(DGIwire) – For many folks, seeing their smartphone’s battery getting low will leave them panicked, annoyed and hunting for a spare charger. According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, this condition has been dubbed “low battery anxiety” by a major smartphone manufacturer. After surveying 2,000 adult smartphone users in the U.S. in 2016, the manufacturer concluded that nearly nine out of 10 people suffer from this fear.
Some other findings from the survey, reported by the Daily Mail, flesh out this state of affairs. For example, when it comes to choosing between hitting the gym or charging their smartphone, it found one in three respondents were likely to skip the gym. Thirty-two percent of smartphone users said they would even “drop everything” and make a U-turn to head back home to charge their phone. Additionally, 60 percent of respondents blamed a dead phone for not speaking to a family member, friend, coworker or significant other if their battery was low.
“There is a great amount of anxiety wrapped up in our inability to recharge our smartphones easily and quickly,” says Stephen Voller, founder and CEO of ZapGo Ltd (with a U.S. subsidiary, ZapGo Inc.). “The current standard of battery technology, lithium-ion, presents a roadblock that cutting-edge research is seeking to overcome.”
ZapGo’s Carbon-Ion™ cell, called Zap&Go, is being developed as the first technology with the potential to combine the fast-charging characteristics of a supercapacitor with the performance of a lithium-ion battery. Unlike lithium-ion, which causes a chemical reaction, Zap&Go involves storing electrons without any chemical reaction. As a consequence of this, Zap&Go cells—which are made up of carbon, aluminum and water-based aqueous materials—can last through more charging cycles than lithium-ion. One of the most dramatic advantages to this technology is that Zap&Go cells can be fully charged in less than five minutes, in contrast to the hours it can take to fully charge a lithium-ion cell.
Zap&Go is initially being targeted for use during late 2017 in commercialized products that require relatively low energy density and have relatively higher battery storage capacity. These functioning products — such as cordless power tools, robotic cleaners and electric bikes — were demonstrated at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). By 2020, the company envisions the technology as being practical for use in smartphone rechargers as well as in smartphones themselves. Beyond that horizon, they may find utility in vehicles as a hybrid solution with lithium ion.
“In an increasing array of consumer products, and eventually in smartphone rechargers as well as smartphones themselves, we believe carbon-ion batteries will go far toward making ‘low battery anxiety’ a thing of the past,” Voller adds.