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1/11/2008
02:25 PM
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Micro Fuel Cells A Boost For Multimedia Phones

Research conducted by various firms shows that a power hungry-device is one of the top frustrations of mobile users and a major reason for not purchasing some cell phones.

Angstrom Power, a Vancouver-based developer of micro fuel cells, this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduced a new platform for efficiently powering mobile devices.

The platform, called Micro Hydrogen, is a combination of fuel cell architecture, micro-fluidics, and a refillable hydrogen storage tank. It could be implemented inside mobile devices instead of lithium ion batteries, offering twice the talk-time and fast recharge times of about 10 minutes, according to Angstrom Power.

Angstrom said it has trailed the Micro Hydrogen platform for six months on Motorola's Moto Slvr L7 phones, which didn't need to be modified in design. The test phones relied solely on Angstrom's technology to draw power.

"Motorola is working with Angstrom to develop fuel cell technology that will support the increasing energy demands of next generation devices," said Jerry Hallmark, manager of energy system technologies at Motorola's Mobile Devices business unit, in a statement.

Short battery life is among the shortcomings of currently available mobile devices. Running applications on devices is a major battery drain, especially when it comes to multimedia. Research conducted by various firms shows that power hungry-devices is one of the top frustrations of mobile users and a major reason for not purchasing a multimedia device.

J.D. Power and Associates recently surveyed mobile users to find out how satisfied they are with their mobile phones based on physical design, operating system, features, durability, and battery life.

Sony Ericsson ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 741 on a 1,000-point scale. Customers were particularly pleased with the features and battery life offered on Sony Ericsson phones. Samsung got the second highest score of 728, followed by Motorola with 726 points. Nokia, LG Electronics, and Sanyo, among other phone makers, scored below the industry average of 723, which shows there's a lot of room for improvement when it comes to designing future mobile phones.

In addition to Motorola, Angstrom is working with battery manufacturers, mobile electronic device makers, and wireless service providers to commercialize Micro Hydrogen.

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