Tech on the Go: The Future of Portable Tech

In 1973 the World’s very first mobile phone was created; weighing in at 1.1kg, measuring over 35cm tall (when taking into account it’s very seventies aerial) and providing 30 minutes of talk-time per charge- it was revolutionary. Okay, so it didn’t catch on that well, and even the first commercially-available mobile phone was not one for the everyman- costing a whopping $3,995. BUT, it was the very beginning of portable tech.

Fast-forward 40-odd years and the landscape of technology on the go is vastly different.  Not only do we have powerful phones that sit in the palm of our hands and super-lightweight laptops that run for hours at a time without being plugged in, we also have tiny removable memory drives capable of holding huge amounts of data, and electronic bracelets attached to our wrists that can do everything from sending texts to performing ECG’s. With the mammoth changes that have taken place in the last few decades, what does the future of portable tech look like?

The Future

As devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets become an everyday item in many of our lives, so do other electronics that are necessary to power them when mains power isn’t available. Power inverters for instance are widely used by those who often venture off-grid to charge not only their communication devices, but also to power fridges, blow up air mattresses and more. As we rely on electronic devices increasingly over time, the capabilities of inverters and chargers will only continue to improve.

Free of Charge

We’ve all been there-be it on a long train journey with a rapidly dwindling battery and hours to go, or at a festival where until only recently options were limited to ditching your phone two days in; or forking out to get your battery replenished at one of the designated charging tents.

Thankfully, there’s hope for us yet! Due to recent developments in increasing battery life, we could soon see batteries that last up to a week without needing to be recharged. Nanowire batteries, which are 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, could in turn extend their life up to 1,000 times!

In terms of the capabilities of batteries themselves, one exciting improvement is the use of hydrogen fuel cell technologies. One kilogram of hydrogen can store 236 times more energy than a kilogram of lithium-ion batteries, making long battery life with only the occasional charge a very real possibility! A British technology company has in fact trialled a hydrogen fuel cell within an iPhone – allowing it to go a full week without being recharged, a feat not seen since the days of the Nokia 3310!

Whilst longer-lasting batteries would be a god-send for many of us (commuters, am I right?), there is a solution for the meantime; powerbanks. In the early 2000’s powerbanks began being developed to solve an issue may of us faced with the limited battery life of our smartphones. From there, the market has boomed. Basic models are often small and lightweight, the more complex models can charge multiple devices simultaneously, and provide up to 5 charges for certain phone models, such as the Duracell 72hour Powerbank. With much of the population spending up to three hours a day on their smartphones; until the battery life of phones, tablets, and laptops significantly improves- the powerbank industry is only going to grow!

In the 40+ years since the inception of portable technology advances and inventions have come thick and fast, who knows where we’ll be 40 years from now…