A Battery-Free Mobile Phone in the Works

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A good battery life is considered one of the strongest points in a mobile phone. After all, it is a portable device and given the importance, it is vital for it to run for as long as it can. Also, charging a phone more than once in a single day can be quite irritating and challenging at times. Just imagine though, how nice would it be to have a phone with no battery at all!

Phone makers are trying their best to increase the battery life in various ways – improving the software and hardware optimization and by increasing the capacity of the battery itself. The option of fast charging is quite handy and often compensates for lower running times on certain devices. Yet, it remains a challenge.

Battery-free Phone
University of Washington working on a mobile phone that runs without a battery


However, a group of certain individuals at the University of Washington have developed a prototype mobile phone that is battery-free. You read that right.

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Battery-Free Mobile Phone

A team at the University of Washington has been working on a mobile phone that doesn’t require a battery to run. The device is literally a prototype as it looks like a small motherboard which has a touch-sensitive key/number pad.

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Battery-free phone
The prototype device only has a touch-sensitive number pad


It has a mechanism to generate power from the surrounding environment, for instance, through the ambient light using the tiny solar panels called photodiodes. Furthermore, radio frequencies can be converted into energy with the help of antennas. All this can generate small amounts of microwatts (in multiples of ten actually), which is insufficient to run any current generation mobile phone. The device in testing can so far send and receive calls and it has to stay connected to a base-station for power.

The team has apparently devised a technique called “backscatter” through which radio waves can be converted into interpretable communication. A user has to manually switch between talking and listening using a button to make communication.

Battery-free phone
The phone generates power from the surrounding environment


It is very early but it has given a direction to carry on. Phones that can generate power using the elements from the surrounding environment shall mark a humongous change in the way we communicate and use the gadgets.

We will continue to follow this development and bring you more interesting updates.

News source: tech.sina.com

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