British firm invents material for smartphone screens that could reduce recharging time

A smartphone's screen is said to use up 90 per cent of the device's battery power.
A smartphone's screen is said to use up 90 per cent of the device's battery power. PHOTO: REUTERS

Charging your power-hungry smartphone several times a day could soon become a thing of the past, if Dr Peiman Hosseini has his way.

The 32-year-old founder of Oxford-based start-up Bodle Technologies claims to have invented a "smart" material that can replace current smartphone screens and requires zero power.

According to Dr Hosseini, over 90 per cent of a mobile device's battery power is devoted to illuminating its display.

"We can create an entire new market," he told The Telegraph.

"You have to charge smartwatches every night, which is slowing adoption. But if you had a smartwatch or smart glass that didn't need much power, you could recharge it just once a week."

The material is purportedly based on technology used in rewritable DVDs, which uses "electrical pulses to create vivid, hi-tech displays". It can also be seen clearly in direct sunlight.

Another use of the material is in the creation of smart window. It is able to shut out infrared waves and keep buildings cool, sans air-conditioning.

Having developed a low-cost method to manufacture the material, the firm estimates that prototypes could be produced in less than a year.

Bodle Technologies has reportedly received a "significant" amount of seed money from the Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) fund - Oxford University's innovation investment arm, which earlier this year raised 320 million pounds (S$688 million) from investors such as Google and British billionaire Charles Dunstone - and is in discussions with some of the world's leading consumer electronic firms.

The OSI fund was first conceived to drive research - in topics such as mathematics, physics and life sciences - conducted at the university and help commercialise them.