The idea of using hydrogen fuel cells as batteries isn’t new but it seems that a British company by the name of Intelligent Energy has made something of a breakthrough. The company has recently revealed that they have successfully miniaturized a hydrogen fuel cell battery and fit it into an iPhone 6 prototype.
Based on initial tests it seems that their prototype was a success and that the iPhone 6 managed to last a week without charging. Given that getting your iPhone 6 to last beyond two days can be a bit of a challenge, a week without charging is no doubt very impressive indeed. So much so that the firm has apparently caught the attention of Apple.
While the company did not comment on Apple’s potential involvement or interest, the company’s CEO Henri Winand said, “To our knowledge this has never been done before. We have now managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the rechargeable battery. This is a major step because if you are moving to a new technology you have to give people a path they are comfortable with.”
That being said, there is a drawback to this technology and that is it needs to be refilled. The prototype which was seen by The Telegraph was refilled via the headphone socket, but the company states that for the commercial release they are planning some kind of cartridge that can be slotted into the bottom of smartphones.
While it does sounds like a pretty awesome advancement in technology, the idea of having to swap out batteries and the inconvenience of running out of cartridges versus just plugging in your phone or borrowing a cable is a downside, but perhaps they will be able to work something out.
[Image credit – iFixit]