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Ultra-Thin Gadget Batteries in the Works

Batteries may be the primary portable source preferred for our portable peripherals, but they're not what you'd call efficient. In fact, a significant percentage of a handheld gadget's weight is from its battery. NEC, a company known more for its monitors than alternative energy sources, has come up with a concept that plans to change everything.

NEC has dubbed this latest project the ORB, or Organic Radical Battery. The latest prototype may not as paper-thin as the initial proof-of-concept they released five years ago, but at just over a quarter of an inch thick, it's still a lot leaner than most efficient current-generation power cells.

The ORB can thank two things for its high power-to-weight ratio: its affordable carbon anodes, and its highly conductive nano-composite cathode. The latter is achieved by rendering an organic material into a gel, then impregnated with carbon materials. The one-two punch gives it a power output that's 40% higher than conventional batteries.

It won't be replacing lithium-ions anytime soon, but at the very least the ORB can see future use in powering microcircuitry, implants, and tech-gear. Hey, it's better than using our own bodies as batteries, right? That's a robopocalypse waiting to happen.

[source: NEC via Engadget]