Hexagonal battery from LG Chem boosts smartwatch wear

Hexagonal battery from LG Chem boosts smartwatch wear
Credit: Korea Times

LG Chem has battery news for the smartwatch, in the form of a hexagon-shaped battery boosting storage capacity by 25 per cent.

The Korea Times, speaking to a company spokesperson on Sunday, said, "LG Chem has started shipping hexagon-shaped batteries to global consumer electronics firms in order to help them promote their smartwatch business."

LG Chem is a key chemical maker in South Korea; the company operates battery factories in China and the batteries will be manufactured there, in Nanjing, according to the company source. Kim Yoo-chul in the Korea Times had the report.

Discussing its characteristics, 9to5google pointed out that the design is such that it covers more surface area, specifically in circular smartwatches. This improves as much as 25 percent compared with rectangular-shaped batteries.

LG Chem spokesperson Woo Byeong-min said the battery, was the result of closer cooperation with a "top-tier" technology company without saying its name. One easily associates "top-tier" to suggest Apple, but this is not the company, apparently. Korea Times said Apple and LG Electronics were not partners in the battery's development, according to the story's sources.

Stephen Hall, senior editor of 9to5Google, remarked that "This battery should be very useful for companies that want to ensure that their smartwatch will be able to last an entire day."

Woo said in Korea Times that the battery would help smartwatch users get four hours more. He also said LG had secured patents to promote "Free Form Batteries" with its "Stack and Folding" technology.

"LG Chem plans to introduce batteries of various shapes, including an L-shaped one or a rectangular model with a hole in the middle," said Korea Times. Commented Chris Mills in Gizmodo, "with wearable devices being made in all sorts of weird shapes and sizes, oddly-shaped batteries are probably going to become the norm."

In the bigger picture, LG keeps an ambitious eye on battery needs for mobile devices, with technology solutions. The Korea Times quoted Kwon Young-soo, president of the company's battery business, who said LG will become the global top supplier in small-sized batteries by 2018.

The company continues its mission back in 2013 when it announced it had crossed the line of traditional rectangle shapes for batteries "to lead the effort to a more sustainable future by mass-producing batteries of different shapes." The announced future batteries in the categories of stepped, curved and cable.

A stepped battery refers to a type in which two or more batteries are added on top of each other in a step design to take greater advantage of available space. Its "Stack & Folding" technology is designed to reduce physical stress on the pack when in a curved form and provides better stability and performance.

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