Your electronics are not flexible at the moment, maybe bits are but any wearable that’s powered will need a solid container for it’s battery pack. The core problem at the moment is that most batteries in consumer electronics are lithium polymer based, these are not flexible and pose considerable risk if damaged with explosions not unknown. The quest for a truly flexible battery is ongoing there are some promising examples though.

Currently the flexible battery market is growing with only a few accessible to the general market. The future of the flexible battery looks promising with Samsung and Apple both applying for patents on flexible batteries and numerous start-ups already providing potential solutions. Here’s a short list of the most attractive options.

Lithium Ceramic Battery

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Lithium Ceramic is safe as it does not react violently with water or after impacts and is already in production. This solution boasts high energy capacity and can even be fully rolled and still remain functioning. It is unknown how well the material will fare under constant stress and strain though so the battery may benefit from being confined to areas that are deformed less frequently.
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Jenax J.Flex battery

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This tough paper like battery can hold a charge even after 200,000 folds. Designed by South Korean innovator Jenax the material is specifically designed for use in wearables. It’s a lithium ion battery but with a metal weave that allows for its flexibility. The is no currently published capacity but the company does say that the battery will be high capacity holding as much power as some smartphone batteries.
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Zincpoly by Imprint Energy

[one_two_first]This solid state zinc based battery is already being produced in low volumes. Why is the zinc useful? Well Lithium Ion is often at risk of damage and can react violently when exposed to water or air resulting in bulky packaging to protect it. Zinc batteries don’t have this concern making them safer and benefitting from not having bulky protection. The other big advantage is that the batteries can be printed using standard screen printing technology, this can even be custom shaped for specialist needs.’

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It’s worth noting that this is not a mature market and standards such as flexibility and durability have yet to be established. So it is hard to comment fully on what the best solution might be or how reliable the battery will be.

 

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