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Technology is constantly changing, but sometimes it seems asthough 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 couldbecome 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 organicradical 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 moreenviron-mentally friendly than standard rechargeable batteriesbecause it can be manufactured without harmful chemicals.

The battery's flexibility makes it a good candidate for thinand compact devices. RFID cards powered by this type of battery,for instance, could transmit information over greater distancesthan the RFID tags used today.

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