Wirelessly-powered phones on sale within four years, says Nokia
Handsets will convert radiation into usable power
Nokia has claimed that by 2013 it could become possible to recharge your phone from the ambient electromagnetic radiation (AER) emitted by Wi-Fi transmitters, mobile phone antennae and TV masts.
The Finnish phone firm has developed a prototype AER phone able to suck up 3-5mW of power, but said it’s working towards a prototype that’ll slowly recharge itself by gathering up to 50mW, sufficient to trickle-charge a phone that's turned off.
Markku Rouvala, of the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, told journal MIT Technology Review that AER power generation works in a similar way to the method through which RFID tags power themselves: the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electrical signals.
Nokia is working on wideband receivers capable of sucking in energy from 500MHz transmissions up to 10GHz.
“I would say it is possible to put this project into a product within three to four years,” added Rouvala.
The firm’s keeping mum about its specific plans for now. But Rouvala hinted that, ultimately, AER would probably be used alongside several other energy-harvesting technologies, including solar power. ®
Green, or just convenience?
Maybe it's not a green solution. However it might be the answer to the "Universal Charger". i.e. phone manufacturers do away with a mains charger entirely, meaning no complications over different connectors etc, and a cost saving in manufacturing the charger plus the packaging required.
And after all, they've (all?) signed up to make a universal charger for all phone brands (except I assume Apple will refuse on the basis they can't flog a sexy Apple branded charger that's unique to them).
sufficient to trickle-charge a phone that's turned off
Oh great! So then I won't be able to receive a call while the device is charging, or I wont be able to charge the device if I want to be available to receive a call.
What drugs are these numpties on?
Come on Nokia, this is a joke, right?
More green garbage
At 5mW 24/7 your phone will harvest enough energy to make 1 cup of tea every 217 days.
During the life time of the phone it will harvest significantly less energy than it took to manufacture the electronics required to do the harvesting.
Complete and utter greenwash garbage.
Harvesting energy from the 'ether' only makes sense for ultra low power equipment where it can completely remove the need for a battery (and the sometimes high cost of replacing it) and even then it is marginal.
no tuned circuit required
If all you are going to do is convert RF energy to DC power, you don't need a tuner; indeed, using one would be counter-productive. All you need is an antenna of some sort, a rectifier, and possibly a capacitor to smooth out the current flow.
The biggest drawback to this idea is that it would only trickle-charge the phone when it was turned off. In my case, I leave the phone turned on nearly all of the time, including when charging, so that I will receive any incoming calls instead of having them roll over to voice mail.
Impressed or worried?
Impressed that newer designs need so little to get the battery running
Worried there is so much to harvest?