Dyson backs battery maker Sakti3 to tune of US$15m

16 Mar 2015

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Solid-state battery maker Sakti3 has received the support of Dyson, with the engineering company investing US$15m in batteries that have the potential for double the current lifetime.

Rather than working with the current design of batteries, using flammable liquid-based lithium to store energy, Sakti3 is making solid-state lithium-ion batteries.

The batteries are still in the development phase although Dyson could be the first company to bring them to market – General Motors, too, backs Sakti3, which originally targeted extending electrical cars' battery life.

Given one of the main restraints in today’s Internet of Things push is battery life and battery technology, this move by Dyson shows the company’s willingness to develop its range of home appliances accordingly.

Dyson suitably impressed

“Sakti3 has achieved leaps in performance which current battery technology simply can’t,” said Dyson’s chief engineer and founder James Dyson. “It’s these fundamental technologies – batteries, motors – that allow machines to work properly.”

Of course promises of extended battery life are hardly a new thing, with many within the technology industry looking to improve on Sony’s 1991 battery model, largely unsuccessfully, for decades now.

As the Guardian reports, “there has been improvement in longevity and charging times, but not a great deal in terms of the amount of energy that batteries store.”

However Dyson’s decision to invest adds significant credibility to Sakti3’s project, and represents the second interesting investment by the company in recent years.

About 12 months ago it invested UK£5m in a robotics lab in London and has a UK£1bn “future technologies” fund, which aims to help it bring out 100 new machines in the next few years.

An interesting element of the investment sees a development agreement in place to help bring Sakti3’s batteries to market.

"This is a very significant event for the company,” said Sakti3 CEO Ann Marie Sastry in the Detroit Free Press. “Dyson is a multibillion-dollar global design, engineering and manufacturing company – and they have the will, the need and the capability to integrate our technology into their outstanding products and scale quickly.”

Batteries image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

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