Samsung and LG showcased prototypes of thin and flexible batteries at the InterBattery 2015 exhibition in Seoul on Wednesday, which could have a big impact on the future of wearable devices, and resolve issues that have long frustrated users of wearables and smartphones.
Samsung said its flexible, band-shaped batteries -- dubbed "Band" and "Stripe" batteries -- do have a number of applications for handhelds and wearables, by increasing battery life by up to 50 percent.
But their new super-bendy batteries do not have the capacity as of yet to replace current ones used in smartphones and smartwatches.
Samsung SDI said their band-shaped battery can also withstand 50,000 bends in test conditions, and demonstrated its prototype can be contorted to the curvature of the human wrist or wrapped around two fingers. Samsung SDI displayed applications on smartphones, smartwatches, t-shirts, hair barrettes and even a dog leash.
A Samsung SDI engineer on hand at the company's exhibition "Battery of Things" pavilion said he reckons the company could deploy the new battery for commercial applications as early as 2017.
LG Chem showed off a flexible battery, too, that it dubbed the "wire battery". While other flex batteries can bend into a circle with a 30mm radius, LG's wire-shaped battery can bend into a 15mm radius in size. This means that it can bend back on itself, fitting perfectly inside a watch band.
The technology at the heart of the new battery is its long, thin, wiry shape, which the company began developing in 2013. A representative on hand at the exhibition said it has the potential to double current smartwatch-battery capacities. For example, LG's G Watch R has a 410mah battery, which the company said gives it two days of power. The wire-shaped battery could promise four days of use before needing to be recharged.