British company Intelligent Energy has developed a working iPhone 6 prototype containing a hydrogen-powered battery, that can go a week without recharging, running instead off a built-in hydrogen fuel cell. According to The Telegraph, the company’s patented technology creates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, while producing only small amounts of water and heat as waste. Furthermore, the company is reportedly working very closely with Apple.
The report details that Intelligent Energy has incorporated a fuel cell system into the current iPhone 6 without any alteration to the size or shape of the device. “The only cosmetic differences compared with other handsets are rear vents so an imperceptible amount of water vapour can escape”. On the prototype, hydrogen is refuelled via the headphone socket but in future, the company expects there to be slot to insert a cartridge, for which it is already considering a selling price for commercial launch.
Intelligent Energy said it is now considering the cartridges’ sale price. Executives believe that for the price of a latte, a market worth as much as £300bn a year could open up. Henri Winand, chief executive of Intelligent Energy, who refused to comment on rumours of Apple involvement, said:
“To our knowledge this has never been done before.“We have now managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the rechargeable battery. This is a major step because if you are moving to a new technology you have to give people a path they are comfortable with.”
The company is now developing a disposable cartridge that would slot into the bottom of future smartphones and contain enough hydrogen-releasing powder for a week of normal use without recharging.