reported by Geek: Fuel cells have been promising to solve the rechargeable battery problem for years now. Rather than relying on a battery that takes hours to recharge once drained, you instead have hydrogen fuel cells that can be instantly topped up for hours more use. We haven’t seen such a fuel cell system make it into a mass-market device just yet, but a British company has now managed to hook one up to a modern smartphone.
The company in question is called Intelligent Energy. What they’ve managed to do is add a very slim hydrogen fuel cell to an iPhone 6. It doesn’t replace the need for a rechargeable battery, instead complementing it. However, the combination means that the iPhone can run for an entire week without need of a recharge.
Intelligent Systems is thought to be working closely with Apple on the prototype and importantly they’ve managed to integrate the fuel cell without needing to modify the iPhone. The only difference users will see is the back of the iPhone covered in vents. This is necessary to allow heat and water vapor to escape, but you’ll never notice it happening.
The fuel cell works by creating electricity from hydrogen and oxygen with the waste products being water vapor and heat. That electricity is then used to keep the iPhone battery topped up and powering the phone. When the fuel cell runs out of hydrogen it can be topped up with a cartridge.
Typically with fuel cell news it ends with “now they just have to make it small enough” or “they just need to find a commercial partner.” However, in the case of Intelligent Energy, the fuel cell is already small enough and Apple is thought to be on board. All they need to do now is design a disposable cartridge for the refills and decide on pricing.