Nokia Plans Self-Charging Mobile Phone!Written by Christian Milsom on June 11, 2009 · Filed under Tech
Imagine if you will a hypothetical world 10 years in the future where you no longer need to charge your phone, iPod or laptop, they just absorb energy from the air around themselves and convert this into the electricity they need to run.
Admittedly this is more fantasy than reality, but the basic idea is one that Nokia say they have made headway into – and they have the prototype to prove it. By being able to harvest the free energy flying around in our atmosphere (from Wifi, TV and other assorted signals) Nokia plan to be able to convert this into electricity in smartphones in the future, just think, having a smartphone like the Nokia E71 that self-charges!
But let’s not get too carried away (and envisage cars powered by Wifi stations at the side of the road like I did!) as we are talking about very small amounts of electricity to be produced, the aim for the research group focused on this on behalf of Nokia is to produce 50 milliwatts which will be enough to charge up a smartphone (slowly, providing it’s switched off!).
This idea of energy and radiation flying around in the air around us may surprise or even worry some people, so a quick explanation: electromagnetic radiation (which includes radio waves [for radio and TV], microwaves [for mobile phones and, er..., microwaves!] and light) carries energy which is used by whatever is receiving the waves (the amount is dictated by Planks formula [E = hv] for those more interested!).
However the amount produced by things like radio masts or WiFi emitters is very small (when was the last time you ‘felt’ WiFi?) so it is safe for it to be flying around – but seeing as it goes everywhere most of it is wasted. By being able to absorb this energy in a similar way to the method used by solar panels, smartphones in the future will be able hopefully not only charge, but power themselves when you are out and about.
But having built this idea up there is one major drawback, and that is that it doesn’t work all that well. Nokia’s Cambridge Lab have created a prototype which although demonstrates that the technology works, is only able to create about a tenth (5 miliwatts) of the power they are aiming for.
Nevertheless the team remain confident that they can create a useable self-charging mobile phone that will be released to the world in three years – an ambitious target to say the least. But if they are successful if could revolutionise the way we think about batteries and mobile electronic products, it could potentially spell the end to the charger and move us even closer to more environmentally friendly devices such as the carbon-neutral mobile phone.
Via – PC Pro