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Organic Energy

Innovations in battery life.

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This story appears in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Technology is constantly changing, but sometimes it seems as though we're stuck with the same old cylindrical AA batteries. With the proliferation of smaller and more powerful mobile devices, the need for advances in battery technology has never been greater. One company making strides is NEC, which has developed an unusual battery that could become a promising power source for things like smartcards, intelligent paper or wearable comput-ing devices.

Dubbed the organic radical battery, or ORB, it uses an organic radical polymer as its cathode. That means it's ultra-thin, flexible and rechargeable. Its structure is a wafery 300 microns, and it can be recharged in less than 30 seconds. It is also more environ-mentally friendly than standard rechargeable batteries because it can be manufactured without harmful chemicals.

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