Startup develops flexible, printable, rechargeable batteries

By: - 21st Jul 2014

Wearables are the next big thing in the tech world. Many people are looking forward to the Moto 360 for instance, but it’s still a tad bit too thick because of the battery inside its guts.

Imprint Energy, a California-based start-up, has developed a cheap zinc-polymer based battery (called ZincPoly™) that is in the form of a sheet than can be easily printed via a screen printer. It’s paper thin flexibility means that wearables (or any small device) could have thinner form factors compared to today’s bulkier presentations that are limited by the chunkiness of lithium-ion batteries.

The idea has been well received and the company has since secured $6 million worth of venture capital funding thanks to Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP), a venture capital firm with extensive domain expertise in advanced materials entrepreneurship, led the investment and was joined by Flextronics Lab IX and AME Cloud Ventures.

Proceeds will be used to accelerate development of Imprint Energy’s proprietary ZincPoly™ chemistry and secure initial product design wins in the Wearable Electronics and Internet of Things markets.

Zinc offers a lot of stability compared to lithium and doesn’t require additional layers of protection (which add up for the bulk of li-ion batteries), and with the development of a solid polymer electrolyte, they’ve been able to combat the shorting out problem by preventing the growth of dendrites.

While it’s still a while before the technology can become mainstream, they’re looking at various ways of integrating their product into our everyday lives, even in our eyes if necessary.

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