Hydrogen fuel cells are effectively mini-engines that produce power using a chemical reaction. The cells been used to power hybrid cars but have so far proved too cumbersome to fit into a mobile device be it a phone, laptop or anything else.
The technology has existed for some time, with companies such as Intel having invested in fuel cells in the past but so far no manufacturer has successfully managed to develop a realistic way of using it to power a phone.
The patents filed by RIM depict a frame which holds a fuel cell in a mobile device, with the handset in question shaped more like a large-touchscreen smartphone rather than a traditional BlackBerry design.
RIM’s new BB10 OS, announced at BlackBerry World 2012, is built for touchscreen devices and a developer-only handset featuring a 4.2-inch display was distributed at the event. The Canadian manufacturer is said to be changing its approach and moving away from the well-known BlackBerry form factor and could be looking into alternative ways of supplying the large amount of power needed to run its future devices.