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Charging Batteries: Soon you Might Power your Camera in Seconds

Tough and Strong cartoon charged battery

Imagine a world where you can charge your batteries in seconds, rather than hours—and the size of the battery doesn't limit the size of the device.

Battery Technology Basics

It may not be the coolest subject in the world of video production, but your batteries can be the most important part of your video shoot since without them, you can't shoot. Period. I used to say without media and batteries, but some cameras shoot to an internal drive, so as long as the camera is powered you can record. (Unless, of course, your drive is full... a different discussion for another time!)

As devices got smaller, the one big conundrum for manufacturers was where to put the battery because batteries weren't coming down in size. And, as most shooters know, sometimes you want to "upgrade" to a bigger longer-life battery, and these bigger batts—affectionately called "bricks," can be beasts! Not only are we limited by the size of the battery, but we're chained to its charge-life, too. Battery technology hasn't changed much - but some researchers in a "nano-engineering laboratory" at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say a small format, long-life, fast-charging battery is coming to a device near you soon. William P. King, the mechanical science and engineering professor who led the research team, says they are working on a lithium-ion battery with two-thousand times the power than current batteries. 

New Batteries are Game-Changers

 Practicing good battery care can help prolong the life of your battery, but there are still limits to its effectiveness. One researcher explains the problem with current technology as either needing high energy or high power, but to offer both would require a bigger product. Current battery technology has two key components: the plus and minus connecting points for the battery terminals. King and James Pikul, a grad student and the paper's lead author, have developed a three-dimensional microstructure that will deliver amazing results... and be smaller to house. These new batteries will not only take up less space and have more energy and power abilities, but they will charge a thousand times faster than today's batteries, allowing you to charge them in seconds. Batteries don't excite the same news as the latest video game, smartphone or suped-up camera, but without them, none of these devices can work—and with this new technology, it's amazing what these devices will be able to do. “Any kind of electronic device is limited by the size of the battery—until now,” King says in the report. “Consider personal medical devices and implants, where the battery is an enormous brick, and it’s connected to itty-bitty electronics and tiny wires. Now the battery is also tiny.” Remember when POV cameras first came out? The cameras were small, but the sacrifice was a need to keep them tethered to the recording device. Soon... battery woes will be a thing of the past. Imagine what the next recording devices can do once the limits of batteries is no longer an issue. Primary image courtesy of bigstockphoto.com 
Jennifer
O'Rourke
May 10th, 2013