(Phys.org) —Stories have been rolling in from technology news sites this week about vendors in a race to debut curved smartphones and flexible OLED panels for smartphones. Also making news on Tuesday is Seoul, South Korean-based chemical company LG Chem, which has curved batteries in production. The company, which is a major lithium-ion battery manufacturer, on Tuesday said it has curved batteries in mass production, and in fact has been producing curved batteries since July this year, at a plant in China. Curved batteries are being used to power G2 smartphones manufactured by the company's affiliate, LG Electronics.
There are three types of batteries on the LG Chem product map, and these are the stepped battery, the curved battery and the cable battery, the latter to be ready in the next few years. What they all share in common is the company's eye on innovative product opportunities that will spring up all over the place once flexible displays take hold in the marketplace, to be applied toward phones and a wide range of wearables including watches and glasses. In turn, LG Chem has worked up alternatives to the rectangular-shaped battery.
The curved battery packs are to power mobile devices with curved screen or flexible designs such as smart phones, watches and glasses. Using a"Stack and Folding" technology, the company's batteries achieve a curved design. They will power LG Electronics' next phone lineup.
The stepped battery refers to an approach where two batteries are added on top of each other in the form of a step design. The battery takes greater advantage of available space in the device, filling up dead space to fully power the handset and increase battery capacity. LG Chem plans to take the approach further, stacking up more batteries depending on customer requirements.
The cable battery travels into more ambitious territory, to be adapted for innovative devices that are not only bendable and wearable but can even be tied into a knot. The cable battery will also have waterproof features.
According to a report in The Korea Times, LG Chem is preparing to sell curved batteries to other smartphone vendors than just LG Electronics.
Researchers see the flexible display market as set to grow quickly with the upcoming launch of innovative, curved devices. Curved displays can accommodate bendable designs, in turn to expand beyond phones into automotive displays, tablets and wearables.
Explore further: LG Chem cable batteries may reshape mobile designs