Making a bendy, flexible gadget isn't just simply a matter of creating a malleable screen. You've also got to think of the internals, and even in a tiny wearable like the Apple Watch 2, you've got to cram in a processor, battery and all manner of other items.
But Panasonic (opens in new tab) has taken one step closer to a future filled with bendy tech by perfecting the build of a flexible lithium-ion battery.
Building upon the chemical principles of the lithium-ion batteries that already sit in our gadgets, Panasonic's cells can be twisted, bent and folded without losing their charge and (get this, Samsung) all while remaining safe.
Twist and re-route
Not only is the new Panasonic battery flexible, it's durable, too. The company claims it'll maintain 99% of its charge after as many as a thousand flexes through a 25mm radius.
It achieves this by making use of a proprietary laminated casing, which helps to retain the juice each cell can hold onto, while also preventing it from leaking. This is very important, as Panasonic envisions the tiny cells (measuring just 40mm x 65mm) being placed inside wearables, which for the most part are kept close to the users' body and skin.
However, before we all get too excited, the Panasonic battery tech does currently have a significant limitation - capacity. Each cell can only support 60mAh, which is less than you'd find in your average smartwatch, and would be little use in a power-slurping smartphone or tablet.
Still, there's an option to daisy chain numerous cells together, re-routing the power supply to mitigate the relative capacity shortfall. And, as an early successful run at the concept, there's still room for improvement. Panasonic will be showcasing the tech at CEATEC next week, and it'll be just as interesting as the batteries themselves to see which over companies pay the exhibit a visit.