As engineers roll out a new generation of antennas to support fifth-generation (5G) data networks, businesses are already seeking ways to leverage the high-speed wireless technology for enhanced supply chain visibility. However, they’re running into at least one challenge: finding a source of power for the multitudes of internet of things (IoT) sensors needed for tracking. Now, one developer says it has come up with a solution: ultra-thin, flexible printed batteries.
That company, Imprint Energy, has developed ZinCore batteries, a line of zinc-based units that it says can “power innovation, connectivity, and 5G cellular systems” in sectors like logistics, medical devices, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. The Alameda, California-based firm claims its batteries provide more power in less physical space than current options and can withstand the rigors of both hot environments and cold chain storage.
Compared with conventional lithium batteries, the ZinCore cells are thinner and more flexible, with a width of 1.0 mm (0.04 inches) and a bending diameter of three inches, the company says. It also notes that its customizable, printed manufacturing process allows for the large-scale production of batteries that fit the exact shape and size requirements of the user’s unique project design needs—such as smart labels or IoT wearables.
“ZinCore’s power density and thin, flexible, customizable design will power innovation and new connectivity,” Imprint Energy CEO Christine Ho said in a release. “We’re excited to see the impact ZinCore will make in cold chain logistics, pharma, medical devices, food and beverage supply chains, and track-and-trace [applications].”