card has seen some advancements in the past, having moved on from the magnetic strip to include a smart chip on it that makes the entire credit card more secure as well as convenient for both vendors and customers. Having said that, is there a next phase of evolution where credit cards are concerned? The answer would be “yes”, and Fujitsu thinks that they might have stumbled upon a solution in the form of an ultra thin lithium battery that will be able to see action in multi-functional credit cards.
Just how thin are these batteries, and will they be able to make the credit card look “normal” without causing unnecessary bulges? Well, we are looking at a thinness of just 0.42mm, and it has a low rate of self discharge, with a long battery life that is estimated to last up to 5 years – which means you would not have to worry about replacements since chances are your card would expire before that time period is up. Not only that, it is rather durable, being able to handle temperatures of as low as 10 degrees Celsius.
I am not sure whether putting it in your wallet and sitting on it for long periods of time will affect the effectiveness of the battery, since it might cause some unnecessary pressure, but at this point in time, the idea of such a battery in a multi-functional credit card is to do away with the inconvenience of carrying a credit card and a password generator alongside – since it has both functions in a single card. This delivers a more secure shopping experience, although it looks as though it will be some time before it sees mainstream acceptance.
When one runs through one’s finger over the card, you can feel a slight bulge – but there is no need to actually go out and buy a new card holder or wallet, either. The display on such credit cards will time out in a few seconds of inactivity to further maximize its battery life.