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Smartphone dead? Fuel cells offer instant power anywhere

Martyn Williams | March 9, 2015
New fuel cell products hope to succeed where others have failed, all to give users some extra smartphone juice when they need it.

And talking of living up to promises, about 10 years ago, several major electronics companies were developing fuel cells that ran on methanol. The promise was the same: on-demand charging of gadgets no matter where you were.

Toshiba even put one on sale in Japan in 2009, but it all went no where. Getting people to buy them, and supplying the methanol, just wasnt as easy as charging a phone with a few AA batteries, or waiting until a power socket was available.

Those same challenges remain today. Ten years on, the newer technology and lower prices might make fuel cells more attractive, but whether they'll really catch on appears just as uncertain.

 

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