NEC has been developing its organic radical battery (ORB) technology for a while, and today it unveiled the latest iteration. The newest ORB is a 0.3mm (0.012 inch) flexible battery that's designed to fit into integrated circuit (IC) cards, commonly used for public transport payment, credit cards, and suchlike. Standard IC cards are 0.73mm thick, meaning the addition of a battery shouldn't prove too taxing on your wallet. Furthermore, the battery can be printed directly onto the IC card as part of the manufacturing process, and the surrounding 0.05mm polymer film can incorporate circuit boards with small components like antennas.

As one of the main advantages of IC cards is the lack of need for power, it might be a little difficult to see the immediate use cases for this, but NEC has a few ideas. The company envisions future IC cards featuring small displays to show remaining credit balance (for example), data transmission capabilities, and enhanced security applications. Any implementation will need to be fairly low power for now, though — the batteries only have 3 mAh capacity, apparently good for updating an unspecified "display screen" up to 2000 times.