Sci Fi Channel’s DVICE has a popular article up about liquid-filled fuel cell cell phones. We let Matt react…

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this.

I’m highly tempted to say people are confused and that it’s a concept mock-up or something, because I don’t see how this could possibly exist as a real product in this form.

Fuel cells need a catalyst assembly to operate, and there appears to be nothing of the sort to be found here, to say nothing of the single chip with no apparent connections to anything (like the magical mystery touchscreen), or any hint of an antenna.

I don’t see how a liquid-based fuel cell could even be practical in the first place anyway. All fuel cells produce a byproduct as part of the chemical reaction — if you’re not storing that byproduct in a holding area (which these “phones” don’t appear to be, if it’s to be believed that the colored liquid is the fuel and that it drains away during use) you have to disperse it into the atmosphere somehow.

This means your phone is either going to be peeing or farting questionably hazardous chemicals all day. On top of that, typical fuel cells have an efficiency of like 50 percent, which means you’d have to refill it rather often with some esoteric substance (’cause, you know, it’s just so easy to find pure ethanol on the street these days) … possibly very often depending on which angle you happen to be holding the device at.

Whether this is supposed to be a real product or some kind of internal artist’s rendering that got leaked, someone at NEC has a lot of explaining to do. I’m certainly not going to be saving any money waiting for a cellphone based on a very questionable concept, especially not one with pictures that raise more questions than answers and no data or press release to back anything up.

All I see here is a bunch of wild speculation being passed around among tech mags.

About The Author

Matt Hemenway is a Blast Magazine staff writer

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