Could This Material Help us Attain Zero-energy Smartphone Displays?

If you’ve often complained about the dismal performance of your smartphone’s battery, your phone’s display could be the culprit. A smartphone’s display consumes an appreciable portion of the power that its battery holds, compelling consumers to keep a charger always at hand. However, a startup hopes to change that. Bodle Technologies, a spin-out of Oxford University, says that it has developed a material that consumes close to zero energy yet enables the user to see the display perfectly in full sunlight.

The idea that powers this disruptive material is based on the current generation of technology used for rewritable DVDs. It makes use of tiny electrical pulses to create a multi-colored display with all the desired attributes without the need for power. The material consumes only a very negligible amount of power as it only needs energy to change its color and state. Thus, devices that need to be charged every day – or even multiple times in a day – could now go for weeks without needing to be charged.

So confident is the company’s founder, Dr. Peiman Hosseini, about the potential of the new material that he expects his company to create an entirely new market not just for smartphones but also for other devices that incorporate a display screen. The Telegraph quoted Hosseini as saying that the adoption of smartwatches, for instance, is yet to gain traction because these gadgets need to be charged for a considerable duration every day. But users would likely be more willing to use a smartwatch if it needed to be charged just once a week.

Besides dramatically conserving the battery life of gadgets widely in use today, the new material could find uses in emerging products such as smart glass. Not surprisingly, the company is in the midst of negotiating deals with leading technology companies, but the names of its potential customers have as yet not been disclosed for legal reasons.


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