Tag Archives: Smartphones

Battery Start-Up Theion Unveils Crystal Battery for all Mobile Applications

Theion, a global battery manufacturer of lithium-sulphur cathode technology, today announced the appointment of Dr Ulrich Ehmes as CEO and the upcoming commercial availability of its Crystal Battery for applications, beginning with the aerospace sector. Dr Ehmes, who has a long track record of industrialising battery production at companies like Swiss-listed lithium-ion battery company Leclanché, will lead the commercialisation of Theion’s innovative lithium-sulphur cathode technology, which is targeting triple the range and usage time compared to conventional lithium-ion cells.

Theion’s battery innovation is based on sulphur – a material available In abundance without harmful mining (a byproduct of industrial processes). Sulphur replaces cathode materials with high processing cost and high metal content like nickel and cobalt. As a result, sulphur is not only 99% cheaper to source than the cathode materials, used in existing state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, but Theion’s battery cells also require 90% less energy to produce – from raw material to finished cell.

Under the leadership of Dr Ehmes, Theion will leverage his decade-long experience in the battery manufacturing sector to scale production. Dr Ehmes also serves on the Board of major battery research clusters funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education and is a member of European and German battery associations.

“I joined Theion because I am convinced that selecting the right battery active materials and processing these materials in a way that best leverages the material’s storage property, will disrupt the battery industry to another level,” said Dr Ulrich Ehmes, Theion CEO. “With 16 patents pending, our process innovations are scalable, and will bring a new dimension of mobility, range, usage time and sustainability.”

Theion’s patented production process extends the cycle life of batteries by combining sulphur’s crystal material properties with carbon nanotubes and a proprietary solid electrolyte. The company will be shipping material later this year, firstly to aerospace customers, as part of the qualification stage, then to aircraft, air taxis, drones, mobile phones and laptops, before servicing the electric flight and automotive sectors in 2024.

Battery Start-Up Theion Unveils Crystal Battery for all Mobile Applications
Battery Start-Up Theion Unveils Crystal Battery for all Mobile Applications

“We are using mother nature’s crystals under the guidance of our patented processes to unlock sulphur’s full potential as an energy carrier,” said Marek Slavik, Theion co-founder and CTO. “Its wide abundance around the world is crucial to the material cost. The design of our highly energy-efficient manufacturing processes makes our Crystal Batteries fully sustainable.”

Theion is backed by Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Global, a technology holding company investing in and starting frontier technology companies. With a successful track record that includes Delivery Hero, and recent investments into Volocopter, Zapata and AutoFlight, Theion’s addition to the portfolio is highly synergetic.

“At a time when industry demand for batteries is surging, but materials cost and sustainable sourcing are experiencing volatility, Theion’s breakthrough is ideally timed,” Lukasz Gadowski, founder and CEO of Team Global, and principal investor.Theion’s Crystal Battery is perfect for all mobility applications, while being massively sustainable, and is targeting to extend the use time of handheld devices, the driving range of electric cars, and the safe flight time of eVTOL applications and electric aircraft by a factor of three. When in full production, it has the potential to replace every battery in every mobility device on earth.”

Headquartered in Berlin, Theion operates three locations within the city, specializing in cell design, prototyping and testing. Theion is expanding by adding manufacturing facilities to accelerate its mass production roadmap, beginning in Berlin. Locations for later Giga-Factories are not determined yet but will be located close to the customers. Thus, production sites are envisioned In Europe, Asia and the USA.

180 Year Old Technology Set To Tackle Smartphone Distractions For Motorists

Smartphone use behind the wheel is a BIG problem, with 31% of drivers admitting to handling their phones whilst driving in 2016 according to the RAC (Up from 8% in 2014).

It seems no amount of fixed penalty fines or danger of accidents can stop people from tinkering with their devices when they should be concentrating on driving.

I have myself been a guest on a fair number of radio phone-ins where this was discussed all including the question,”Surely, there is a way of blocking phone use behind the wheel?”

It seems the answer to this problem lies with a technology that was invented almost 200 years ago by Michael Faraday and later developed by Benjamin Franklin. Yes, the ‘Faraday Cage’, otherwise used to protect engineers working on power-lines, is now being adopted by Nissan GB to try and help reduce smartphone distraction at the wheel.

The ‘Nissan Signal Shield‘ is a compartment which sits in the arm rest of the Nissan Juke and when a phone is placed within this compartment, it blocks ALL the phones incoming and outgoing cellular, Bluetooth and WiFi connections.

It’s all based on the principle of the Faraday cage, with conductive material, such as wire mesh,  blocking the  electromagnetic fields around the phone.

When an electronic device, like a smartphone, is placed inside, any incoming electromagnetic signals – such as cellular or Bluetooth data – are distributed across the cage’s external conducting material and so prevented from reaching the device.

This all allows the driver to make a choice about whether they want to completely eliminate the distractions of text messages and multiple notifications arriving on their smartphones whilst they drive and allow them to concentrate on driving safe.

Smartphone use has become habitual and having the temptation of checking phones every few minutes removed seems like a great idea and brings to mind the old saying ‘out of site, out of mind’.

The Nissan Signal Shield concept provides optional connectivity, giving drivers the choice between being able to contact and be contacted from the road, or creating a ‘phone-free’ space and time. It means a digital detox and a drive that’s free of incoming distractions.

If drivers want to listen to music or podcasts stored on their smartphone, they can still connect to the car’s entertainment system via the USB or auxiliary ports. The device will maintain wired connectivity even when in the Nissan Signal Shield compartment.

To restore your phone’s communication, you simply open the arm rest and all is back working again.

Alex Smith, Managing Director, Nissan Motor GB Ltd. said; “Nissan produces some of the safest cars on the road today, but we are always looking at new ways to improve the wellbeing of our customers. Mobile phone use at the wheel is a growing concern across the automotive industry, and indeed society, particularly with the high number of ‘pushed’ communications, such as texts, social media notifications and app alerts that tempt drivers to reach for their devices.”

“The Nissan Signal Shield concept presents one possible solution for giving drivers the choice to remove all smartphone distractions while driving. This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less. Some drivers are immune to the activity of their smartphone, but for those who struggle to ignore the beeps and pings, this concept provides a simple solution in this very ‘connected’ world we live in.”

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “Our research shows that handheld phone use by drivers has reached epidemic proportions. As mobile phone technology has advanced significantly many people have become addicted to them. However, the use of a handheld phone when driving represents both a physical and mental distraction and it has been illegal since 2003.”

“The Nissan Signal Shield is a good example of a technology that can help drivers be phone smart. For those who can’t avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone. We are asking all drivers to make a personal commitment not to use a handheld phone at the wheel by visiting www.bephonesmart.uk and sharing their promise with their friends and family.”