The search for better batteries continues. It seems like every tech company from Apple to Tesla and now Google is constantly on the prowl for the key to longer battery life. Now, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google X’s research lab has a small, four-man team looking at how to advance lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology. Apparently, they are also trying to find solid-state battery technology that is both reasonably priced and can be mass produced for use in consumer electronics.
Solid-state batteries are smaller than regular batteries because, according to Engadget, “they transmit currents across solids” instead of liquids. They are also safer, since they don’t have flammable liquid electrolytes, as most batteries do. Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, Google’s man in charge of batteries, is working with his team to develop this type of technology for Google Glass and perhaps even “smart contact lenses.”
This type of advancement in battery technology could allow Google Glass and other applications to play more videos on a charge and allow smart lens wearers to keep them on for extended periods of time.
Because Google is expanding their own product lines and launching big endeavors such as the internet balloons, they are looking at better battery life than Li-ion can provide. Lithium ion batteries are not known for their ability to work well in cold environments and Project Loon has a video, which can be seen in the WSJ article linked below, from late 2013 that shows Google engineers putting AllCell batteries wrapped in wax and graphite into their high-altitude balloon battery packs. Being able to manufacture their own batteries gives companies like Google, Apple and Tesla proprietary technology that can be integrated into their different systems.