If there is a technology that has consistently been overpromised and underdelivered, it's battery technology. I've heard everything, from odd new shapes to fast recharging to solar power. Nothing ever comes of it.
So, while it's nifty to hear about Israeli firm StoreDot's claims that it has a bio-organic battery technology that can be recharged in 30 seconds, it definitely falls into the Prove-It category.
In its current state, the StoreDot battery won't even fit inside a cell phone, but the company plans to spend the next three years and $6.25 million in funding to make the leap from prototype to production.
The company's founder and CEO Dr. Doron Myersdorf told TechCrunch that the company is about a year away from a functional prototype embedded inside mobile devices. In another two years after that, they will have reached the required energy density for the entire day.
The StoreDot battery has an interesting origin. It came out of research being done on Alzheimer’s disease at Tel Aviv University. That work identified the peptides that are now being put to work in StoreDot’s bio-organic battery.
StoreDot’s battery uses nano-crystals just two nanometers in width that were originally intended as a replacement for NAND flash memory chips. Instead of storing data, it found it could store electricity. These crystals are called "nanodots" and are derived from bio-organic material, which means they should be cheaper to produce and be non-toxic.
StoreDot says the electrical properties of these nanodots allow the electrode to charge much faster than lithium-ion while still discharging electricity at a similar rate to lithium-ion batteries.
What could be a mistake on StoreDot's part is that it is considering building its own facility to produce its batteries as a way to speed them to market. Myersdorf told TechCrunch he thinks the industry is too wedded to the old way and won't be willing to embrace a new battery style.
That might be a mistaken notion. When a good idea emerges, the industry races to license it. Look at ARM and Linux. And the expenses of building a fabrication plant could eat into badly needed R&D money. This company is still in the VC phase. Plus, it's rumored that Samsung is a sugar daddy, so who better to build the batteries?
One more future tech to keep an eye on.