According to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, a small four member team of the Google X research lab led by former Apple battery expert Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj had started testing batteries manufactured by others in 2012. But later in 2013, the group expanded to look at battery technologies that Google might develop itself.
The team at present is reportedly working to advance current lithium-ion technology and the cutting-edge solid-state batteries for consumer devices, such as Google Glass and Google's glucose-measuring contact lens.
As per the WSJ report, Dr. Bhardwaj has told industry executives that Google has at least several battery-dependent projects in the works. During a presentation to an industry conference in February, Dr. Bhardwaj described how solid-state, thin-film batteries could be used in smartphones and other mobile devices that are thinner, bendable, wearable and even implantable in the human body, adds the report.
In addition to Dr. Bhardwaj's team, Google reportedly has other teams working with Chicago-based AllCell Technologies LLC on more potent lithium-ion batteries for four hardware projects, including Project Loon.
Google's Project Loon is an effort to beam Internet signals from high-altitude balloons. A video of the project from late 2013 shows Google engineers bundling AllCell batteries into the system's power pack.