While Samsung might be busy with its flexible display technology in preparation for the coming of a flexible smartphone, one of its biggest rivals is taking on the same problem from a different angle. Through its chemical company arm, LG has announced that it has reached a breakthrough in battery manufacturing and will be ready to unveil non-rectangular and flexible batteries soon.
Aside from displays and rigid components, the other major obstacle to fulfilling a flexible and wearable device dream is the battery, which has been limited to a rigid, flat, rectangular shape. LG has been knee-deep in research of various ways to change the manufacturing process and materials in order to produce non-traditional batteries. In fact, it has already been producing such batteries since July. The “stepped battery” design involves placing two batteries, one smaller than the other, on top of each other in the shape of a step. This will allow the battery to fill up the gap left by non-traditional back covers. This type of battery is already being used, for example, in the LG G2 smartphone, which sports control buttons on the rear.
LG has also recently started production of curved batteries that go well with curved screens or flexible devices such as smartphones and glasses. These batteries are expected to power the next generation of LG smartphones. But perhaps more interestingly, LG has also been able to manufacture what it calls “cable batteries”, which are flexible, wearable, and can even be tied around. It utilizes low electricity and is waterproof, making it ideal for wearable devices such as smartwatches and necklaces.
The company still has ambitious plans up ahead. It plans to increase its stepped battery design to go 3 to 4 steps higher, which means incorporating more batteries into a single package. It has also yet to begin actual manufacturing of cable batteries, which LG has merely mentioned to start in upcoming years.