Perhaps the biggest problem facing makers of new technology is battery power - or lack of it. The battery is so critical that engineers design handheld devices around the battery, rather than the other way round. It is not just mobile phone and wearable technology manufacturers that are striving for longer lasting batteries, the electric vehicle is stalling (so to speak) because of the short distances between recharging and a limited service life of the battery.
So what are businesses doing to reinvent the battery? Is an average annual gain in capacity of 6% really the best we can do?
We ask whether Lithium-Air batteries can revitalise the electric car market, explore whether flexible graphene batteries and solar cells hold the key to enhancements in mobile phone battery life and look at the 3D printing of micro batteries the size of a grain of sand.
Photo: Batteries. BBC copyright)
Contributors to this programme
David Cleevely - Founding director of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University
John McCann - Mobile phone and tablet reviewer for TechRadar.com
Doron Myersdorf - CEO of Storedot
Donald Sadoway - Professor of Materials Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston
George Ell - Country director for the UK and Ireland, Tesla Motors
Emile Greenhalgh - Professor, Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London
Milo Shaffer - Professor, Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London