The current buzzword in personal electronics is Wi-Fi, but the full potential of the latest laptops, cell phones and PDAs is being held back by batteries that last just a few hours. Major consumer electronics firms like NEC, Toshiba and Motorola, along with a number of startups.. are working on micro fuel cells, which theoretically can generate power 10 times longer than conventional batteries.
Imagine running a laptop computer for 40 hours without having to recharge the battery every two or three hours. In June, NEC announced plans to sell such a laptop, using a methanol-powered fuel-cell battery, by summer 2005. “The wireless revolution can’t happen without portable fuel cells,” said Jim Balcom, chief executive officer of PolyFuel Inc. of Mountain View, which makes a key component for a methanol fuel-cell system. Continue >>