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A laptop battery that lasts for 32 hours

Batteries are perhaps the biggest limiting factor in creating amazing technological advancement. As superhero expert E. Paul Zehr said in this recent interview with Smart Planet: The power source is the biggest challenge in using robotics of the sort worn by Iron Man, “Maybe something innovative will come out of all the work done with electric cars, although you wouldn’t want to lug a 200-pound battery around. So we could very well have a suit that we could control…but if you still have to plug it into the wall? Forget it. That’s not going to work.”

Some areas of technology, like processing speeds and storage capacities, are surging forward sometimes at exponential rates. But batteries are only inching ahead with about 3 to 5 percent improvement annually. And the magic answer remains elusive.

So it’s important news when Hewlett Packard (HP) finds a creative way to make a lap top battery that can last through five cross-Atlantic flights without plugging in. And it’s important because this is a $50 billion industry and a much longer-lasting power source will prove necessary for viable mobile computing and robotics.

In the short run, however, the immediate pressures on the battery are to make it thinner, lighter and more powerful.

Last year HP launched the EliteBook laptop but to get to 32 hours one has to add an extended life notebook battery which also happens to add an extra pound to the machine. Immediately there is a compromise in mobility. At least for those of us with bad backs.
More smartplanet.com

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