We Want These “Ultrastretchable” Charging Cables Now, Please

Need just a little more length on your charging cable to reach the outlet? No problem: new wires filled with liquid metal could stretch up to eight times their original length.

At some point soon, we’ll have wireless everything–wireless charging, wireless syncing, wireless video, wireless audio. We’ve already got a lot of that stuff, in fact. But today, we still need wires and cables, and a new creation from researchers at North Carolina State University could make them much more usable–by making them stretchy.

The basic construction of the new super-stretchy wires is an elastic tube filled with a highly conductive liquid metal alloy. Other attempts at stretchy wires, say the researchers, have relied on embedding conductivity into elastic, as opposed to separating them. The wires can be stretched up to eight times their original length, which is pretty amazing–an order of magnitude more stretchy than existing stretchy wires.

The paper appears in Advanced Functional Materials.