lithium ion battery and AA batteryTechnology to build better mobile phones and wearable devices like fitness wristbands and smart watches continues to advance, yet the technology needed to power these devices for more than a few hours has not kept pace. This is partly because developing new power sources is a tricky business—a lengthy period of safety testing and regulatory review is required before products can be released to the public.

To overcome this obstacle, developers are looking for creative ways to build a better battery. Companies are investing in efforts ranging from giving batteries a boost with solar power to identifying safer, more efficient materials for use in batteries.

Others are looking for alternatives that don’t require traditional batteries at all. At the University of Washington, Shyamnath Gollakota PhD ’13 thinks one solution could be in the air around us. The project involves harvesting energy from cellular and wi-fi signals already in the air.

Read the full story at the New York Times to learn more about the race to create a better battery.

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