The tobacco mosaic virus is a destructive beast infecting over a hundred different species of plants, including tomatoes. But it may have a weird eco benefit: Incorporated into lithium batteries, it can increase storage capacity ten times.
This has all sorts of implications for mobile technology. Imagine every lithium battery in every mobile device you own lasting up to ten times longer. That would mean Apple's new MacBook Airs could hang on in standby mode for 10 months, and Amazon's Kindles may only require charging once every year. Smartphones could have useful call times extending up to a week, and as well as changing how we think about our tech this could have an eco upshot--you'd probably not leave your charger plugged in, sucking down vampire power as much as it does right now.
Alternatively, batteries could be made with the same capacity that they have now, only ten times smaller--freeing up designers to create all sorts of practically useful gadgets that would be impossible at the moment. Micro-batteries are also possible, meaning rechargeable batteries could replace disposable ones in devices like hearing aids.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I'm Hoping This Pans Out!