Wednesday Buzz: Is the One-Minute Phone Charge on the Way?

At Stanford University, researchers are creating a  bright future for smartphone batteries—one with a lot less charging required—if it ever hits the market. Also: Associations shouldn't make; they should facilitate.

If you wish that it were easier to charge your smartphone, you might want to keep a close eye on what a couple of Stanford scientists are working on.

“We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” Stanford chemistry professor Hongjie Dai said in a news release.

This week, the university announced the creation of the new high-performance aluminum-ion battery, which also uses graphite. The researchers say that, unlike current lithium-ion batteries used in many smartphones, these devices could require only a minute of charging, rather than hours (meaning we’d be freed from the need to constantly plug in our devices). The battery is also foldable, which could come in handy if computers someday become flexible.

“The electrolyte is basically a salt that’s liquid at room temperature, so it’s very safe,” Stanford graduate student Ming Gong said of the battery. Here’s a video showing off what it can do:

Before you get too excited, you may want to heed the words of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who is quick to point out that the demo leaves out some important details.

Business Insider notes that at this point the battery puts out only about half the voltage of the standard lithium-ion battery. Still, it’s OK to get a little excited, because the technology looks impressive.

You Don’t Need to Make Anything

What do Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb have in common? They don’t make products; they facilitate connections. In that sense, according to Mahlab Media’s Roslyn Atkinson, writing on LinkedIn, they also have a lot in common with associations.

“Associations are in a great position to take advantage of this trend, because at their core, associations are communities of like-minded people who want to connect with each other,” she writes. “And while associations might be good at connecting members to each other at events and through committees, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to connecting members in digital ways.”

What are some ways that you play connector in your association’s offerings? (ht @AssocContent)

Other Links of Note

Here’s a problem you don’t want to have: The winner of this year’s ESPN bracket challenge, a 12-year-old boy, is ineligible to collect his prize because he’s too young. Now the company has a PR crisis on its hands.

There’s a right way to automate your tweets … and, of course, a wrong way. SocialFish guest blogger Tyler Knudtson explains the difference.

The internet doesn’t know everything. When Google lets you down, you need other sources to get you research done. Lifehacker has some tips.

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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