New battery-saving device

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COLUMBIA - With ongoing frustrations of slow and shortened battery life, a new device produced at MU could bring relief to a technology-dependent society.

Dr. Deepak Singh, an MU Assistant Professor of Physics, has been developing the magnetic material with his research team over the past year. The device makes electronics work less hard, therefore using less energy and not overheating.

“Our device will certainly help in reducing the consumption of power significantly,” Singh said.

Singh has applied for a patent, and hopes the finished product will be available for purchase in the next couple of years.

“We are going to apply for grants and contracts and if we find good investors who are able to agree to our terms, it could be sooner than one could think,” Singh said.

Electronic devices equipped with Singh’s material could last for more than 500 hours without a recharge.

Jonathan Sessions, owner of Gravity, a full service Apple-authorized service provider, said he sees a lot of customers coming in for battery related issues.

“After about a year of regular, average usage, we see that the battery life is operating at around 75% of the original capacity,” Sessions said.  

Reports of growing discontentment surrounding Apple’s battery replacement deal are causing consumers to spend more money on technological solutions. Sessions said customers choose between replacing their battery or opt for an upgrade when they come into his store.

“For a lot of folks that count on that mobile device to work sunrise to sunset, it can mean that that device is not operating at a level that they can continue to use it,” he said.

Overheated laptops and cell phones are a common occurrence during the summer months, according to Sessions. He says it is mostly attributed to leaving the devices in cars.

“Even if they’re just sitting there, they get too hot to function. It causes issues with the batteries,” Sessions said.

Dr. Singh’s material would be adaptable for all brands of devices, but he said he would need to partner with interested companies before making it available.

Sessions said he hears about a lot of conceptual ideas, similar to Dr. Singh’s invention, but until a product becomes available to the public, he suggests reducing app usage, notifications, and display brightness to extend battery life.