We talk about foldable tablets every day, but the truly flexible devices are far from us. Some companies tried out some concepts, prototypes and formats and I remember Lenovo showing off a phone that became a bracelet and a tablet. Now Microsoft has at least figured out how to power such a device.
Microsoft has a vision that involves a flexible device, able to clip around the wrist or be spread like a magazine on the table. The main problem with TRUE flexibility is always the battery, but that’s being worked out. Usually the idea of bending a battery results in explosions and other nasty stuff. A new Microsoft patent published by the USPTO hints at a flexible battery, that could really work.
The patent was granted on January 24th and involves an electrochemical energy storage cell, that has a flexible positive electrode and a flexible negative electrode, that includes a gallium-based liquid metal. It’s dispersed on a flexible wire mesh and the electrochemical energy storage cell includes a membrane that has the surface in contact with the flexible positive electrode and an opposing surface in contact with the flexible negative electrode.
Microsoft was showcasing concepts like these ever since 2015 and promised to deliver in 5-10 years, so we have to wait a bit more. One would think that E Paper, E Ink and more such technologies could play a part in the device.