Yes, what you read in the headline is true. Students at the Rice University have made paintable batteries a possibility and are currently working on making their technology usef-ul in commercial purposes.
The technology is simple, in fact. Conventional batteries are layers of chemicals attached together and in case of paintable batteries, each of those layers are painted over the other. They can yield a range of advantages.
One advantage is that the device sizes and thickness can be considerably decreased with this technology. Another benefit is that the user can choose any suitable substrate to suit his need.
These paintable batteries can be made in any shapes and orientations that the applicability of these is enormous. For instance, paintable batteries can be used in making the walls of a building such that by implementing solar panels, efficient renewable source of energy can be utilized properly.
With this technology, you will be able to make lithium-ion batteries that are not sensitive to moisture or temperature. This can considerably aid in decreasing the cost of packaging and of course increase the overall efficiency of the cells.
One limitation of the technology, however, is in the use of difficult-to-handle liquid electrolytes and the need for a dry and oxygen-free environment when making the new device.
Neelam Singh, who worked on the project, has been quoted as saying that the technology could be integrated with solar cells to give any surface a stand-alone energy capture and storage capability. Watch the video below: