I’m not sure how many of you foresee a future where mobile phones don’t have to be recharged at all, but Nokia believes this is possible.
Researchers from the Nokia Research Centre, in Cambridge, UK, are currently working to develop a new technology that would allow phones to harvest electrical current from ambient electromagnetic radiation, which is emitted from the cell phones’ own antennas, Wi-Fi transmitters, TV masts and so on.
According to Technology Review, Nokia already has prototype devices that can harvest up to 5 milliwats. However, this is not enough, thus researchers are now trying to develop a prototype that can produce 50 milliwats – which should be enough to recharge (not too fast) the battery of a switched-off handset.
The technology works by converting electromagnetic waves into an electrical signal, so it uses the same principles as RFID (Radio-frequency identification).
But when exactly can we see a phone using the new technology? Well, Markku Rouvala, one of Nokia’s researchers from the Cambridge center, says that “it is possible to put this into a product within three to four years.”
Nokia intends to use the technology alongside “other energy-harvesting approaches”, including solar energy (just for the record, Samsung has already announced a solar-powered phone, the Blue Earth).
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