By David Ponce
The advantage to fuel cell technology is that it untethers you from the electrical grid, allowing you to extend the life of your electrical devices well beyond their regular battery limitations; it’s a bit like having a generator for your gadgets, and as long’s you got fuel, you got juice. The problem is that most fuel cell solutions are still handicapped by the gigantor gene… but it doesn’t mean miniaturization strides aren’t being made. SAIT and Samsung SDI have announced the development of the world’s smallest fuel cell mobile charger. It pumps a steady 2W stream of electricity and can allegedly charge mobiles in 1/5 the time other chargers require. It’s only 5mm thick, which is small enough to not be an inconvenience to anyone. It uses small, replaceable methanol cartridges, and could technically keep your mobile alive for as long as you keep feeding it cartridges.
The companies are still a few steps away from commercializing the device, but in tests, the unit has shown the ability to survive through 200 continuous charges. Samsung feels this sort of technology will be commonplace by 2009, though it’s price range is still uncertain.